Part of the programme of the Festival de Tenerife, Auditorio de Tenerife will be hosting two of the first three season concerts of Quantum Ensemble, group resident at Auditorio. The first one, ‘Deconstrucción’[Deconstruction], will be held on Wednesday, 18 October at Sala de Cámara; the second, ‘Zares’[Tsars], is on Friday, 17 November at Círculo de Bellas Artes de Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the third concert, ‘Ídolos’[Idols], will take place at Auditorio de Tenerife’s Sala de Cámara on Thursday, 21 December. All three concerts start at 7:30 pm.

This first part of the season was presented at a press conference this morning which included the presence of José Luis Rivero Plasencia, Island Director for Culture, Education and Artistic Units of Cabildo de Tenerife; Cristo Barrios, clarinet, and Gustavo Díaz-Jerez, piano, members of the Quantum Ensemble trio. The guest artists for ‘Deconstrucción’ on 18 October at Sala de Cámara Joaquín Torre, violin, and Ángel Luis Quintana, cello, also talked to the press.

The Island Director for Culture mentioned that in their fifth season, Quantum Ensemble is now a stable and established group which brings classical music to new audiences, who are increasingly younger -in fact, we’ve noticed regeneration.

Pianist Gustavo Díaz-Jerez said that the first concert is an approach to the German universe, even though Mauricio Kagel was born in Argentina. But his compositional background is well-rooted in his adoptive country. He announced that Trio III by Kagel is a premiere in Spain, “an easy to understand contemporary work that is based on tradition, as proven by the fact that it was composed for the Bonn Beethovenfest”.

Cristo Barrios talked about the two other programmes, stressing the fact that they have included Russian music, “a tradition of Quantum’s given its excellent quality”. He also mentioned the premiere of Kuzma Bodrov’s work and revealed there will be another one in the second part of the season, “because commissioning works is an essential trait of Quantum”. Finally, he highlighted how exceptional the performers of ‘Ídolos’ are: Maxim Rysanov and Asier Polo. Cellist Ángel Luis Quintana expressed his gratefulness and stated that “it’s a pleasure and it makes me incredibly proud to be part of one of Quantum’s project, because of their human and musical quality”. He revealed that Kagel’s work is “rock, heavy, depth, Romanticism… it’s got it all!”. Lastly, Joaquín Torre, violin, pointed out Quantum’s outreach work: “This project is deeply-rooted in the Canarian community”.

Quantum Ensemble brings us music of our time while also creating connections with composers of other periods –fundamentally from Romanticism- to establish a coherent dialogue and illustrate the evolution of Western classical music. They offer their audiences concerts that include comments on the pieces, talks, workshops. They are also involved in projects of the Educational and Social Area of Auditorio de Tenerife, in addition to working closely with Tenerife Danza Lab’s project Danza en Comunidad. The titles of Quantum’s concerts are evocative, prompting the audience to an aesthetic experience as during the concert images related to the works and the composers are screened.

The first concert, ‘Deconstrucción’, focuses on a dialogue between Mauricio Kagel and the last member of the First Viennese School, Ludwig van Beethoven. In the 1970s Kagel (1931-2008) started to direct his work towards the deconstruction of the language that musical tradition in the West inherited from the classical period; this is why most of the pieces he composed in the late 1980s -categorised as postmodern- follow an approach in which tonality is the starting point.

This is the case of his Trio III in two movements (2006-2007), which in this programme has been paired with Beethoven’s Septet in E-flat major op. 20, one of the most emblematic pieces of his classical period, which is offered here with arrangements by the composer for clarinet, cello and piano. So, this programme gives us a recent composition that establishes a creative dialogue with a young Beethoven who was closer to Mozart and Haydn, than to his own version of Romantic maturity.

Before the concert, there will be an introduction to these works by Leandro A. Martín, composition lecturer at Conservatorio de Canarias. The performers at Sala de Cámara are: Joaquín Torre, violin, he currently teaches at Real Conservatorio de Madrid; Cristo Barrios, clarinet; Ángel Luis Quintana, cello; and Gustavo Díaz-Jerez, piano.

The second concert is taking place on Friday, 17 November at one of the group’s alternative venues, Círculo de Bellas Artes, to present ‘Zares’. The concert revolves around the influences and synergies that took place in tsarist Russia, which turned Moscow into the capital of ballet. Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) has a leading role in this concert with his String Sextet in D minor (Souvenir from Florence), a name that makes it programmatic; a vigorous and extremely demanding work for its performers. Moscow Conservatory was part of Tsarist power and patronage of the arts whose director and composition teacher was Sergey Taneyev (1856-1915), a disciple of Tchaikovsky’s who did a great job in conveying the heritage of his master to the following generation of Russian composers: Prokofiev, Scriabin and Rachmaninov, among others. The concert includes his Trio in B minor for violin, viola and cello, which is an example of the admiration for the best of the Russian musical tradition. The programme also features the premiere of a work by Kuzma Bodrov, current composition teacher at Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory.

