UK’s Huddersfield festival highlights Catalan contemporary music
Catalonia’s music is one of the highlights of this year’s Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival with a specific programme called ‘Catalan Series’. Barcelona’s Hèctor Parra, who achieved international recognition with pieces performed by KNM Berlin, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, or the National Orchestra of Ile-de-France, is the resident composer. The festival will feature several of Parra’s pieces, notably the world premiere of his latest work, FREC, performed by the composer himself alongside famous Catalan pianist Agustí Fernández. The well-known BCN216 Ensemble will also give a concert within the ‘Catalan Series’ in this year’s festival, which opens this Friday and will run until the 24th of November.
Barcelona (ACN).- This year the prestigious Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (HCMF) asserts its commitment to Catalan music with a specific programme called ‘Catalan Series’. This year’s resident composer is Barcelona’s Hèctor Parra, who achieved international recognition with pieces performed by Klangforum Wien, the Arditti Quartet, KNM Berlin, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Liège, Holland Symfonia, National Orchestra of Ile-de-France and Barcelona National Orchestra (OBC). The northern-England festival will feature several of his pieces, notably the world premiere of his latest work, FREC, performed by the composer himself alongside famous Catalan pianist Agustí Fernández. Other Catalan contemporary ensembles, such as BCN216, will also be present. The HCMF opens this Friday and will run until the 24th of November.
It is not the first time Catalan artists participate in the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (HCMF), the largest festival dedicated to contemporary and experimental music in the UK. Catalan composers had already attended previous editions, for instance Benet Casablancas, who was born near Barcelona in 1956 and is the current Director of the Conservatori Superior de Música del Liceu (one of the most prestigious music schools in Catalonia). Agustí Fernández, and Hèctor Parra, who will both feature in this year’s festival, had also already attended the HCMF. However, it is the first time the festival devotes an entire series to contemporary music from Catalonia.
Hèctor Parra and BCN216 as the leaders of Catalonia’s contemporary musical creation
The highlight of the ‘Catalan Series’, the name given by the festival to the various concerts by Catalan musicians and composers, is the invitation of Hèctor Parra as this year’s composer in residence. During the 10-day festival, the audience can listen to a selection of his works. The HCMF will notably feature the world premiere of Parra’s latest composition, FREC, which will be interpreted by Parra himself, alongside prestigious Catalan composer and pianist Agustí Fernández. This Friday, in the opening concert, two of Parra’s pieces are also interpreted by the famous Arditti Quartet: ‘Leaves of Reality’ and ‘Fragments on Fragility’
The Catalan presence at the festival does not end here. The BCN216 ensemble will give a concert in Huddersfield next Friday, on the 22nd of November. This ensemble, which was created in 1985, is well recognised in Catalonia, and has been instrumental in the creation, dissemination and constant renewal of Catalan contemporary music these past years.
A festival featuring over 50 different events
The Huddesrfield Contemporary Music Festival is an international platform which aims at attracting new audiences for participating artists, encouraging creative exchanges between collaborating countries, and providing opportunities for musical internationalization. The 35th edition of the HCMF, which begins this Friday and ends on the 24th of November, will feature over 50 different events, ranging from lectures to concerts and shows or even films related to contemporary music.