Beethoven, Bach, Widmann, and Lang Lang – highlights of Palau de la Música's new season

Concert hall unveils packed 2019-20 program, featuring top composers, conductors and performers from home and abroad

Piano virtuoso Lang Lang will perform Bach's 'Goldberg variations' in the Palau de la Música (by Fuentes B.)
Piano virtuoso Lang Lang will perform Bach's 'Goldberg variations' in the Palau de la Música (by Fuentes B.) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

April 5, 2019 12:44 PM

The Palau de la Música concert hall presented its 2019-20 season this week, which will feature some 120 concerts and 60 complementary activities, under the slogan ‘On la música et transforma' (Where music transforms you).

Beethoven, Bach, Widmann and Magrané are among the composers who will feature, with top conductors Gustavo Dudamel, Simon Rattle and Zubin Mehta, renowned singers Joyce DiDonato and Cecilia Bartoli, and maestros Jordi Savall and Lang Lang.

The idea of "transformation" behind the season will also include a range of artistic disciplines, from the likes of Joan Fontcuberta, Perejaume, Cabo San Roque and Blanca Llum Vidal, and performances of works by Bill Viola, Joan Guinjoan and Eduard Toldrà.

The 2019-20 season will also be artistic director Víctor García de Gomar's last, with a budget of 3.1 million euros and estimated revenue of almost 2.7 million. “Some 87% of the artistic costs will be covered by revenue,” said the Palau general manager, Joan Oller.

Focus on Beethoven

On the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, the Palau will offer a number of the German composer's works, including ‘Symphonies' with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, ‘Fidelio’ with Gustavo Dudamel, ‘Christ on the Mount of Olives’ with Sir Simon Rattle, and ‘Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II’ performed by the Orfeó, Cor de Cambra and Cor Jove choirs.

Bach will also play a key role in the new season, with performances of his 'Christmas Oratorio' with viol player Jordi Savall, his ‘Goldberg Variations’ performed by pianist Lang Lang, and his ‘Passions’ conducted by Philippe Herreweghe.

Other composers to feature will be German Jörg Widmann, whose works will be performed by the violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, Widmann himself on the clarinet, while the OBC orchestra and the Orfeó Català choir will perform a specially commissioned piece.

Meanwhile, the work of Catalan composer Joan Magrané will feature in a number of concerts, including premieres of three choral works to be performed by the Cor de Noies from the Orfeó Català choir and the Palau's Cor de Cambra choir.

Season premieres

Nor will these be the only premieres, as soprano Elena Copons debuts ‘Cançons sobre textos de Maria Mercè Marçal’ by Antoni Ros Marbà, while the Cor de Cambra choir will debut Carles Guinovart's ‘Parets de Llum’, and the Cobla Mediterrània will perform the symphonic poem ‘660 anys’, by Salvador Brotons.

The Palau's new season will also pay tribute to composer Joan Guinjoan, who died in January. Under conductor Ernest Martínez-Izquierdo, the BCN2016 ensemble will offer a monographic piece, while the Quartet Gerhard will perform Guinjoan's ‘Quartet’.

Other tributes will go to Eduard Toldrà, on the 125th anniversary of the composer's birth, to the 60th anniversary of the premiere of ‘Cant espiritual’ by Xavier Montsalvatge, the 80th anniversary of Joaquín Rodrigo's 'Concierto de Aranjuez', and the 50th anniversary of Josep Carner's death.