Red Priest Rejuvenates the Old Music Festival in Barcelona

Jill Arcaro Gordon
viernes, 12 de mayo de 2006

The Fundación La Caixa has programmed Red Priest to highlight the Old Music Festival in Barcelona on May 18th, in the hope of providing a musical “facelift”. According to Maricarmen Palma, from La Caixa who has been its organizer for the last quarter of a century, the Festival “now in its 28th year seemed like it was only getting older”.

Red Priest has carved out a name for itself in the classical crossover circuit which seeks to breathe new life into traditionally classical venues where, according to Mrs. Palma, it is necessary “to give the benefit of the doubt to new groups” in an effort to “have fun and rejuvenate the Festival”, at the risk of “awakening negative opinion of the critics” given that the virtuoso Red Priest production “comes close to rock”.

According to musician and author, Luis Díez, classical crossover musicians have been “crossing over” almost from the moment music was invented. Mozart's famous Rondo 'Alla Turca' was already using a popular style of Turkish music that was famous at the time. Later on Tchaikovsky would be inspired by gypsy violinists playing in cafés and Bach had already written music for the Zimmermann café he used to play in.

The “genre” has produced results virtually unheard of in the classical world such as selling out within two hours of going on sale their Japanese concerts for June, 2006 and the inundation of Red Priest’s website with requests for tickets from Japanese fans unable to get tickets. Piers Adams, director and recorder player, said “We are all totally bowled over by the response of the public.”

A similar thing also happened during the group’s tour of Australia in September 2003. Following their CD being featured as disc of the week on Classic FM Australia there was a constant stream of emails from disappointed members of the public unable to buy tickets to sold-out concerts on their tour.

Red Priest has redefined the art of Baroque music performance, combining the fruits of extensive research into the era with swashbuckling virtuosity, creative re-composition, heart-on-sleeve emotion and compelling stagecraft. The group performs from memory, allowing an operatic level of freedom and interaction, and its programs are drawn from myriad Baroque sources to create a kaleidoscopic range of moods and colours.

Red Priest has performed in over 26 different countries and will present their first Spanish concert in the Auditorium of Barcelona with the programme Pirates of the Baroque, at 9 pm, on Thursday, May 18, 2006.
To find out more about Red Priest, including details of recordings and concert performances, please visit their website.

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