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Barenboim, Bartoli, Uchida, Lugansky, Ashkenazy, Mutter, Gardiner, Netrebko, Flórez, Goerne and Dudamel are among our guests for the 2015-16 season at the Palau de la Música Catalana

Feel the heartbeat of the Palau, experience it live!

The new Palau 100 Grans Veus series, the consolidation of Palau 100 Bach and an emphasis on music of the 20th and 21st centuries are among what’s new for this season.

The 2015-16 season of the Fundació Orfeó Català- Palau de la Música Catalana is a season of growth in the number of concerts (127, 16% more than the previous season), encouraged by the positive response from audiences and the increase in the number of season ticket holders.

In this way the Palau cements its standing as a landmark institution with a programme of the highest quality featuring the top namesand orchestras on the international scene. This programme fosters choral singing, provides a shop window for the music of the 20th and 21st centuries, revives Catalan musical heritage and contributes to the rebirth of the Palau as an essential cultural hub on the European music map. An institution with a modern, attractive and international approach to its programme.

One of the principal novelties is the newly-created Palau 100 Grans Veus series, with six concerts featuring some of the most highly-rated voices on today’s scene: the return of Anna Netrebko, after her acclaimed recital in the 14-15 season, Rolando Villazón, Matthias Goerne and Xavier Sabata; added to these, Juan Diego Flórez and Magadalena Kozena will be making their debuts on the Art Nouveau stage. The Palau 100 Bach series also goes from strength to strength with figures like William Christie, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Isabelle Faust and Evgeni Koroliov. There is also a notable increase in the number of concerts in other series, such as Intèrprets Catalans and the Cicle Coral Orfeó Català.

The 15-16 season is a more diverse year, in terms both of the variety on offer and of its emphasis on the music of the 20th and 21st centuries, without forgetting the great works of the universal repertoire such as the Mass in B, Mozart’s Requiem, the Missa Solemnis or Saint Matthew Passion, which also form part of the programme. Hèctor Parra, (Barcelona, 1976) will be the guest composer at the Palau and the Auditori, reviving his most recent works and premiering others by this local artist. Works will be presented by John Rutter (who will himself be conducting the Cor Jove and the Cor de Noies), Kaija Saariaho and Messiaen, whose Simonia Turangalila - a key work of the 20th century - will be performed by Gustavo Dudamel on his return to the Palau with the Orquestra Simón Bolívar, featuring Yuja Wang as a soloist. There will also be premières, among others of Agustí Charles and Josep Vila. A visit by the Ensemble Intercontemporain with a special programme devoted to Pierre Boulez rounds off this, our commitment to contemporary music.

Palau 100 continues to host major orchestras and conductors, welcoming the Staatskapelle Berlin and Daniel Barenboim to open the season (06 and 07/07/2015), Concertgebouw and Semyon Bychkov, the Wiener Philharmoniker conducted by Daniele Gatti; the London Philharmonic with Vladimir Jurowski and featuring Leonidas Kavakos. With regard to the house choirs, work is ongoing on historic projects for the ensembles, with major challenges before the Orfeó Català and the Cor de Cambra of the Palau, who will be under the baton of Daniel Barenboim for the first time to perform Verdi’s Four Sacred Pieces, as well as performing Brahms’ German Requiem under Jurowski himself.

More essential dates

Palau 100, together with the Piano, Bach, Cambra, Constel·lació series and the new Grans Veus series, make up a set of 49 concerts which set out to be unique experiences and will feature leading performers, conductors and ensembles. Apart from the unmissable concerts mentioned above, this season sees the return of Cecilia Bartoli with arias by Vivaldi; a performance of the Missa Solemnis conducted by Jean-Christophe Spinosi and featuring the Cor de Cambra of the Palau; a recital by Christian Zacharias, a Mozart programme with Misuko Uchida accompanied by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra; Nikolai Luganski performing the beautiful Rach 2 and performances by the Labèque brothers and Vladimir Ashkenazy as a pianist after 20 years’ absence from Barcelona.

This top-class bill is completed by artists of the standing of Jordi Savall who, accompanied by the finest specialists, will be offering an evening of French Baroque; Khatia Buniatishvili starring in a virtuoso evening; Lars Vogt, recognised as one of the finest pianists of his generation; Miloš Karadaglić, giving his first recital in the city; and Anne Sophie Mutter, one of the world’s most highly-regarded violinists performing the Four Seasons and the Spanish première of André Previn’s Nonet.

Long-term projects and lasting relations with artists

With the aim of establishing an artistic discourse of its own, the Palau de la Música Catalana presents a new long-term project with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, who will be performing the great oratorios by J.S. Bach, Händel and Haydn over three consecutive seasons. This year they are to perform Bach’s Mass in B Minor, in a major artistic event for the city. Other ongoing projects include those with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer, this year offering Mahler’s Third;  Mark Padmore and Paul Lewis who will be performing the second of three great cycles of lied by Schubert, Swan Song; Sir Andras Schiff with the second of three performances of sonatas by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert; Benjamin Alard will be taking on the Goldberg Variations on the harpsichord. There will also be two sessions in the series featuring the complete Cantatas by J.S. Bach, a co-production with the Auditori.

