Summer, give me music! The 85th Quincena Musical hosts 80 performances that will fill August with music and dance

  • The theme of "Travel and Exoticism" connects various works, ranging from Bizet's opera Carmen and Saint-Saëns' Egyptian Concerto to a special project for the Quincena in Arantzazu. This project features Galician musician Abraham Cupeiro collaborating with Eñaut Elorrieta, Oreka TX, and Agus Barandiaran.
  • The strong presence of choral music is once again one of the pillars of the program, featuring local groups as well as international guests such as Bach Collegium Japan and the Czech Cappella Mariana.
  • The festival will bring together stars such as Riccardo Chailly, Ivan Fischer, and Gustavo Gimeno, who will lead major orchestras. It will also feature soloists Sol Gabetta, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and a young prodigy, Alexandra Dovgan.
  • Our dedication to in-house production continues with a new rendition of Carmen, the debut of the children's opera Egia ala geRuza, a new residency for contemporary dance creation, and the commissioning of two new musical pieces.
  • Dance will be another key pillar of the season, showcasing diverse styles and performances. This includes Folia by the Käfig Company, flamenco by Úrsula López, and a strong emphasis on contemporary dance through the Tabakalera Dantzan cycle and various events in the Quincena Andante.
  • The centenary of the births of Eduardo Chillida and Néstor Basterretxea will be commemorated.

In summer, we're craving live music more than ever, ready to be enjoyed in all its diverse forms. In San Sebastián, August means the Quincena Musical: the ultimate festival for classical music lovers, as well as other musical genres, dance, and artistic disciplines. From August 1st to 30th, the 85th Quincena Musical will take place in the city's main venues and cultural spaces, extending to Gipuzkoa, Araba, Navarra, and Lapurdi, aiming to reach a broader audience.

Tickets for all concerts can be purchased at www.quincenamusical.eus and at the Kursaal and Teatro Victoria Eugenia box offices. Friends of the Quincena enjoy benefits and discounts of up to 25% on single and season tickets.

TRAVEL AND EXOTICISM: THE QUINCENA AS A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME AND CULTURE, WITH MUSIC AS A PASSPORT
The opera Carmen beautifully exemplifies the blend of romantic ideas with industrial development in the 19th century. Machines shaped our mechanised society and made the world smaller, bringing cultures from the East closer to the West, feeding an exotic imagination through a romantic lens. This year, exoticism, closely tied to the idea of travel, serves as a unifying theme across our programming. We will journey with Saint-Saëns to Egypt, with Shostakovich to the land of the Cossacks, with Prokofiev to the nearly vanished world of Eastern European Jews, with Ravel to the East of the Arabian Nights, and with Stravinsky to the magical realms of Russia. We'll delve into the adventures of travelers like the Galician Egeria, the Genoese Marco Polo, and the Czech composer, writer, and rebel Krystof Harant. We will experience Folia, a dance show that kaleidoscopically blends rhythms from diverse times and places. Additionally, we will return to the Arantzazu Sanctuary, a cultural crossroads, to witness the collaboration of Galician musician and researcher Abraham Cupeiro, who specializes in ancient instruments, with Eñaut Elorrieta, Agus Barandiaran, Oreka TX, and Oiasso Camerata in a project specially created for this Quincena event.

CHORAL MUSIC: UNIQUE PERFORMANCES BY LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL CHOIRS
Choral music holds a significant place in our region's musical life, and this is prominently reflected in the Quincena making it a hallmark of the festival. This year, we are delighted to welcome two internationally renowned groups, Bach Collegium Japan and Cappella Mariana, to join our local choral ensembles. The repertoire features some exceptional highlights. Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, a complex and rarely performed masterpiece, will be conducted by maestro Jérémie Rhorer, a protégé of Marc Minkowski, William Christie, and Christopher Hogwood, who currently leads orchestras across Europe. Additionally, we will present Shostakovich's The Execution of Stepan Razin, a work of immense vitality that remains largely unknown in the Russian composer's oeuvre. These performances offer unique opportunities to experience these extraordinary works live.

