The University Choir of the Balearic Islands
The Coral Universitat de les Illes Balears (University Choir of the Balearic Islands), which celebrated its 30th anniversary two years ago, has become an important referent in the music of the Balearic Islands. Established in 1977 by conductor Joan Company, along with students and teachers, the Choir was founded on three basic pillars of training, research, and performance. They have performed in the major theaters and auditoriums of Spain and toured extensively throughout Europe. With the discipline and commitment of hundreds of singers, the Choir has been able to attain a repertoire of more than six hundred works spanning the history of choral literature, from Gregorian chant to contemporary music, including works by composers of the Balearic Islands, a cappella music of all periods, and major works of the symphonic choral repertoire, including: Bach’s Saint John Passion and Saint Matthew Passion; Händel’s Messiah; Haydn’s The Creation; Dvorak and Rossini’s Stabat Mater; Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang and Die Walpurgisnacht; Falla’s Atlántida; Prokofiev’s Ivan the Terrible; the requiems of Mozart, Brahms, Verdi, Fauré, and Duruflé; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; Mahler’s Second Symphony, and masses of Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, and Bruckner.
The Choir has performed with many renowned conductors and singers, including: Edmon Colomer; Franz P. Decker; Salvador Mas; Víctor Pablo; Trevor Pinnock; Nello Santi; Krzysztof Penderecki; Maria Bayo; Teresa Berganza; Josep Carreras; Joan Pons; and Thomas Quasthoff. The choir has worked with major orchestras of Spain, including: Orquestra Ciutat de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya; Real Orquesta Sinfónica of Seville; Joven Orquesta National of España; Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife; Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia; Orquesta Ciudad de Granada; as well as major European orchestras, including: The English Concert; and Fiamminghi, Camerata Anxanum, Orpheon Consort of Vienna. The Coral Universitat de les Illes Balears has won choral competitions in Toulouse and Athens, and has been invited to important music festivals, including: Europalia 85-Belgium; Expo ‘92 of Seville; X Festival Mozart of Madrid; XX Festival of Ancient Music of Barcelona; Chopin Festivals of Austria, Czech Republic, and Poland; Festival of Spring of Budapest; and “46 Semana of Religious Music of Cuenca.” They have also received the Premi Bartomeu Oliver of the Obra Cultural Balear (1991), the Premio Importante of Diario de Mallorca (April, 1999) and the Ramon Llull arts prize of the Govern de les Illes Balears (2002). In December of 2006, the Choir carried out a tour of Italy interpreting the Händel’s Messiah in Rome, Lanciano and had a memorable performance in front of Pope Benedict XVI. In 2007, the Choir, accompanied by the Joven Orquesta Nacional de España (National Youth Orchestra of Spain), participated in the “46 Semana de Música Religiosa de Cuenca.” Recently, the Choir participated in the Festival of Pollença and the Pau Casals Festival of Prada (France), under the direction of K. Penderecki; and they performed Händel’s Messiah in the cathedral of Santiago and in the Teatro de la Maestranza of Seville.