Saturday, 2 April 2016

The Felicja Blumental International Music Festival

The Polish pianist Felicja Blumental died whilst visiting Israel in 1991 and in 1999, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art named its International Music Festival after her. Blumental's daughter, soprano Annette Céline, serves as the Festival’s artistic director and this year they commemorate the festival's 18th birthday with a vibrant music programme celebrating all things Spanish. The festival runs from 4 - 9 April 2016. There are Spanish themed concerts from Dutch soprano Nora Fischer, and from trio Apassionata who are joined by the Kelipe Gypsy Flamenco Trio from Spain. There is a music theatre piece about Federico Garcia Lorca, and lectures on the Spanish artists whose work features in the museum.

Other highlights include Swiss composer and sound artist Katharina Rosenberger presenting her sound installation Exposed Concrete, the Portugese ensemble Ludovice Ensemble in Baroque music, the Koelner Akademie Orchestra in Mozart with pianist Ronald Brautigam, Nora Fischer, Moran Vocal Ensemble & the Israel Chamber Orchestra conducted by Ariel Zuckermann in Gilead Mishory and Osvaldo Golijov.

Felicja Blumental was a talented pianist who won a scholarship to study at the Warsaw Conservatory when she was two years younger than the minimum requirement. Her career was interrupted by war and she was forced to flee Europe for Brazil in 1940 where she became a vital part of Brazilian musical life and formed a close association with composer Heitor Villa-Lobos who wrote his Piano Concerto No. 5. Other composer with whom she worked included Penderecki wrote Partita for Harpsichord and Orchestra for her. Blumental's recordings are now available from Brana Records.

Full information from the Felicja Blumental International Music Festival website.

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