INTERNATIONAL PERFORMERS: RICCARDO CHAILLY, IVAN FISCHER, GUSTAVO GIMENO, SOL GABETTA, PATRICIA KOPATCHINSKAJA, ALEXANDRA DOVGAN, AND MORE
The Kursaal Auditorium cycle opens with a double feature by the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, with its principal conductor, Gustavo Gimeno. In 2025, Gimeno will transition to leading the Teatro Real, while continuing his role as the musical director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 2020. The first concert of this cycle will be a Quincena debut for pianist Bruce Liu, the 2021 Chopin Piano Competition winner who has achieved rock star status in classical music. Liu has also recently won the prestigious Mahler Conducting Contest.

Riccardo Chailly, one of the eminent figures in conducting, returns to the Quincena for the third time, this time with the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala of Milan. This orchestra belongs to the world's most prestigious opera house, where Claudio Abbado initiated symphonic activity in 1982. Chailly began his illustrious career as Abbado's assistant at La Scala in Milan, later serving as music director of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and since 2015, the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala in Milan.

Ivan Fischer and his Budapest Festival Orchestra, regulars at the Quincena, return with a double feature. The first performance will showcase the festival debut of renowned Moldovan violinist and Grammy winner Patricia Kopatchinskaja, praised by The New York Times as "a performer of unusual expressive energy, disarming informality, and theatrical ambition."

Masaaki Suzuki, who participated in the Quincena's Organ Cycle two years ago, returns to the festival, this time leading the Bach Collegium Japan. This baroque ensemble, consisting of original instrument performers and a choir, was founded in 1990 by Suzuki himself, an internationally renowned Bach interpreter, organist, harpsichordist, conductor, and musicologist. This marks the first appearance of this Japanese formation at the Quincena.

The Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France will close the Quincena under the baton of Finnish conductor Mikko Franck, who has been the orchestra's principal conductor since 2015. The concert will feature cellist Sol Gabetta as the soloist. Gabetta's international career took off with the "Credit Suisse" award for Best Young Artist and her performance with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Valery Gergiev, which opened numerous doors in the music world.

Additionally, the young piano prodigy Alexandra Dovgan will offer her debut recital in San Sebastián at the Teatro Victoria Eugenia.

THE QUINCENA MUSICAL ALSO EMBRACES DANCE
This year's edition features over a dozen dance events. At the Kursaal, the French Compagnie Käfig, directed by Mourad Merzouki, will present Folia, a dynamic fusion of baroque and street rhythms through dance and live music. The Victoria Eugenia Theater will host the Úrsula López Flamenco Company with their performance of Comedy Without a Title, blending dance, flamenco, and the revival of Federico García Lorca's work.

At Tabakalera Dantzan, Myriam Perez Cazabon, Hotel Col.lectiu Escènic, and Javier Arozena y Cía will present their piece, Bad Hair. On the Inaugural Day, Kresala Dantza Taldea will premiere a tribute to Eduardo Chillida at Peine del Viento. Chillida will also be honored by DAB Dantza Konpainia with performances at Chillida Leku and Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa. Additionally, dancer Iván Vargas will perform alongside Duo Cassadó in Senpere.

FROM THE OPERA CARMEN TO THE CHILDREN'S EGIA ALA GERUZA, THE QUINCENA MUSICAL SUPPORTS CREATION IN CONTEMPORARY DANCE, AND THE COMMISSIONING OF NEW MUSICAL WORKS
Supporting creators and performers to continue developing their work through the production of new projects is a cornerstone of our festival. This edition places special emphasis on this commitment. A new version of Bizet's opera Carmen, based on Emilio López's staging, transposes the story to post-war Spain.

Additionally, the children's opera Egia ala geRuza will be presented, created by and for children, based on texts by Lewis Carroll (“Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass”), in collaboration with Easo Abesbatza and under the stage direction of Guillermo Amaya.

