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The Chamber Orchestra, the big sister of the project, in a picture from this year at the Sala Fundación Unicaja María Cristina. SUR
Promúsica's score in Malaga: three orchestras, fifteen years and a thousand stories
Culture

Promúsica's score in Malaga: three orchestras, fifteen years and a thousand stories

More than a hundred young musicians have already passed through the project led by Javier Claudio. A work that today, Friday 24 May, receives the commendation of the City Council and the Fundación Musical de Málaga

Regina Sotorrío

Malaga

Friday, 24 May 2024, 11:44

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Javier Claudio makes it clear from the beginning of the conversation: "We are not just a young orchestra". That may be the most visible aspect of Promúsica, what stands out the most, but behind the hundred or so musicians that make up this scheme there is much more. The orchestral project that he leads, a unique initiative in the music scene, is now fifteen years old. It consists of three string ensembles (children's, youth and chamber) in which each one feeds off the previous one, with around 350 concerts behind them, several international awards, seven albums, musical rescue work and numerous solidarity collaborations. For this and much more, Malaga City Council and the Malaga Music Foundation paid tribute to him on Thursday, with an act of recognition in the Salón de los Espejos in Malaga Town Hall.

The Orquesta de Cámara Promúsica was created in 2009 with students of advanced grade and graduates, thanks to the impulse of the Fundación Musical de Málaga directed by Manuel Sánchez Benedito. A year later came the Youth Orchestra, for teenagers between 14 and 17 years of age; and the following year the circle was closed with the orchestra-school, for children from 6 years of age. Everything is linked: the main difference is that the more advanced musicians help in the training of the children, to the point that two musicians from the Chamber Orchestra, Beatriz Claudio and Pablo Parra, are the ones who carry the baton of the children's group. More than a hundred potential artistes have already passed through its ranks.

Javier Claudio finds it hard to believe that fifteen years have passed since that first concert in the Iglesia de la Concepción with just seventeen musicians, "but the number of things we have done in this time is also incredible". The stories, anecdotes and milestones accumulate in his memory.

Growth

With the structure complete in 2011, the project began to grow, with ramifications that soon crossed borders. "We did it little by little, convincing people that this was interesting. It has taken a long time to demonstrate the value of the project and how good it is to be part of it", admits the violinist and teacher from Malaga, who is also professor of violin at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Málaga.

Today, the three orchestras have been joined by an independently operating parents' choir and seven albums have been released. "Who can say that they have an album recorded when they were 9 years old and it's on download portals all over the world? Some of them have recovered forgotten or never released pieces by composers such as the Suite Española by Enrique de Ulierte, the Danzas Antiguas by Emilio Lehmberg from Malaga and the serenata Tánger by Joaquín González Palomares, also from Malaga. "The priority is to highlight the value of Malaga". That is why each prize in its Young Soloists of Malaga competition - for musicians born or resident in the province - bears the name of a musician from Malaga: Salvador de Alva, Regino Martínez, Antonio Campos, Joaquín González Palomares...

The founding musicians of the orchestra in 2009.
The founding musicians of the orchestra in 2009. SUR

Their talent has also been appreciated abroad. The Chamber Orchestra has won first prize at festivals in Prague, Vienna, Florence and Bratislava; and the Joven Orquesta Promúsica has been recognised at the Concurso Música Viva de Roquetas and also in Vienna and Bratislava. This year they will compete in the Eurochestries Festival in France, with concerts in the city of Niort. There they will perform dances by Emilio Lehmberg and zarzuelas (Spanish operas) composed by the Cabas family, composers from Malaga. In the future they will be performing in Washington, as part of an international exchange programme that they have already carried out with ensembles from Andújar, Seville, Cuenca and Lisbon. And this summer, as has become a tradition, the Asociación Promúsica de Málaga is organising a music campus (from 23 to 26 June) in Torremolinos.

The orchestral project also has a regular season at the Sala Fundación Unicaja María Cristina, where it performs everything from great works of the classical repertoire to soundtracks, incorporating rap, ballet and theatre.

The orchestra has been chosen to take part in the EU-sponsored 'Metamorphoses' programme, which promotes the integration of new technologies in teaching and musical activities. Together with musicians from Italy, France, Greece and Poland, Promúsica will perform the opera 'Orfeo' by C. Monteverdi in the Caja Blanca on 7 June (7pm). And a day later (same place and venue), it will offer the audiovisual show 'Life in Ukraine'.

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