On 16 November, Marina Hervás, doctor in Philosophy and collaborator at Festival de Canarias 2016, will talk about Quantum Ensemble’s ‘Zares’, which this time features Cristo Barrios, clarinet; David Ballesteros, Irina Peña, Yuval Gotlibovich, violins; Macarena Pesutic, viola; Natalia Díaz and David Barrera, cellos. Peña, Pesutic and Barrera play at Sinfónica de Tenerife and they have collaborated with Quantum several times. For her part, Natalia Díaz is a cellist at Orquesta de Euskadi and this is her first time with the group while Gotlibovich is one of the most sought-after violists in his generation.

For his part, on 21 December, Víctor Durà-Vilà, lecturer in aesthetics at the University of Leeds and visiting lecturer at London’s King’s College will discuss ‘Ídolos’ at Sala de Cámara in Auditorio de Tenerife. This programme makes clear the influence of the great maestros of the past in present composers. Through two extraordinary pairings, the subtle connection between admiration and creation will be explored.

So, from the perspective of György Kurtág’s unique language (b. 1926), Hommage à R. Schumann, can be easily associated with Märchenerzählungen by Robert Schumann (1810-1856), both composed for clarinet, viola and piano. Similarly, half-way between tradition and modernity, Nachtstück for clarinet, cello and piano by Jörg Widmann (b. 1973) is close to the sensitive, at times dramatic, character of Brahms’s Trio op. 114, a piece that was originally written for clarinet, cello and piano, although we’re here presenting its version for viola, cello and piano.

It will be performed by Cristo Barrios, clarinet; Maxim Rysanov, viola; Asier Polo, cello and Gustavo Díaz-Jerez, piano. Rysanov, in Cristo Barrios’s words, “is considered to be one of the most outstanding viola players at present and he is probably the best-established performer to have played with QE so far”, while Asier Polo is one of the most international Spanish performers apart from a “a great friend of Quantum Ensemble’s”. A Christmas gift loaded with talent and energy that will transport the audience to different periods with composers who found their inspiration in their predecessors.

Cristo Barrios – clarinet

He has given recitals at Carnegie Hall (New York), Wigmore Hall and Cadogan Hall (London), Palau de la Música (Barcelona and Valencia), Konzerthaus (Vienna and Berlin), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam) and National Auditorium (Madrid). As a chamber musician he has shared the stage with the Brodsky, Arditti, Endellion, Elias and Minetti quartets. In as a soloist highlights include his debut with the Mariinsky Symphony Orchestra (Valery Gergiev). He has worked with composers Einojuhani Rautavaara, Helmut Lachenmann, Kaija Saariaho y Esa-Pekka Salonen and has given master classes at the Amsterdam Conservatoire, Sibelius Academy (Helsinki), Liszt Academy (Budapest), University of the Arts (Zürich), Strasbourg Conservatoire, Norwegian Academy of Music and Cologne Conservatoire. He is a doctor in performative musicology (Universidad Complutense), honorary associate of the Royal Academy of Music (London) and a teacher at the Centro Superior Katarina Gurska and at Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio (Madrid).

David Ballesteros – violin

Violinist in bandArt, he also carries out activities for people with special needs or who risk marginalization as head of its area of social integration. He is a member of London Symphony Orchestra and he usually performs and records both classical repertoire and film music with them (Star Wars, Harry Potter, among others). He has collaborated with groups like Danzalab, Lisarco Danza and Barrios Orquestados. In 2009 he premiered the Violin Concerto by José Brito with the Sinfonietta of Paris. Ballesteros has taught at Simón Bolívar Orchestra in Venezuela, New World Symphony, Jove Orquesta Nacional in Catalunya, Joven Orquesta Nacional de España and the Guildhall School of Music in London. He is currently a teacher at the prestigious Verbier Festival (Switzerland).

Gustavo Díaz-Jerez – piano

He is one of the greatest exponents in performance and musical creation in Spain. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Allice Tully Hall, Musikverein, Concertgebouw, etc. In addition, as a soloist he has been conducted by Skrowaczevski, Fischer, Bamert, Lü Jia, Herbig, Encinar and Víctor Pablo, and has played with most of the leading Spanish orchestras, such as the Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife, the Orquesta de la RTVE, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, etc., and with foreign formations such as the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Turin Symphony, the Northern Symphonia, the Berliner Simphoniker, etc. He currently teaches at Musikene (Basque Country). He is a doctor in musical arts (Manhattan School of Music) and a full academic member at the Real Academia Canaria San Miguel Arcángel.