The Festival de Música Contemporánea de Tenerife (FMUC) [Tenerife Contemporary Music Festival] is celebrating its tenth anniversary from 22 May to 16 June with concerts by artists from Africa, the United States, Taiwan and the Canaries, pre-concert talks, master classes and the third Tenerife Percussion Camp. The details were revealed today, Tuesday, the 21st by the Island Director for Culture and Education, José Luis Rivero; FMUC director, Francisco Díaz; Ascanio y Química assistant director, José Ramón Revuelta; and the expert in Culture of Fundación Disa, Andrea León.

José Luis Rivero stressed that the festival was special, not just because of its scope but also because this is its tenth year. “I’m one of the lucky people who’ve been here from the beginning, when it first started during the economic crisis; but time, the audience and the public institutions which support the festival have proved us right”, the culture director explained.

Rivero talked about FMUC’s loyal audience and about newcomers: “People who come for the first time, discover a soundscape they couldn’t ever imagine, not just because of the aesthetics and the stage display but also because of the new sonorities”. Finally, he highlighted that “the impulse this festival gives to local musicians’ careers”.

FMUC director admitted that “we’ve shared many experiences in these past ten years, like 42 concerts festuring more than 160 musicians from 14 different countries who have premiered 16 works on the island, five of which were commissioned by Auditorio de Tenerife”. Francisco Díaz explained that “we’ll have a world premiere this year, La Fortaleza, by Francis Hernández, in the concert of DifrAcción Ensemble, plus two other premieres in Spain by Sinfónica de Tenerife and Twincussion”.

José Ramón Revuelta mentioned that his company collaborates with the festival “because we believe in the collaboration between culture and industry”. “We’d like the festival to go even further and be a support for new musicians who’re just starting”, added the assistant director of sponsoring company Ascanio y Química. In Andrea León’s view, “it’s exciting to see the festival grow every year and at Fundación Disa we’re proud to be part of this project by sponsoring it, as it makes the island a national focus for two weeks”.

The programme this year pursues the same objectives and values that inspired the setting up of the festival: filling a gap in contemporary programmes, giving visibility to percussion as a creative discipline, promoting the talent of interpreters and building ties between the international and the local scene.

Auditorio de Tenerife, Conservatorio Superior de Música de Canarias and Paraninfo of the University of La Laguna (ULL) are the festival venues this year. The first show will be a season concert by Sinfónica de Tenerife, Concierto para marimba y orquesta, with the collaboration of FMUC and the participation of US renowned marimba player Leigh Howard Stevens. This will be on Friday, the 24th at 7:30 pm at Sala Sinfónica in Auditorio de Tenerife. The programme includes pieces by Debussy, Kurka and Bartok.

Making the most of the visit of this marimba expert, whose techniques have been spread worldwide, on the day of the concert there will be a talk with Stevens on the piece Concerto Orchestra and Marimba, by Robert Kurka, at 10:00 am in Sala Sinfónica addressed to students of Conservatorio Superior de Música de Canarias.

Also, at 4:00 pm on Wednesday the 22nd there will be a work session at the Conservatoire for students at Elementary, Intermediate, and Upper levels, musicians in general and composers.

Leigh Howard Stevens’s repertoire ranges from Renaissance music, preludes and fugues by Bach to original marimba works written by contemporary composers for him. Percussionists from all over the globe have adopted his ground-breaking method of four-mallet grip. It is hard to find one single aspect regarding marimba technique, repertoire or design that has not been deeply modified by Stevens, who also founded Malletech, world leader in the design and production of percussion instruments.

The programme continues at 7:30 pm on Monday, the 27th with a concert by DifrAcción Ensemble at Auditorio de Tenerife’s Sala de Cámara. The group was set up to cover the need for that music which is not usually included in the regular programmes of auditoriums, groups and festivals: 21st century academic contemporary music.

Next, the duo Twincussion will be performing on Wednesday the 29th at 7:30 pm at Sala de Cámara in Auditorio de Tenerife. This duo is made up by Taiwanese twins Jen-Ting and Jen-Yu Chien, who are both representative of the brands Mike Balter Mallets and Yamaha. This special duo was set up more than 20 years ago and today they are presenting their new percussion phase. Their varied repertoire ranges from Romantic transcriptions to contemporary pieces, including arrangements of popular Taiwanese pieces, and electronic music, like the piece they are premiering in Spain at this concert.

On Tuesday, the 28the at 6:00 pm Twincussion will be giving a master class at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Canarias addressed to students at Elementary, Intermediate, and Upper levels, musicians in general and composers.

At 8:00 pm on Wednesday, 5th June, the Paraninfo of La Laguna University (ULL) is hosting the concert Afrikanbach. In this singular project, its director, Jesús Salvador Chapi, presents a show devoted to an unprecedented figure in the history of universal culture: Johann Sebastian Bach. The programme features the Coro Polifónico Universitario de La Laguna, La Luna de África, Agwal Percussion Group and a jazz trio made up by Francisco Hernández (piano), Juan Carlos Baeza (double bass) and Natanael Ramos (trumpet). They are playing auteur pieces arranged on the percussion orchestral base and some African traditional music.

Agwal Ensemble, directed by pianist and composer Francis Hernández, will be playing on 13 June at 7:30 pm at Sala de Cámara in Auditorio de Tenerife. This percussion group was set up at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Canarias in Tenerife, and their main goal is to show the specific percussion repertoire in Spain. They have won international awards and have given concerts in different parts of the globe.

These four last performances all have a pre-concert talk an hour before the show in the same venue. Admission to the talks is free and tickets for the concerts in Auditorio de Tenerife can be bought at the box office from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm Monday to Saturday except holidays, on  or calling 902 317 327.

The third Tenerife Percussion Camp is being held on 15 and 16 June at Conservatorio Superior de Música de Canarias. It ends with a concert that is open to the general public on Sunday, the 16th at 6:30 pm. Admission is free.

In the camp, professional, students and amateur percussionists get together. It includes drum, Latin and classic percussion classes for professionals and students with prior music knowledge. On the other hand, a series of workshops in African and Brazilian percussion is also taking place for amateurs plus other workshops for the family. To enrol and take part in Tenerife Percussion Camp please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The camp’s pedagogic team includes Roberto Amor, one of the most sought-after drummers in the Canaries; Fede Beuster, a top drummer on the islands who focuses on a teaching programme to make his instrument better known; José Carlos Cubas will be giving the Latin percussion classes; Charli Llácer, Carlos Castañeda and Verónica Cagigao are dealing with classic percussion; Nuria Herrero will give the Brazilian music workshop; and Andrea Domínguez and Ignacio Jiménez will give the workshop Rhythm and Music for the Family, learning music through games and artistic creation.