The Valencian Community Orchestra with works by Saariaho and direction by Juanjo Mena

Juanjo Mena

The Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana (OCV) debuts at the ENSEMS festival next Friday, 17 of September, under the musical direction of Juanjo Mena at the Auditori de Arts to 20.00 hours.

The Les Arts formation makes its first foray into the dean festival of avant-garde and experimental music in Spain with a program dedicated to the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, essential figure in the music of the 20th and 21st centuries, of whom two of the most representative works are interpreted: ‘Circle Map’ and the clarinet concerto ‘D’Om le Vrai Sens’.

Saariaho, despite being an unpublished author in the programming of the OCV, is, as the artistic director of Les Arts points out, Jesus Iglesias Noriega, "One of the references of the current composition in absolute terms, with presence in the main theaters and auditoriums of the world ".

"In this sense", explains Iglesias Noriega, “The concert directed by Juanjo Mena insists on the commitment of Les Arts to expand repertoires and show the greatest diversity of musical styles, as well as for strengthening the links of the institution and its artistic assets with the Valencian cultural fabric, who for the first time take an active part in ENSEMS ".

Saariaho's expressive music fuses modern compositional trends with tradition, and reflects his passion for nature. His works are programmed by prestigious orchestras of the Los Angeles and Berlin Philharmonics, and has written commissioned operas for the most important theaters and festivals.

The collaboration with the Salzburg Festival stands out in his career, donde estrenó "Love from afar", later represented at the Metropolitan in New York. Likewise, this summer, the Aix-en-Provence Festival hosted the world premiere of his latest opera, ‘Innocence’, celebrated with great public success and the unanimous applause of international critics, who has described the work of the Finnish as his great masterpiece.

Juanjo Mena is considered one of the Spanish batons with the greatest international projection. The current principal director of the Cincinnati May Festival and an accredited expert in contemporary music assumes the musical direction of this concert after opening the Les Arts season in Alicante with two concerts in Teulada and Alcoy..

The program

Saariaho fuses orchestral and electronic music from six stanzas of poetry by the 13th century Persian poet Rumi in ‘Circle Map’ (2012). The play, which was well received by critics, has been premiered in the main international auditoriums. Juanjo Mena himself conducted the work in its American premiere with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

"Om the True Sense" (2010) is a concerto for clarinet and orchestra in six movements, that Saariaho composed for his compatriot Kari Kriikku, virtuoso clarinetist who will also perform the piece for the public of Les Arts. The work is inspired by the medieval cycle of six tapestries 'The Lady and the Unicorn', that symbolically describes the five senses of the human being along with a mysterious sixth.

The Arts is Symphonic

Les Arts recalls that the price of the tickets for the concert of Juanjo Mena with the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana ranges between 15 Y 25 euros.

The Auditori de Les Arts will receive within the season 2021-2022 to the main batons of the international circuit. Along with the returns of the most international Spanish directors, Gustavo Gimeno, Juanjo Mena and Josep Pons, the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana will work for the first time with Riccardo Minasi and Mark Elder in James Gaffigan's first year as musical director.