Building lasting relations with leading artists who return to the Art Nouveau stage year after year is part of the artistic policy of the Palau de la Música and a source of pride for the institution. Thus, the Palau once more presents Jean-Guihen Queyras and Alexander Melnikov, performing all Beethoven’s Sonatas for cello and piano (07/09/15); Grigory Sokolov, appearing for the ninth year in a row at the Palau (07/04/16); Javier Perianes with the Quarteto Quiroga (27/01/16); and Mark Minkowski who, at the head of Les Musiciens du Louvre, will be kicking off a new collaboration with the Cor de Cambra del Palau de la Música in a European tour and a concert at the Palau (29/03/16) with Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor and Requiem.

Dialogue with the visual arts: rethinking the classical model with Jaume Plensa and William Kentridge

As part of the dialogue with the visual arts set up four seasons ago by the Fundació Orfeó Català-Palau de la Música Catalana, on offer this year is a reflection on the value of the classical canons to each generation, by Jaume Plensa and William Kentridge. The Palau’s Art Nouveau architecture will enter a dialogue with Plensa’s sculptures in an exhibition which can be visited from 7th April to 16th March, and which will represent an opportunity to discover the art of one of the most international of Catalan artists, who has not exhibited in Barcelona for many years. The Art Nouveau building will also be hosting the international production of Winterreise, in which the voice of Matthias Goerne will be combined with audiovisual projections by the iconoclastic South African artist Kentridge.

The central role and internationalisation of the choirs

After their international dates in Lisbon, Paris and London, the Orfeó Català and the Cor de Cambra of the Palau look forward to a season alongside the finest international ensembles and conductors in the concerts mentioned above. Moreover, the choirs of the Escola Coral will also be sharing the stage with some big names. Thus, the Cor Infantil of the Orfeó Català will be appearing in Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner and his ensembles, and the female voices of the Orféo Català and the Cor Infantil will be appearing in Mahler’s monumental Third Symphony with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, conducted by Iván Fischer.

As part of the Cicle Coral Orfeó Català devoted to choral singing in all its forms, this year expanded to a total of 20 concerts, a highlight is the concert by the Orfeó and the Cor de Cambra alongside the OBC with the soprano Patricia Petibon, performing Poulenc’s Stabat Mater and reviving the cantata Verge Maria by Manuel Blancafort; Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with the Orfeó Català; the commemoration of the 125th anniversary of the Orfeó Català, with a première and other works by its director Josep Vila i Casañas; a collaboration between the Cor Infantil and Comediants; the concert “Perfums de França” and a production of Carmina Burana with the Cor Jove of the Orfeó Català (19/07/16); and the closing concert for the 25th anniversary of the Cor de Cambra with Josep Vila i Casañas’ interpretation of Händel’s oratorio Israel in Egypt.

Finally comes the Concert de Sant Esteve, an event in a highly attractive format which has become an essential, sell-out part of the Christmas calendar and can be followed live in the media.

Commemorations and extra activities

The Palau will be commemorating the centenary of the death of Enric Granados (1867-1916), a composer who was closely linked to the Orfeó Català and chose the Palau de la Música Catalana for the première, in 1911, of some of his most famous works including Goyescas and Cant de les estrelles. His work is to be performed in eleven concerts in the different series that make up the Palau season. Also being commemorated is the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Enric Morera with a concert featuring the full version of his musical play La Santa Espina, as well as other concerts of Sardana music.

With regard to extra activities, the series of events to bring the public into contact with composers, with visits by these composers, begins, as does a series of talks about the figure of the conductor by Carlos Calderón. Also continuing is the series of talks before the Palau 100 concerts entitled “Parlem de música” (“Let’s Talk About Music”).

Catalan performers and co-productions

One of the Palau’s goals is to be a showcase for Catalan talent and invite artists to give a voice to their own creative work. The Intèrprets Catalans series also features more concerts, with 10 dates, highlights among which include recitals given by the soprano Marta Mathéu; the pianist Ignasi Cambra; the mezzo-soprano Anna Alàs and the pianist José Menor; as well as the two BCN 216 dates.

Part of the programme for the Palau season is the result of co-productions with different organisations in the country that help to create synergies with their related programmes. Thus, the Palau is again collaborating with the Orquestra Simfònica del Vallès on the Simfònics al Palau series, with the Orquestra Nacional Clàssica d’Andorra for the ONCA series at the Palau, with POEMA SL to offer Mestres de la Guitarra al Palau and with Barcelona’s Auditori on ECHO Rising Stars and the full Bach Catatas.

Figures and season tickets

The 2015-16 season is to include total of 127 concerts, 36 of which will be co-productions. Added to this are the schools and family concerts and those in the BandAutors series.

This year the Palau de la Música Catalana has implemented a new ticketing system to make the purchase process faster and easier, as well as improving our management of the audience database to help provide a better service.

With the aim of encouraging increased public participation we are keeping the Abonament Jove, whereby those aged under 30 can get discounts of up to 40%, and individualised season tickets, with which audience members can choose their own package of concerts in the different series at discounts of between 10% and 20%. Season ticket holders are also offered the Butaca Lliure service: if a season ticket holder cannot attend one of their concerts, the ticket is placed back on sale so that they can recover 75% of the price.

Season ticket renewals begin on 24th March and new season tickets go on sale on 23rd April. Ticket sales to the general public begin on 25th May.