35008 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Tel: +34 928 24 74 42
Fax: +34 928 27 60 42
Festival de Música de Canarias
The Canarias Music Festival founded in 1984 has achieved a strong position in the Iberian festival landscape. The event applies for EFA membership with a large support of EFA members in Spain. A strong line of programming is the series of symphonic orchestras (dominated by the participation of leading orchestras from different European countries : Finland, Netherlands and Germany in 2002). Besides the orchestra programmes you find some chamber music concerts including contemporary and historical repertoire of the instrumental and vocal literature. A precious element of the programming that you find several examples of unknown contemporary and historical repertoire.
This festival has been an EFA member since 2001.
Each EFA member manages its own Calendar. In case there is no programme availabable for this year, please visit the festival's own website.
The Music Festival of the Canary Islands, an old aspiration of diverse sectors of the island society, celebrated its first edition in January 1985, and on the initiative of the President of the Canary Islands at that time, Jerónimo Saavedra, it was declared "European Year of Music", in commemoration of the tercentenary of Bach, Haendel and Scarlatti.
The three basic objectives of the Festival were firstly to enrich the cultural offer of a region which possesses an age-old tradition as regards the musical aspect, ageing from the dawn of the past century when the European opera companies stopped at the Canary Islands on their way to South America, making good use of the stay in order to offer a series of representations which contributed in creating an important musical tradition. It must not be forgotten that in Las Palmas of Gran Canaria, the Philharmonic Society of Gran Canaria, which is the oldest private society of concert organisation in the country, has existed for over 150 years, and that the President was Camille Saint-Saëns in person.
The second objective was to give international status to the Canary Islands through something more than the traditional "cliché" of sun and beach which typifies the islands.
Its third and last aim was to promote tourism to the islands in a more specifically musical aspect, and at a much greater level than normal up to that moment.
The guarantee of a perfect organisation, the public reply and of course as a result of the mild climatic conditions ( It is the only Festival in the whole of Europe which is celebrated in winter ), this all goes to ensure that the gathering in the Canary Islands holds a preferential position in the diaries of all the Musical Greats.
Almost all of the first figures of the musical firmament have passed through the Canarian Festival. For example we can cite the names of Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Carlo Maria Giulini, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Colin Davis, John Eliot Gardiner, Frans Brüggen, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kurt Masur, André Previn, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Ricardo Chailly, and those who have already passed away, Vaclav Neumann, Sergiu Celibidache and Sir George Solti as conductors who privileged us with their visit, and some of them more than once. Just as impressing is the list of soloists who have taken part in the Festival, and as example to name but a few, we have Alfredo Kraus, Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, Mstislav Rostropovich, Krystian Zimerman, Ivo Pogorelich, Maria Joâo Pires, Vladmir Ashkenazy, Isaac Stern, Midori, Shlomo Mintz, YoYo Ma, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Radu Lupu, Henryk Szeryng, Cheryl Studer, Felicity Lott, Vladimir Spivakov and many more whose names are too numerous to mention at the moment.
Extremely important are the absolute debut performances, which are hired directly by the Festival, a decision which has been adopted from the VI Edition. Since then the following persons, amongst others, have written or are going to write works to be staged for the first time in the Festival: Tomás Marco, Luis de Pablo, Juan J. Falcón, Cristóbal Halffter, Sofia Gubaidulina, Wolfgang Rihm, José Ramon Encinar, Enrique Macías, Luciano Berio, Krzysztof Penderecki, Alfredo Aracil, Arvo Pärt,, Hans Werner Henze, Antón García Abril, Zulema de la Cruz, Friedrich Cerha, José García Román and Daniel Roca. The mentioned list draws up a reliable statement in how important the Festival is in the position of the contemporary musical composition.
The Festival starts every year on 7th January, and continues until the first days of February. It takes place in the two capitals of the Archipelago, Las Palmas of Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz of Tenerife, where each and every one of the concerts is repeated. We can state that it is the only festival on the planet which has two settings where the offer is exactly identical.