On May 21 at 19:30h the Fundació Conservatori Liceu culminated the celebrations of its 185th anniversary with a very special event that took place at the Gran Teatre del Liceu.
During the previous weeks the campaign “Growing together” had been disseminated, with the aim of spreading the values of music and the founding values of the Conservatori Liceu, with a series of actions to make them known.
The values of the institution are based on public service, consisting of offering a comprehensive training to students, so that they not only develop their talent and musical skills to the maximum, but also acquire the values and skills to create spaces for social transformation with their music. The search for excellence and quality in a framework of equal opportunities is also very present, encouraging students to have an ideal environment for study and practice, with perfectly equipped classrooms and excellent quality instruments. Likewise, transversality is one of the great values, which is manifested in an open attitude towards all musical manifestations; and through the exchange of musical experiences with institutions around the world, promoting the internationalization of the Conservatory’s work. It is also worth mentioning that thanks to the philanthropy and patronage of the Trustees of the Foundation, the Patrons, and various entities and individuals, emerging talent is supported with an extensive Scholarship Fund. Initiative has always been one of the main values of the Conservatory, manifested in the creation of cultural facilities to respond to the demands of society and to disseminate culture, fundamental to give meaning to the existence of this unique entity.
The Conservatori Liceu has grown with music and with society since its inception. The “Growing Together” campaign uses the shadow as a metaphor for music, which is always an essential part of our lives, even when we are not aware of it.
On May 16, a video with the same title, Growing Together, was posted on YouTube and disseminated through social networks. The video, received with great success, was made by Igor Studio and is based on a musical journey that evokes the beginnings of the Conservatory and the work of education and dissemination of music carried out over so many years, always characterized by the philanthropic support to the pedagogical and musical work of the Center, as well as the great boost that has represented the modernization of its facilities and programs in recent decades, continuing the initiative of the institution to create spaces for Music.
The common thread is a melody known to all: the one sung in Catalonia as “Cuando los gansos van al campo” or “Cada día por la mañana”, known in Spanish as “Estrellita donde estás?”, in French as “Ah!vous dirai-je, mamá” or in English as “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”.
It appears in several classical works, having been used by composers such as Mozart, Saint-Saëns or Montsalvatge and is therefore a universal melody, immediately recognized by practically everyone all over the world. The composer and arranger Roman Gottwald, professor of the Master in Music Composition applied to audiovisual media of the Centro Superior Liceo, made a series of arrangements and versions in which the melody is transformed in fascinating and unpredictable ways, so that the video could express the musical transversality that encompasses all the languages and styles that are at the basis of the teaching and artistic work of the Conservatory. The Center’s ever-renewed aspiration for artistic excellence is reflected in the magnificent collaboration of numerous students and teachers as performers (and actors) in “Growing Together”.
The great concert on May 21 was divided into two parts. The first part featured the participation of ensembles and groups from Fundació Conservatori Liceu, who performed the “Variations for a birthday“, expressly created for the occasion by teachers linked to the Fundació Conservatori Liceu, based again on the melody “Every day in the morning”, and thus realizing the idea of the video “Growing up together” in a theatrical and live dimension, and with the challenge of making a very attractive performance before the audience that filled the Theater.
For the second part we programmed the Choral Fantasy in C minor Op.80 for piano, choir and orchestra, by Ludwig van Beethoven, by the Symphony Orchestra and the Choir of the Centro Superior, conducted by Manel Valdivieso, with the alumni Maria Canyigueral as soloist on the piano and several students of the Department of Singing as vocal soloists: Natàlia Sánchez, Soprano 1, Sabrina Garcia, Soprano 2, Cristina Tena, Contralto, Jorge Juan Morata, Tenor 1, Roberto Redondo, Tenor 2, and Pau Camero, Bass. In this birthday concert could not miss the challenge of interpreting the great works of the most classical and demanding repertoire, a sign of the Conservatory’s continuous aspiration to artistic excellence.
The ceremony was attended by representative authorities from different institutions such as: M. Hble. Dª. Laura Borràs, President of the Parliament of Catalonia, H.E. Dª. M. Eugenia Gay, Government Delegate in Catalonia, H.E. D. Alejandro Tiana, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Education and Professional Training, Hble. Ms. Natàlia Garriga, Minister of Culture of the Generalitat de Catalunya, H.E. Ms. Núria Marin, President of the Diputació de Barcelona, H.E. Jaume Collboni, 1st Deputy Mayor of Barcelona City Council.
Other officials present were Xavier Quinquillà, Director General of Territorial and Social Impact of Knowledge of the Department of Research and Universities of the Generalitat de Catalunya, and the Secretary General of the Parliament of Catalonia Esther Andreu, and the Deputies Rocío Garcia, Anna Torrentà, Carlos Carrizosa and Anna Grau. Also in attendance were representatives of the Barcelona City Council, such as Albert Batlle and Gemma Sendra, as well as representatives of political parties such as Oriol Junqueras, President of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya and former Vice President of the Government of Catalonia, and Àngels Chacón, President of Centrem and former Minister of Business and Knowledge.
Also present were personalities who have accompanied us in recent years during the growth of the Conservatori Liceu, such as the former mayors of Barcelona, Jordi Hereu and Xavier Trias, and the former presidents of the Generalitat de Catalunya, José Montilla and Artur Mas, as well as the former Minister of Culture, Caterina Mieras.
