Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies, or Dr. Bosch's Carnival of the Animals
Oscar's project 'Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies, or Dr. Bosch's Carnival of the Animals' was selected by Barbican/GSMD Creative Learning Lab for a residency at the Pit Theatre in the Barbican Centre, London. The 'Harris List Project' is a collaboration with guitarist Jens Franke and artist Željana Schönauer on the writing of a song cycle based on texts from the celebrated 18th century publication 'Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies' (edited by Hallie Rubenhold), which sold in its day over 5,000 copies per year. The project displays a variety of perspectives and a simultaneity of traditions, drawing from original Mozart songs, other contemporary texts and the art-work to create an hour long performance.
If you want to knowmore about the project and its many possible manifestations, its aesthetic background, the artwork and stage design, the performers and to also watch some videos shot during the residency, visit a dedicated webpage by clicking below:
In his second season with the City of Salamanca Youth Orchestra as its Principal Conductor, Oscar opened the orchestra's 2012-13 season with an hommage concert dedicated to the philosopher and writer Miguel de Unamuno, joining forces with the University of Salamanca Choir and baritone Antonio Santos to perform Joaquín Rodrigo's 'Música para un Códice Salmantino' to a sold-out audience of 1,300. The season will unfold with a selection of some of the great concertos in the symphonic repertorie played by a selection of young international soloists. These will include the Tchaikovsky and Beethoven violin concertos, and Mozart's stormy D minor piano concerto KV466. All the season's concerts take place at the Centro de las Artes Escénicas y de la Música, in Salamanca, where the orchestra is resident.
25th of November, 2012:
Chabrier, Habanera; Guridi, Amorosa; Rodrigo, Música para un Códice Salmantino; Bretón, Escenas Andaluzas.
Antonio Santos, baritone. Oscar Colomina i Bosch, conductor. Salamanca University Choir. Joven Orquesta Sinfónica Ciudad de Salamanca.
Click below to watch the performance of 'Egmont', and here for Schubert's Unfinished Symphony, first movement.
Menuhin School Engagements:
In addition to Oscar's other responsabilities at The Menuhin School, he also coaches and conducts The Yehudi Menuhin School Junior Orchestra in public engagements. Below an outline of the season's performances.
11th of December, 2012:
Òscar conducted The Yehudi Menuhin School Junior Orchestra in The Menuhin Hall, performing Malcolm Arnold's wonderfully charming and exquisite 'Serenade for guitar and strings', Op.50 with young soloist Rosie Bennett. Concerts took place at 2.30pm and 7.45pm.
18th of May, 2013:
Handel Organ Concerto Op.4 nº6, James O'Donnell, organ. Oscar Colomina i Bosch, conductor. The Yehudi Menuhin School Junior Orchestra.
Celebrated organist James O'Donnell joins forces with the Menuhin School Junior Orchestra in a concert marking the opening of a new chamber organ donated by the friends of the school for the Menuhin Hall.
Other News and Upcoming Performances
Òscar has been commissioned to write a large ensemble piece for ENCAUJA, the Ensemble de Cámara de la Universidad de Jaén (Andalusia, Spain). The piece will be premiered by the ensemble under the batton of Oscar in Spring, 2013, and will -subsequently- be included in the group's debut CD, which to be recorded in Summer 2013.
Piles Editorial de Música has published Òscar's percussion quartet Une poupée en flammes (8'30'', a commission from Percussion group Kontakte, and premiered at the Ensems International New Music Festival in Valencia). You can buy the score and parts here.
The Valencian publishers have also included Une poupée en flammes: Music as syntactic ordering - an analytical chapter written by Oscar on the writing process of this percussion quartet- in their book 11 compositores valencianos de hoy (11 Valencian composers of today). You can buy the book from Piles website here.
The Ensemble Contrastes commissioned Oscar to contribute to their hommage to Federico García Lorca, funded by the Fundación Salamanca Ciudad de Cultura. 'Palabras Que Gimen', for clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano will be premiered in the Teatro Liceo, Salamanca, as part of the ensemble's programme '75 years without Lorca'.
After commissioning, premiering and performing it a number of times during 2011, London-based cellist Vladimir Waltham takes Oscar's Microsuite nº5 for solo cello to France, where it will receive a further performance in the Eglise Anglicane de Pau on the 24th of September 2011, at 8.30pm. The piece is the second completed Microsuite of an ongoing cycle intending to mirror those of Bach, somehow reinterpreting the musical gestures and condensing them into a contemporary language and format, its movements then being interpersed with those of the original Bach for the performance. The rest of the programme includes works all dealing with scordatura, that is Bach's Suite nº5 and Zoltán Kodály Sonata in B minor Op.8.
Past performances include:
30th April 2011: Sophie's Barn, Chacombe, Banbury.
Òscar has translated Simon Fischer's new book of techniques for the violin, 'Warming Up', into Spanish.