This focus on creation also includes a residency for the Tabakalera Dantzan cycle, in partnership with the contemporary culture center, led this year by choreographer Myriam Perez Cazabon. Furthermore, in the Contemporary cycle, we will premiere a new work commissioned from Fernando Buide, and in the Organ Cycle, a commissioned piece by Carol Williams will debut.

WORLDWIDE PREMIERES OF 9 PIECES AND SHOWS
Our commitment to promoting new creation is demonstrated through the worldwide premieres of nine shows and musical pieces. The premieres include a new production of the opera Carmen at the Kursaal Auditorium, and the children's opera Egia ala geRuza as part of the Children's Quincena. Additionally, we will feature the choreography of Myriam Perez Cazabon in collaboration with composer Sofía Martínez, and the show Hiru by Kresala Dantza Taldea, paying tribute to Eduardo Chillida on the Opening Day of the festival.

The musical pieces making their world debut are A Reverence to San Sebastian by Carol Williams, performed by the composer herself in the Organ Cycle, and in the Contemporary Music Series: Glass by Félix Ibarrondo, Palladium Motus by J. J. Peña Aguayo, performed by Spanish Brass, a new work by Fernando Buide, performed by Abraham Cupeiro and Ensemble Música Practica, Notspur by Ziyi Tao, the winning work of the XVII Pablo Sorozabal International Composition Competition for String Quartet, performed by Cikada String Quartet.

THE OTHER CYCLES OF THE QUINCENA INCLUDE 60 CONCERTS AND WILL FEATURE TRIBUTES TO EDUARDO CHILLIDA AND NÉSTOR BASTERRECHEA
The specialised cycles of the Quincena offer audiences a diverse array of unique proposals, encompassing a wide range of repertoires from various eras and styles. This includes chamber and early music at San Telmo Museoa, featuring a concert with projections and the presence of actor Pepe Viyuela, contemporary dance at Tabakalera Dantzan, and organ music on the magnificent romantic organs of Gipuzkoa.

Young talents will be showcased at Miramar, with family-friendly offerings in the Children's Quincena. Contemporary music will be highlighted at the Kursaal, and Quincena Andante events will be held in various locations including Arantzazu with Abraham Cupeiro, Chillida Leku, Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa, Hondarribia, Zumaia, Senpere, and several towns in Álava.

The centenary of the births of Eduardo Chillida and Néstor Basterretxea, both of whom designed posters for the Quincena Musical (in 1996 and 2003, respectively), will be commemorated at several festival events. Eduardo Chillida will be honored by Kresala Dantza Taldea (Inaugural Day), Karol Mossakowski (Organ Cycle), and DAB Dantza Konpainia (Quincena Andante). Néstor Basterretxea will be remembered in a tribute concert in Hondarribia, which will include the screening of the documentary "Néstor Basterretxea, Erroen Modernitatea," and by Sussane Kajula and Veli Kajula in an organ and accordion concert (Organ Cycle).

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
The Quincena's greatest commitment is to the citizens who support it. That's why one of our main efforts is focused on making the diverse and high-quality events that make up the Quincena accessible to everyone. We offer very competitive prices, with tickets for the Kursaal symphonic cycle starting at just 11.60 euros, and a significant portion of the Quincena’s events are free. The Opening Day concerts (except for the one at Kursaal Auditorium), all organ cycle concerts, and some of the Tabakalera Dantzan and Quincena Andante events are free, with free admission (arrive early to avoid disappointment).

Additionally, we have the "Hora Joven" initiative: those under 30 can purchase tickets for 3 euros for performances at the Kursaal Auditorium and the Victoria Eugenia Theater (except for the children's concert “Egia ala geRuza” on August 26), available from one hour before the start of each day's show at the respective ticket offices. Please bring proof of age. Limited tickets will be available each day. Unemployed individuals over 30 years of age can also benefit from this promotion by presenting an updated Registration Period Certificate stating they are seeking work in Spain.