Friday 02 February, 2024

Salzburg and Linz, a new international goal for the Basque National Orchestra and Robert Trevino

Salzburg and Linz, a new international goal for the Basque National Orchestra and Robert Trevino

Less than a year since its successful premiere in Poland, the Basque National Orchestra is once again embarking on a major international tour that will take it to Austria from 6 to 9 February. 

This new international tour will consist of one concert in Linz and three in Salzburg, with the conductor Robert Trevino and the French harpist Xavier de Maistre, playing as a soloist.

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Next week, the Basque National Orchestra will embark on a new international tour, this time to Austria. It will start its concerts on 6 February at the Brucknerhaus in Linz, where it is returning after five years, followed by three concerts in Salzburg on 7, 8 and 9 February at the prestigious Grosses Festspielhaus. The orchestra will perform three different programmes and will include Ravel, Shostakovich, Bizet, Ginastera and Glière on its lecterns.

The orchestra was scheduled to visit Salzburg in 2021, but was unable to go because of the pandemic. The concert promoter suggested alternative dates to the orchestra and now the time has come to visit the city. The orchestra came to both Salzburg and Linz during its first tours in the ‘80s. Forty years later, it is now returning to Salzburg and Linz, although it did visit the latter city in 2018 as well.

In the words of Oriol Roch, the general director: "The Basque National Orchestra's visit to Salzburg and Linz is a symptom of equating with the great European symphonic ensembles, on the one hand, and on the other, it represents a cultural representation of the country. We will be performing an ambitious, extensive and large-scale concert. The fact that Central European programmers in as renowned locations as Salzburg request outstanding international compositions such as Shostakovich is proof of the orchestra's endeavours and its impact beyond our borders. Internationally distributed recordings have played a major role in this. It comes as no surprise that the orchestra will perform with Ravel, whose works it has recorded on two albums on the Ondine label, having received excellent reviews for its renditions of the universal composer from Ciboure."

Principal conductor Robert Trevino will once again be leading the Basque National Orchestra on this new tour. He says, "Linz is one of the most important concert halls in Europe and we are very much looking forward to our return following our 2018 tour of Austria and Germany. The audience is certainly looking forward to hearing the orchestra again. And what can I say about Salzburg? Mozart's hometown and the birthplace of classical music, home to one of the most important and prestigious festivals in the world. This is a very special moment for me as the orchestra's principal conductor."

The orchestra will be accompanied on this trip by Xavier de Maistre, arguably the most influential harpists of recent decades. His professional origins were quite remarkable: at the age of 16 he began winning prestigious international competitions, and at the age of 22 he became a harp soloist with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra. Three years later he became lead harpist of the one and only Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he held for eleven years. However, De Maistre chose to say goodbye to Vienna to pursue a career as a soloist, a bold move that has seen him play with the world's top orchestras and conductors and become a benchmark figure for this instrument in the classical world, striving to popularise it.

De Maistre has collaborated with the Basque National Orchestra on numerous occasions. He did so as part of the prestigious Basque Composers Collection that the orchestra recorded with the Claves Records label between 1997 and 2012, releasing 15 monographic albums by as many Basque composers. De Maistre played the harp on the albums dedicated to Tomás Garbizu and Aita Madina, conducted by Cristian Mandeal, and released in 2004 and 2005 respectively. Also, in 2007, he took part in the orchestra's Subscription Season in works by Aita Madina and Carl Reinecke, and, taking advantage of this visit, he gave a harp concert at the Miramon Matinées. In 2021, he took part in another Basque National Orchestra concert programme, this time performing Ginastera's Harp Concerto, a piece that he will perform again on this tour, together with Glière's Harp Concerto.

 

 

Travel and concert schedule

 

The orchestra will embark on its tour on Monday, 5 February, the day before the first concert in Linz. After this first concert, the orchestra will travel to Salzburg on 7 February, where it will give three consecutive concerts: 7, 8 and 9 February. It will return to the Basque Country on Saturday the 10th.

