CONCERTS COSTA BLANCA
.. in support of quality concerts and musical events in the Marina Alta
In May 2010, at the Espai La Senieta theatre in Moraira, Wilhelmina Hardee and Mary Heaviland arranged a concert given by students and professors from "The Curtis Institute of Music" (Philadelphia) - one of the world's leading conservatories.
This sell-out concert was followed by a harp and trumpet recital in September by two well-known Hungarian artists and promoted by Günter Klasen. Following this concert, Wilhelmina (Willy) and Mary approached John G. Deacon (ex-EMI, Philips Classics and founder of Conifer Records) who arranged to bring his friend pianist Agustín Anievas back for a third appearance in the area. Anievas (major EMI artist and former professor of piano at Brooklyn College, University of New York) came in October 2010 and performed three sold-out and highly praised concerts of Chopin and Schumann at the Espai La Senieta.
Thus, somewhat informally, was Concerts Costa Blanca born !
At this stage we were told by the authorities at the Ayuntamiento Teulada-Moraira that their new 620-seat auditorium above the town would open in the spring of 2011 and promised that the Curtis group, upon their return, could perform there.
Perhaps many of you were there on May 25, 2011, when the director of "The Curtis Institute of Music" Roberto Diaz (viola) together with 2 professors, Pamela Frank (violin) and Mikael Eliasen (head of the Curtis Opera Department) and five top graduate students came to play in this magnificent new theatre ? A sell-out concert followed by an enthusiastic standing ovation. We recall, also, the sensational performance by the Dover Quartet who within weeks were selected for the world's No.1 quartet competion at the Wigmore Hall in London. Shortly afterwards the Dover swept the first and all subsidiary prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition < http://www.doverquartet.com/ >.
It has been our great good fortune that the wonderful talents of the graduates and their professors from The Curtis Institute have continued to visit us each year since and to have performed to a full house. We hope to continue to welcome them. Agustín Anievas returned (October 2012) to great acclaim and for the first time played in the beautiful Auditorium Teulada Moraira on the new Steinway piano.
Recently we were enormously privileged to have been able to engage the Chinese pianist Haochen Zhang - a Curtis graduate and the gold medal winner of the 2009 Van Cliburn competition - and whose career is advancing at a remarkable speed. This summer he appeared at the Verbier Festival and in July made his Proms début with the China Philharmonic.
Another huge favourite, the ever-popular German-based New Orleans-styled "Bourbon Street Stompers", will return to the Auditori Teulada Moraira on October 18th 2014 for the 5th year. They will also perform at the Palau in Altea on October 17 and on the 19th of October in Alicante in the Auditorio de Diputación de Alicante (ADDA). During the last 3-4 years Concerts Costa Blanca have established close relations in Valencia with the Opera House (Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía) and the concert hall (Palau de la Musica) and during the this time many group trips have been organised by John Deacon to both operas and concerts. These have included Tosca (twice), La Cenerentola, Don Giovanni, Beethoven 9th, Carmen, Il barbiere di Siviglia, I due Foscari, La bohème, Così fan tutte, La forza del destino, Die Zauberflöte, L'italiana in Algeri, Rigoletto, La traviata, Il trovatore, Otello, the Verdi Requiem, Mahler 3, El duo de la Africana (Zarzuela), Die Walküre, Simon Boccanegra & Turandot etc. and featuring major artists including Placido Domingo, Vittorio Grigolo, Jorge de Léon, Elīna Garanča, Bryn Terfel, Liudmyla Monastyrska, Stephen Milling, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Oksana Dyka, Angel Blue, Sonya Yoncheva, Jessica Nuccio, Matti Salminen ..... etc.
We must praise - and offer sincere thanks - for the excellent and professional cooperation with the administrations of both the Opera and the Palau. We all look forward to the start of the 2014/2015 season.
Most operas were conducted by Zubin Mehta and the late Lorin Maazel who, together with the Intendant Helga Schmidt, raised the Valencia Opera House, within less than 10 years, to the highest echelons of opera performance in Europe. A truly remarkable achievement and one which has greatly improved the quality of life for thousands of people. We have been very lucky to have attended so many of their productions. The orchestra is widely regarded as being the best in Spain and Decca (Universal Music) have been in Valencia recording it on several occasions (the most recent being the production of Turandot earlier this summer).
At the Palau de la Musica we have attended a cycle of five orchestral concerts by the excellent Valencia Orchestra under Yaron Traub; also Messiah, Mahler 9 with Gergiev, Beethoven 5th & Emperor, a concert of English music and a recital by Lang Lang. How lucky is Valencia to have two orchestras of such quality. And, finally, we are slowly developing relations with the superb new concert hall in Alicante (ADDA). We took steps to see if it might be possible to arrange trips to the Liceu (Barcelona) and the Teatro Real (Madrid) but costs prevented this being followed up.
Details of all forthcoming events for the season 2014/15 will be mailed to our subscribers (we now have over 1400 addresses) in good time.
Concerts Costa Blanca will continue its endeavours to bring further high-quality artists and concerts to the region and we hope you will continue to support our ventures. It is non-profit making and designed solely to improve the cultural life of the area by bringing excellent concerts to the community and thus, in addition, to enhance further the quality of life for us all.
Asociación Concerts Costa Blanca: Wilhelmina (Willy) Hardee, John G. Deacon, Mary Heaviland, Günter Klasen & Norman Dunnington.
Teulada-Moraira, Autumn 2014