The Mahler Chamber Orchestra’s 2017 began with a major residency at the 33rd International Music Festival of the Canary Islands, which included not only two orchestra concerts and five chamber music concerts on all five islands of the archipelago, but also – in keeping with the festival’s commitment to reaching out to different audiences – the MCO’s flagship education project, Feel the Music. The extensive press coverage for this residency illustrates the MCO’s exceptional music making, multiple facets, and diverse personalities. A selection of these highlights appear below.
In the first part of the residency, conductor Jakub Hrůša and violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann joined the MCO in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria for the festival’s opening concerts. The programme featured works by Dvořák, Prokofiev and Gustavo Trujillo, a composer from the Canary Islands who worked closely with the MCO on his piece, Chamán.
A group of hard-of-hearing children from Tenerife was selected to take part in two days of Feel the Music, during which they had a chance to work with four MCO musicians in workshops and conduct the orchestra on its first rehearsal day with Jakub Hrůša.
In the second part of the residency, eight MCO musicians took an eclectic chamber music programme to Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Palma. This programme, which took audiences on a musical journey from the 17th to the 20th century, included two pieces arranged especially for the MCO.
Selected press highlights:
TVE reports on Feel the Music and MCO concerts on its national news programme: not only on the experience of the children taking part in Feel the Music, but also on the unique nature of the ensemble.
TVE (Spanish National Television)
View broadcast here (2:54 - 3:15 / 45:04 - 46:37)
“A Sorcerer, A Violinist and An Ensemble”: When the music took to the floor, the spell worked. With the first note of Chamán (Gustavo Trujillo), the MCO set the tone for a very special edition of the festival. For the first time in 33 years, opened with the work of a Canarian composer [...] the magic was real.
Read the full article here
Johane Gonzalez Seijas (double bass) looks back on what it was like to perform the opening concerts. He also talks about the chamber music concerts that his MCO colleagues would go on to perform on the different islands.
RNE (Spanish National Radio) – Canarias Mediodía
Listen to the interview here (broadcast on the 12th of January 2017)
RTVE reports on the MCO chamber music concerts in Lanzarote and El Hierro, as well as the audiences’ concert experiences.
RTVE (Spanish National Television – Telecanarias)
View broadcast here (18:15 - 18:55)
Vicente Alberola (principal clarinet) shares his experience of playing in the opening concerts of the festival, as well as his thoughts on the MCO’s residency and the orchestra’s philosophy.
La Ventana – Cadena SER
Listen to the interview here (broadcast on the 20th of January 2017)
Photos: Geoffroy Schied / ACFI PRESS