 

LINZ

This city is located in the north-east of Austria and the Danube River runs through it. It is the capital of the state of Upper Austria (Oberösterreich) and the third most populous city in the country, after Vienna and Graz. It is home to 203,000 inhabitants and has a metropolitan area of more than 700,000.

Brucknerhaus
The Brucknerhaus is the Linz congress centre, named after the composer Anton Bruckner, who was born in a district of Linz. The building was designed by the Finnish architects Heikki and Kaija Siren and inaugurated in 1974.

It plays host to approximately 200 performances each year, drawing in over 180,000 people. Some of the major festivals it plays host to are the Ars Electronica Festival (a digital music, art and technology festival that takes place annually in early September) and Brucknerfest (a classical music festival that has been held between September and October since 1974, with the Brucknerhaus as the main venue).

The concert hall is renowned for its excellent acoustics and is internationally recognised as one of the major institutions of classical music.

 

SALZBURG

It is known for being the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and for hosting the world's most popular and important music festivals. Besides this, the old city centre is a World Cultural Heritage Site.

Grosses Festspielhaus, Salzburg Festival

The orchestra will play its three concerts at Grosses Festspielhaus (Great Festival Hall), home to the Salzburg Festivals. The construction of the hall began in 1956, when 55,000 cubic meters of stone were quarried from the Mönchsberg mountainside to make room for the vast stage enclosure, which, covering a width of 100 meters, is one of the largest in the world. The auditorium has a square floor plan, with 35 meters on each side, and seating capacity for 2,179 people. From the main entrance, the audience enters the hall via five large bronze doors. The hall is lit by Murano glass chandeliers. The theatre was inaugurated on July 26, 1960 with a performance of The Knight of the Rose by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Herbert von Karajan.

The Salzburg Festival (Salzburger Festspiele) is a major music and theatre festival which has been held since 1920. It is regarded as one of the most important and most popular music and theatre festivals in the world. The festival is held every summer in July and August. Since 1973 an extension of the same festival has also been held during Pentecost, focusing on classical and baroque music, and since 1967 there has also been a parallel festival during the Easter season, with an emphasis on works by Richard Wagner.

 

 

Dates, Cities and Programmes

 

Over the course of four concerts on four consecutive days, the Basque National Orchestra will perform three different programmes, each featuring different combinations of works by Ravel, Ginastera, Glière, Shostakovich and Bizet.

  • 6 February: Linz, Brucknerhaus (Programme 1), 19:30
  • 7 February: Salzburg, Grosses Festpielhaus (Programme 2), 19:00
  • 8 February: Salzburg, Grosses Festpielhaus (Programme 3), 19:00
  • 9 February: Salzburg, Grosses Festpielhaus (Programme 3), 19:00

 

Robert Trevino, conductor
Xavier De Maistre, harp
Basque National Orchestra

 

PROGRAMME 1 (Linz)

M. Ravel: Waltz, choreographic poem [12']
A. Ginastera: Harp Concerto with orchestra [23']
M. Ravel: Alborada del gracioso [8'], Spanish Rhapsody [16'], Pavane for a dead princess [6'], Boléro [13']

 

PROGRAMME 2 (Salzburg, 7 February)

R. Glière: Harp Concerto with orchestra [27']
D. Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10 [57']

 

PROGRAMME 3 (Salzburg, 8 and 9 February)

G. Bizet: Carmen. Suite No. 1 [12']
A. Ginastera: Harp Concerto with orchestra [23']
M. Ravel: Alborada del gracioso [8'], Spanish Rhapsody [16'], Pavane for a dead princess [6'], Boléro [13']

 

 

Euskadi Basque Country / Baskenland

 

The Euskadi Basque Country brand will be at these concerts in its German version Baskenland. The Basque Tourism Agency is joining this tour to promote and brand the Basque Country as a quality cultural asset, in this case by means of the Basque National Orchestra.

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