9 Feb 2016

16. Classical Music

The appreciation of Classical Music has a very long tradition in the Canaries and some thirty-one years ago the first edition of The International Festival of Music of the Canaries was held. The Festival is financed by the Canary government and almost all the concerts are programmed in the two provincial capitals, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, which makes it difficult for the inhabitants of the smaller islands to attend. In compensation, I suppose, some of the smaller groups visit us during the Festival.

We are lucky. Not only are they first-rate musicians of international reputation but our concerts are gratis. It is true the Festival cannot ship whole orchestras, pianos, harpsichords and organs around the islands so we are very unlikely to have Beethoven’s Ninth
Symphony. But we do have less pretentious music at the hands of trios, quartets … up to chamber orchestras of twenty musicians playing pieces from Purcell to Shostakovich. This year we have had musicians of the relevance of the Trondheim Soloists and the Signum Quartet. The concerts are usually held in churches: wonderful settings and the acoustics are excellent. On the down side, it is January or February and churches are always cold and, secondly, pews are notoriously hard, so bring a pullover and perhaps one of those discreetly thin cushions.

During the rest of the year there are occasional musical events of a lighter nature and there is also a privately organized alternative festival. Otherwise, you always have the Spanish Radio Clásica 24-7.
The Signum Quartet playing at the church of El Pinar, February 2016.

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