The Cabildo hosted on Tuesday, 22 May the presentation of the 9th Tenerife Contemporary Music International Festival (FMUC), to be held from 25 May to 17 June. Six concerts, two masterclasses, five talks and a percussion campus make up the project, which includes leading percussionists and contemporary musicians. The highlight this year is Leigh Howard Stevens, a visionary of the marimba whose ground-breaking method has been adopted by musicians worldwide.

The details of this year’s festival were disclosed by the Island Director for Culture and Education, José Luis Rivero; the vice-councillor for Culture of the Government of the Canary Islands, Aurelio González; the festival director, Francisco Díaz; the head of Culture for CajaCanarias Foundation, Alvaro Marcos Arvelo, and the Culture expert of Disa Foundation, Andrea León.

José Luis Rivero highlighted “the strength this event has gained throughout the years on the island of Tenerife. It offers both artistic and training activities, including talks before the concerts in order to make the audience aware of what they are about to listen to”. “This festival draws attention on contemporary repertoires and it does so amusingly, attracting a wide range of audiences, especially young people”, he reflected. 

Rivero also praised the new musicians the festival has brought about, “many of them started off as students and are now teaching and giving high-level concerts”, which is helped by “the great department of Percussion of the Higher Music Conservatoire of the Canary Islands, where Santa Cruz de Tenerife professionals get their grounding”.

For his part, Francisco Díaz explained the importance “of bringing international performers for local students to learn where they stand, know their level and become aware of what happens outside the island”. Díaz, who is a musician too, recalled the history of the festival in which “200 pieces have been performed, of which 8 have been world premieres, some being specifically commissioned by Auditorio de Tenerife”. In these years, FMUC has held 37 concerts, where more than 150 musicians from 12 different European, Asian, and Latin American countries have taken part.

Aurelio González pointed out the international character of FMUC and praised “the inherent didactic values of percussion, which can awaken new sensitivities and stimulate creativity. In the Canaries, we are very productive when it comes to creating art”.

Álvaro Marcos Arvelo said that music has “the power to arouse the most intense emotions” and referred to FMUC as an example of projects in which rather than gain, the major feature is the investment made on culture”. For the representative of Disa Foundation, Andrea León, “we are proud to participate in a music event which has become the temple of percussion in the Canaries”.

The festival venues are Auditorio de Tenerife, Espacio Cultural CajaCanarias, Conservatorio Superior de Música de Canarias, and Círculo de Bellas Artes de Tenerife. In addition to Leigh Howard Stevens, Wing Marimba Duo and Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic with the Schlagwerk Wien Ensamble round off the bill. Tenerife Symphony Orchestra and artists from COSIMTE-Asociación de Compositores Sinfónicos y Musicólogos de Tenerife [Tenerife Symphony Composers and Musicologists Association] will be performing too. Organisers have the collaboration of Tenerife Cabildo, the Government of the Canary Islands, CajaCanarias Foundation and Disa Foundation.

The first concert of the 9th FMUC is taking place on Friday, 25 at 7:30 pm at Auditorio de Tenerife Concert Hall. “Consecration” is a season concert by Tenerife Symphony Orchestra that is playing pieces by Bartók and Stravinsky. Conductor Edmon Colomer is leading the session, which includes Francisco and Emilio Díaz as solo percussionists, and pianists Gustavo Díaz-Jerez and Javier Negrín. FMUC director explains that Bartok’s two pianos concerto in the orchestra version will be played in Tenerife for the first time, and with Canarian soloists”. As a foretaste, you can come for the general rehearsal and talk on the repertoire on the day of the concert at 10:00 am. Before coming, please register at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

On 29 and 30 May Leigh Howard Stevens masterclasses are taking place at the Chamber Hall from 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm. They are addressed to musicians, composers and Medium and Higher percussion students. The US marimba expert is known for having developed his own four-drumstick system, which he explains in his book Method of Movement, translated into five languages.

Stevens, whose approach has widened the compositional possibilities of the marimba, is offering a concert on 31 May at 7:30 pm at the Chamber Hall in Auditorio de Tenerife. It is a contemporary repertoire which includes two compositions of his own. An hour earlier, percussionist Verónica Cagigao is giving a talk before meeting the avant-garde performer.

Wing Marimba Duo, made up of Takayoshi Yoshioka and Reiko Shiohama, will be playing at Espacio Cultural CajaCanarias on 6 June at 7:30 pm, admission free. Their programme includes both arrangements of symphonic music and original music written for this group. The international musicians are joined by Tuópali Dúo (Francisco Díaz and Carlos Llácer), Tak-Nara Percussion Group (Carlos Castañeda and Verónica Cagigao) and Andrea Domínguez. An hour earlier, Cagigao herself is offering a talk before listening to the Japanese duo. Wing Marimba Duo are also giving a masterclass on 7 June at 4:00 pm at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Canarias. Please register at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

DifrAcción Ensemble, made up of musicians from COSIMTE-Asociación de Compositores Sinfónicos y Musicólogos de Tenerife, are giving a concert on 12 June at 7:30 pm. Admission is free and the venue is Círculo de Bellas Artes de Tenerife. Leandro Martín, artistic director of this Tenerife ensemble, will be talking about the programme an hour before the event.

On Thursday, 14 June at 7:30 pm, FMUC has programmed another special concert at the Chamber Hall in Auditorio de Tenerife. Serbian musician Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic, hailed by critics as one of the most expressive marimba and percussion interpreter, is playing live with the Percussion Group of Vienna Conservatoire, which he directs: the Schlagwerk Wien Ensamble. And hour earlier, musician Verónica Cagigao is offering a talk before this international performance.

The second Tenerife Percussion Camp (TPC), to take place on 16 and 17 June at Conservatorio Superior de Música de Canarias, is a meeting place for professional percussionists, students, amateurs and families around percussion. The TPC wants participants to share and learn by doing what they enjoy most: making music through percussion. In addition to drums, Latin percussion and classic percussion lessons, there are also African and Brazilian percussion for amateurs plus percussion workshops for all the family. Please register at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

At the end of the TPC, there will be a free-of-charge concert with teachers and students of percussion for amateurs as well as families taking part in this innovative workshop. It will be on 17 June at 6:30 pm at the Auditorio del Conservatorio Superior de Música de Canarias. This is the last concert of the 9th FMUC programme.

Tickets for the concerts held at Auditorio de Tenerife can be obtained at the box office from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm Monday to Saturday; via the internet on or by telephone on 902 317 327. If you buy your tickets for “Consecration” at the box office, you can also buy tickets for the two other FMUC concerts at Auditorio (Stevens on 31 May and Zivkovic on June) at 10% discount.