GRANADA, Spain — Later this month the melodies of Beethoven and Schubert will fill the air in churches and palaces and dancers will grace the gardens and Plazas of this beautiful city in southern Spain as the International Festival of Music and Dance of Granada gets underway. Great names in contemporary dance, flamenco and classical music from France , Germany , Holland , India , Sweden , the U.S. and Spain are on the program that kicks off June 20 and runs through July 11. Sweden ‘s Cullberg Ballet, the Staatsballett Berlin, India’s Astad Deboo and renowned Spanish artists: Eva Yerbabuena Ballet Flamenco and Ballet Victor Ullate will dance, while Les Musiciens du Louvre, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Petersen Quartett, the Kandinsky Trio, Staatskapelle Berlin , Orquesta Nacional de España and others will play in some 50 performances in some of the city’s most iconic settings.
One of Granada ‘s outstanding artists, Eva Yerbabuena will be celebrating her company’s 10th anniversary with the premiere of a new work presented in the lush Generalife Gardens bordering the magnificent Alhambra . This rose-colored palace-fortress – one of the world’s most beautiful buildings – epitomizes the brilliance and spirit of Moorish culture that reached its height in Andalusia between the 13th and 15th centuries.
From June 21 to July 6, classical music aficionados will enjoy ten free concerts performed at the Hospital Real, the Corral del Carbón, Santa Iglesia Catedral and the Monasterio de San Jerónimo.
Other high points of the Festival include:
The Miami-based New World Symphony Orchestra will perform Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.
The company founded by Birgit Cullberg – one of Europe ‘s 20th century’s modern dance pioneers – celebrates its 40th year with the Spanish premiere of Out of Breath.
Observing his company’s 20th anniversary, Zaragoza dance pioneer Victor Ullate will present classic works like Giselle mixed with contemporary pieces.
The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra marks its return to the festival after 24 years with Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie – never performed here before.
In their first appearance in Granada , Les Musiciens du Louvre will perform twice, including a performance of Handel’s Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno – the composer’s closest work to an opera.
The outstanding interpreter of Romantic piano compositions, Elisabeth Leonskaja will perform several of Beethoven’s sonatas.
Daniel Barenboim will lead the Staatskapelle Berlin performing Bruckner’s trilogy:
Symphonies Number 7, 8 and the unfinished 9th over three successive days.
The International Festival of Music and Dance of Granada dates back to 1883 when symphonic concerts were performed at the Palace of Charles V.
Later the city’s intellectuals and artists like García Lorca and Manuel de Fallas convened the
cante jondo (flamenco singing) contest at the Alhambra . The Festival’s history is indelibly linked to the landscape, and performances are held throughout the city including in the Palace of Daralhorra and the Albaicín district – the largest and most characteristic Moorish quarter left in Spain . Granada is spectacularly-sited on three hills that rise majestically from a plain with the snowcapped Sierra Nevadas in the background. The Alhambra sits atop one of those hills surrounded by beautiful gardens with pools, fountains and patios.
Ticket prices range from about $23 (15 euros) to $108 (70 euros). For more information, a complete program, and to purchase tickets online, go to: www.granadafestival.org/festival.asp.
For further information about Spain , contact the Tourist Office of Spain in New York (212-265-8822); Miami (305-358-1992); Chicago (312-642-1992) or Los Angeles (323-658-7195) or go to www.spain.info