The new volume, 'Cómo calentar' which was reviewed as '23 pages of pure technical gold' in the Strad Magazine, offers daily routines for right and left hands, covering tone production, shifting, vibrato, intonation, flexibility, in a thirty minute sequence.
Òscar has been invited to be part of the teaching faculty for the 5th Ávila Music Course, directed by Jesús Plaus. Òscar will contribute with general musicianship lessons, chamber music coaching and conducting the various ensembles of the summer course.
The course runs from the 11th to the 16th of July in Ávila's stunning 1557 Palace of the Serrano, in the heart of Spanish Castile, recently refurbished and converted into a Cultural Centre.
German guitarist Jens Franke gave the concert premiere of Oscar's 'Litanies on the Collapse of One's Reality' on the 18th of June, 2011 in a concert organised by the Berkshire Guitar Society. The programme also included works by Sylvius Leopold Weiss, Johann Kaspar Mertz and Johann Strauss II.
After assisting Jens in the edition of his Schott publications 'Romantic Guitar Anthology' Vols. 1, 2, 3 and 4 (all available from Amazon), Jens and Oscar are now (see below) collaborating closely with artist Željana Schönauer in writing a new substantial song cycle for guitar and voice.
The Lakeside Trio commissioned Oscar to write a book of nocturnes for piano trio, 'Conversing Memories of Worn-out Wood', inspired by the work of various Spanish poets. After having already premiered and performed in numerous occasions 'Crime', first piece of the book based on the poetry of V.A. Estellés, the Lakeside Trio prepare to premiere in The Menuhin Hall 'Through the Wound', based on a poem written in 1941 by Miguel Hernández.
Oscar took part in the conference, touching upon the relation between language and music, and attended the Spanish premiere of 'The Thinking Machine' during the Conference's own cycle of concerts. Key speakers included composer Tomás Marco and linguists Bernard Comrie and David Gil, both from the Max Planck Institute.
'Five Words, Three Phrases', written for grade 4-8 level performers, was workshoped by the Lawson Trio during Autumn, 2009 and Spring, 2010. The piece was premiered by students of the Purcell School in a Gala Concert celebrating the success of the decade-long scheme on the 10th of February, 2010, at the Purcell Room.
The piece was subsequently published by the British Music Information Centre alongside the works from the other participating composers.
'It was one of the most successful works of the evening, richly scored and completely convincing in the way its splintered forms progressively dissolved away' - New Notes Magazine (reg: 'I have to talk to broken things')
'The piece was received with enthusiasm by the audience (...) and was a worthy beginning to the Orchestra of the Swan's 10th anniversary concert series' - Stratford Herald (reg: 'Open the Curtains')
'Their spectrally-oriented programme of Grisey and young composers was ambitious', 'Remarkable rhyhtmic tightness' , 'A considerable promise' - New Notes Magazine
'El Cuadro', a film by Ideami Productions featuring Oscar's piece 'Open the Curtains' won the Best Music Award in the 'Ateneo en Corto' festival in Tenerife (Canary Islands).
It is also finalist in various other festivals: Gijón International Film Festival, Aarhus Festival in Denmark, IFCT Festival in the USA (touring New York, Los Angeles, etc), Short Films & Video Art Festival of Manresa, Aguilar Film Festival, Audiovisual SubImagen Festival, Mostra Minima Film Festival. It is being taken up by Atom Films (an MTV company) for its distribution in the USA.
To see a low quality clip of the film please click here.
A heartfelt tribute to Alan Hazeldine (1948-2008)
I learnt with dispair from a friend that conductor and pianist Alan Hazeldine had finally lost his battle against lung cancer and died on November the 10th, aged sixty.
Alan Hazeldine was born in Glasgow in 1948 and studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and later with Vilem Tausky, Konstantin Iliev and Sergiu Celibidache. Hazeldine pursued excellence in music and had a total commitment to the training and development of young musicians. He led the conducting course at the Guildhall in London for many years. Many young conductors went through his teaching and mentoring, to then enjoy successful careers. Hazeldine was the founder conductor of the North London Chorus, conducting at such venues as St John's, Smith Square and the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Perhaps his greatest legacy is the Corinthian Chamber Orchestra, which he founded in 1995.
I had the great privilege of being his student during his last days as professor at the Guildhall. His teaching was the best I have had in conducting skills, and he relentlessly encouraged me and other young students to organise our own concerts and put to practise with our peer students what we were learning. He had the most fine ear and an exacting sense of craftmanship, hard work and a love for musical excellence. He also sported a somehow acid sense of humour, totally characteristic of him, which was so telling about his persona for those who knew him well. There is a number of felicitous lines that will live with me all my live, let alone all the great things I learned from this rather quiet, discrete man.
Only a day before I learnt he had died, I was thinking of getting in touch with him again, as we hadn't seen each other for a long time. I wanted to hear his Scottish accent again murmuring caustic remarks while sharing with him my experiences of my recent conducting engagements. How much I regret not to have done it earlier.
During the two years of lessons we shared he taught me everything I know about conducting, and an awful lot about music and life, too.