James Conlon will conduct four Spanish orchestras in a ‘Romantic Duel’ between Schumann and Brahms

Romantic Duel

Miguel's Amaya, general director of INAEM, Francisco Lorenzo, director of the National Broadcasting Music Center (CNDM) and the orchestra director James Conlon, via delayed video message from Los Angeles, have presented this morning at the National Music Auditorium the VI edition of ONLY MUSIC! “ROMANTIC DUEL”. This is how the program of the new edition of this biennial musical marathon is revealed, that he CNDM and the National Music Auditorium (both units of the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music, INAEM, under the Ministry of Culture and Sports), organized for ten years to commemorate the "Day of Music", commemoration is celebrated throughout Europe every 21 June with the arrival of the summer solstice.

Under the suggestive title of “Romantic Duel”And supported by a striking image by the Madrid illustrator Iván Solbes, the new edition of ONLY MUSIC! aims to, like the previous ones, turn into a big party, in a day of celebration in which the Auditorium opens its doors wide to everyone, reaching out to new audiences, especially those not used to the experience of live classical music. All this through great quality concerts, led by top-notch teachers, with the best orchestras on the national scene and at affordable prices.

Previous editions of ONLY MUSIC!, held in 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 Y 2019, gathered about 100.000 viewers.

Unlike previous editions in which the musical marathon was held over a full day, on this occasion and observing the security measures imposed by the current health situation, the session will take place over a full weekend, with four concerts distributed between the Friday 18, Saturday 19 Y Sunday 20 of June.

These concerts will have as their central axis the symphonies No 1, 2, 3 Y 4 Schumann and Brahms -eight symphonies in total- in a friendly "romantic duel" in which these two emblematic musicians of Romanticism, closely linked to each other on a personal level they “face” in an exciting vis a vis led by a single teacher: James Conlon, one of the most brilliant and versatile music directors on the world scene. As stated James Conlon, “Interpreting these eight symphonies is a challenge for any conductor, a tour de force in which it is necessary to find the balance between the search for formal perfection and the creative freedom of romanticism ". This new edition of ONLY MUSIC! It is the first to have a foreign conductor, so our biennial appointment reaches a more international profile. At the same time, and to bring this exciting marathon to a successful conclusion, James Conlon will lead four of the most important Spanish orchestras: National Orchestra of Spain, Symphony Orchestra of Galicia, Symphony Orchestra of Castilla and Leon Y National Youth Orchestra of Spain.

The two protagonists of this new edition of ONLY MUSIC!, Robert Schumann (1810-1856) Y Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), they respond to the paradigms of the artists of the romantic generation, for whom the central axis of existence was passionate and often unrequited love, the exaltation of feelings, the admiration of nature and the dramatic power of landscapes, as well as an undeniable tragic feeling of life; the latter aspect that in the case of Schumann became a reality in his turbulent biography. Both composers shared a deep and enriching friendship, being Brahms admirer of Clara, Schumann's wife, in turn pianist and composer, and undeniable source of inspiration for the work of the two musicians. Brahms's work, 22 years younger than Schumann, was greatly influenced by his.

According to the teacher Conlon, "We are faced with two different but complementary visions of Romanticism, the work of two authors who wrote some of the most moving and brilliant pages of this entire period ". They both composed respectively 4 great symphonic works, whose "integral" -eight symphonies- can be heard in this new edition of ONLY MUSIC!

The complete program of ONLY MUSIC 2021! is the following:

Friday 18 of June
20:00h NATIONAL ORCHESTRA OF SPAIN
symphony No. 1 Schumann
symphony No. 1 Brahms

Saturday 19 of June
12:00h GALICIAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
symphony No. 2 Schumann
symphony No. 2 Brahms

20:00h CASTILLA Y LEÓN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
symphony No. 3 Schumann
symphony No. 3 Brahms

Sunday 20 of June
12:00h YOUNG NATIONAL ORCHESTRA OF SPAIN
symphony No. 4 Schumann
symphony No. 4 Brahms

