The 2nd edition of Echoes Festival takes place from 25th September to 11th November across some of London’s most prestigious classical music venues, including the Barbican, St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Wallace Collection, St James’s Piccadilly, and The Other Palace.
This boutique Festival offers audiences the perfect opportunity to banish those Autumn blues and let themselves carried away to the sunnier climes of Iberia and Latin America with some sizzling music performed by the hottest talent and most authentic voices in Latin classical, including La Grande Chapelle, Clara Rodríguez, Duo Diez, Nirse González, The Latin Classical Chamber Orchestra and Fernando Espí.
In 2017 there is much to celebrate: the 400th anniversary of the death of the great Spanish Renaissance composer Alonso Lobo (1555-1617), as well as the centenaries of Venezuelan composers Antonio Lauro (1917-1986) and Teresa Carreño (1853-1917), and the bicentenaries of Cuban composer Manuel Saumell (1817-1870) and Spanish luthier Antonio Torres (1817-1892), designer of the modern classical guitar.
This year there are also more chances to get involved, including a new Come & Sing event at The Wallace Collection with a workshop for amateur singers on Victoria’s monumental Requiem.
The festival takes its name and inspiration from the Cuban writer Roberto Fernández Retamar, who challenged Eurocentric cultural views of Latin America as ‘merely a disfigured echo of what occurs elsewhere’. Retamar’s vocabulary continues to resonate strongly with the reception of Luso-Hispanic classical music worldwide; music which has always shared an umbilical chord with Europe but which has also developed unique and original discourses of its own – discourses which have, in turn, produced their own ‘echoes’ in influencing European classical music-making practices.
Echoes Festival aims to showcase these vastly rich and vibrant classical music legacies of Latin America and Iberia, which span more than five centuries and 22 countries across more than 21,000,000 km². With an estimated 1,000,000+ Latin people now residing in the UK, the Festival strives to foster a pluralistic appreciation of classical music within the wonderfully diverse country that is 21st-century Great Britain, to further promote a more bi-lateral understanding of British-Latin cultural relations.
Echoes Festival is curated by British-Spanish concert pianist and Latin specialist, Helen Glaisher-Hernández, and is co-produced by the Instituto Cervantes and the Iberian & Latin American Music Society (ILAMS) – described by Music & Vision as ‘the UK’s most exciting classical music society – which celebrates its 20th birthday this year.
The Festival is made possible by the kind support of its partners and sponsors: Acción Cultural Española, INAEM, the Wallace Collection, St Martin-in-the-Fields, St James’s Piccadilly, the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, guitarrísimo, Lacock Courses, Wines from Spain, Music Beyond Frontiers, KyG Productions, Latin American Women’s Aid and Lisa Peacock Concert Management.
The Festival is also proud to form part of Amigo Month – 5 weeks of events celebrating the culture and contribution of the UK’s Spanish and Portuguese speakers (now collectively constituting London’s largest linguistic minority).
The Festival has a newly-launched website at: echoesfestival.co.uk
Full programme, click here.