For months, in places as far away and diverse as Jakarta (Indonesia), Medellín (Colombia) and Stockholm (Sweden), works such as “XOXO BELTZ BAT BANUEN”, “EGUZKI PRINTZAK”, “ET J’AIME UNIQUEMENT…” and “AVE MARIS STELLA” by our much loved composers Karlos Giménez, Junkal Guerrero, Jesús Egiguren and Eva Ugalde have been in rehearsals. Through these works, thousands of people across the world have the opportunity to get to know our music and to sing in our language, incorporating the works into their repertoires. In return, they bring their music to us, their way of interpreting it and, ultimately, their way of inhabiting the world. By this mutual influence we enrich one another, constructing something universal without losing our roots.
In this 48th Tolosa Choral Contest, presented to you in this programme, we expect to welcome 21 groups from 16 countries: Germany, Colombia, Cuba, Slovenia, Spain, the Philippines, Hungary, Indonesia, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Taiwan. In addition, on this occasion we will be joined by an exceptional Basque choir, the female choir Vocalia Taldea, which will perform in both of this year’s categories: Chamber Choirs and Vocal Ensembles.
During their performance in the contest, the choirs will give around 70 concerts right across the Basque Country. These performances, and the attendance in Tolosa of a choral music-loving audience from all across Spain, create a unique and enthusiastic atmosphere, which is especially appreciated by the participating choirs.
Beyond the sessions of the contest we would also like to draw your attention to other concerts: in the Church of Santa Clara on October 15th, organised by the Choral Federation of Gipuzkoa, the ‘Topaketa’ (gathering) of Basque choirs, and on October 31st a concert organised by KUP Taldea, selected as the Basque representative at the next World Symposium on Choral Music to be held in Barcelona in 2017. Also, in the afternoon of November 1st in the Church of St Francis (Iglesia de San Francisco de los P.P. Franciscanos) there will be a concert focussed on Bel Canto Choir Vilnius from Lithuania.
To these choir singers and figures from across the musical world who stay with us throughout the contest, we hope that the town of Tolosa welcomes them as it always has done, with friendship, warmth and respect.