Subscriptions from 15 of April, individual locations as of 12 of May

ONLY MUSIC! maintains its goal of opening live music to all audiences, offering affordable prices for a musical experience of excellence. A) Yes, the "integral romantics" who wish to attend the entire cycle in the Symphonic Hall of the National Auditorium may do so by purchasing a fertilizer from between 14 Y 42 euros for 4 concerts; another option are the mixed fertilizers, from 8 a 24 euros (include 2 concerts in two modalities: 2 concerts in the morning, “Romantic matinees” or 2 evening concerts, "Romantic evenings").
The single locations They are priced 5 a 15 euros for the general public and 4 a 12 euros for children 30 years. The ticket sales will be available from the 15 April to 11 of May and the single locations from 12 of May in the usual sales channels of the CNDM (ticket offices of the National Auditorium and the INAEM network of theaters, tel 91 193 93 21 and the web www.entradasinaem.es)

ONLY MUSIC! is possible thanks to regular collaborators of the National Dissemination Center Musical (CNDM), how are the National Orchestra of Spain and the National Youth Orchestra of Spain (both units also from INAEM), the Symphony Orchestra of Galicia, the Symphony Orchestra of Castilla and Leon, as well as the collaboration of Spanish radio and television, which will offer content related to this new edition within its program dedicated to classical music.

James Conlon, the most demanding baton

James Conlon, one of the most versatile and prestigious directors of today, has cultivated a vast symphonic repertoire, operatic and choral. He has conducted virtually every major symphony orchestra in the United States and Europe since his debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1974. Thanks to his tours around the world, his extensive discography and videography, numerous trials, frequent appearances in the media and their lectures, James Conlon is one of the most recognized classical music performers of our time.
James Conlon is from 2006 musical director of the Los Angeles Opera and in September 2021 will take over as artistic advisor to the Baltimore Opera. He has been principal conductor of the RAI National Symphony Orchestra in Turin, Italy (2016-20); Principal conductor of the Paris Opera (1995-2004); General Director of Music of the City of Cologne, Germany (1989-2003), conducting simultaneously the Gürzenich Orchestra and the Cologne Opera; and musical director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (1983-1991). He has worked as musical director of the Ravinia Festival, summer home of the Chicago Symphony (2005-15), and is currently the award-winning musical director of the Cincinnati May Festival, the oldest choral festival in the United States, where he was musical director during 37 years (1979-2016), marking one of the longest terms of any director of an American classical music institution.

As a guest conductor at the Metropolitan, has directed more than 270 performances since his debut in 1976. He has also directed at major opera houses and festivals, like the Vienna State Opera, Salzburg Festival, La Scala, Rome Opera, Mariinsky, Covent Garden, Chicago Lyric Opera and Florentine Musical Mayo Theater.
As musical director of the Los Angeles Opera since 2006, James Conlon has directed more performances than any other director in company history; till the date, almost 400 representations of more than 50 different operas of more than 20 composers. Highlights of his tenure at the Los Angeles Opera include directing the first cycle of Ring nibelungo of the company; the start of the innovative Recovered Voices series, an ongoing commitment to staging 20th century European opera masterpieces that were suppressed by the Third Reich. Among the performances he directs during the season 2020-21 of the company is a staging of The anonymous lover, by Joseph Bologne, Knight of St. George, a prominent black composer from 18th century France. Conlon will once again perform live at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in productions of Don Giovanni, Mozart, Y Aida, in Verdi.

In an effort to draw attention to lesser-known works by composers silenced by the Nazi regime, James Conlon has dedicated himself to an extensive programming of this music in Europe and North America.. In 1999 received the Zemlinsky Award, based in Vienna, for his efforts to bring that composer's music to international attention; in 2013 received the Roger E Award. Joseph at the Jewish Institute of Religion at Hebrew Union College for his extraordinary efforts to eradicate racial and religious discrimination and prejudice; and in 2007 received the Crystal Globe award from the Anti-Defamation League. His work on behalf of suppressed composers led to the creation of the OREL Foundation, a must-have resource on the subject for music lovers, students, musicians and academics, and the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at Colburn School.

James Conlon's extensive discography and videography can be found on the Bridge labels, Capriccio, Decca, EMI, Erato y Sony Classical. His recordings of Los Angeles Opera productions have received four Grammy Awards., two respectively for The ghosts of Versailles, by John Corigliano, Y Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Kurt Weill.

James Conlon has four honorary doctorates and has received many other awards. He was nombrado Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic by Sergio Mattarella, President of Italy. He was also appointed Commandeur de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture and, in 2002, personally accepted the highest honor in the country, the Legion of Honor, from the hands of the then president of France, Jacques Chirac.