There was a special representation of several diplomats, among them Luis Guillermo Plata, Ambassador of Colombia in Spain, and Daniela Echavarría, Yasushi Sato, and Zhu Jingyang, Consuls in Barcelona of Colombia, Japan and China, respectively, as a manifestation of the international vocation of the Conservatori Liceu. The General Director of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Valentí Oviedo, also shared this celebration.
The Teatre del Liceu was filled to capacity, with an audience of students and alumni of all levels, teachers and non-teaching staff from all the Liceu Conservatory Foundation Centers, parents of students, patrons, patrons and friends of the institution, numerous representatives of the musical and cultural world of Catalonia.
The ceremony began with the projection of the video “Crixent junts”, after which the president of the Parliament of Catalonia Laura Borràs, and Mr. Sergi Ferrer-Salat and Mrs. Maria Serrat, president and general director of the Conservatori del Liceu Foundation, respectively, took the stage to address the audience.
Mr. Ferrer-Salat highlighted the social origins of the Conservatory in the context of a world in which it is necessary to continue fighting against inequality. He also recalled the initiative of the Conservatory to build in 1847 the Gran Teatre itself where the Act was performed, to finance free education.
Ms. Serrat highlighted the number of 10139 students who have received musical education in the various centers and programs of the Conservatory in the last course, performing a public service of musical education from childhood to professionalization.
She recalled that the Conservatory is the cradle of musical education in Catalonia and the importance of philanthropy and patronage as the basis for the birth and development of the institution. Ms. Serrat also expressed the importance of having achieved that three generic names, which are Liceu (i.e. Educació), Teatre and Conservatori, are internationally recognized, under the brand “Liceu” as benchmarks of excellence in the field of education and culture.
The president of the Parliament emphasized the Conservatori’s vocation as a “truly public service that has made it possible to discover some of the greatest talents that music has produced in our country and in the world”.
The first part of the concert was unusual, because the aim was to express in a lively way the values of Music, which the Conservatory has made its own since its foundation in 1837: the same melody of “Every day in the morning” or “When the geese go to the field” served as a common thread to the manifestation of very different forms of sound art, which followed each other harmoniously in a collective work, “Variations for a birthday”, with contributions from arrangers, composers and performers of the Conservatori Liceu, to highlight the rich musical transversality that encompasses all languages and styles, the contribution to culture, the vocation of public service and the international dimension that are at the base of the teaching and artistic work of the Conservatori Liceu.
Variations for a birthday was divided into 7 parts, each with a defining title and a distinct style:
Variation 1. Game
Boys and girls of the Liceu Urquinaona School of Music
Variation 2. Beat
Liceu Big Band
Sergi Vergés, composer and conductor
Variation 3. Tradition
A. Mozart: Variations on ‘Ah, vous dirai-je maman’, K.265_300e (selection)
Pau Riba, piano (Liceo Conservatory Professional Center)
Variation 4. Creation
Daniel Muñoz Osorio (graduate in Composition), composer
Saxophone Quartet of the Liceo Conservatory
Variation 5. Fiesta
Juan Carlos Valencia, composer
Latin American Music Group of the Conservatorio Liceo
Variation 6. Alma
Carlos Coronado, composer and flamenco guitar
Variation 7. Celebration
Benjamin Davies, composer
Maya Sack, violin
Yonut Podgoreanu, conductor
Cor Jove del Centro Profesional Conservatorio Liceu
Ricard Oliver, conductor
After the Variations for a Birthday, there was a projection of photographs showing almost a century of history of the Conservatory, on the background of music recorded by the students of the Center.
Then, to end the concert, the Symphony Orchestra and the Choir of the Conservatori Liceu, under the direction of Manel Valdivieso, head of the Orchestra Department, performed, as already mentioned, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy Op. 80.
This work was composed by Beethoven to complete a concert he gave in 1808 in Vienna, taking advantage of the fact that, due to the repertoire to be performed, he had at his disposal a large orchestra and choir, apart from himself as soloist on the piano.
It is a unique and difficult-to-classify work, surprisingly anticipating the Ode to Joy: Beethoven himself described the Finale of the Ninth Symphony as “setting to music Schiller’s immortal ‘Song to Joy’ , just like my Fantasia for piano with Heart, but on a larger scale.”
After an extensive piano introduction, with the fantasy character indicated in the title, the entrance of the orchestral instruments presents a melody (similar in style to the much more famous Hymn to Joy), taken from Seufzer tools Ungeliebten, Gegenliebe, a work for voice and piano composed by Beethoven around 1794-1795, but published posthumously. After several variations, giving numerous opportunities for outstanding interventions by the various instruments of the orchestra, the Chorus and vocal soloists (with a very inspiring text that has been attributed to Christoph Kuffner or Georg Friedrich Treitschke) bring the melody to a sublime culmination, enthusiastically singing of the joy and spiritual goods that Music brings to Humanity. And this is what we wanted to express and celebrate on this date of an unforgettable celebration for all those who form the great community, human and artistic, which is the Conservatorio Liceo.z
The act of celebration has been news in:
La Vanguardia, Maricel Chavarría, 22/05/2022
La Vanguardia, Jordi Maddaleno, 22/05/2022
Sota llamps i trons (betevé), 11/05/2022
Catalonia Talent, Albert Torras, 25/05/2022
Andante con moto (RTVE, Radio Clásica), 04/06/2022