International Festival of Music
The 3rd edition of Bragança ClassicFest International Music Festival presents a program of artistic excellence, consolidating the path followed in the 2021 and 2022 editions, which brought to the city of Bragança the brilliance of renowned orchestras and musicians - such as the Vienna and St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestras, Gérard Caussé, Diana Tischenko, Héctor del Curto, Mario Hossen, Lena Belkina, Marcelo Nisinman, among others - for memorable concerts sold out by an enthusiastic audience.
In 2023, Bragança will once again become the epicenter of classical music in Portugal for about two weeks, as usual around World Music Day, October 1, with an exciting program and the presence of national and international reference musicians.
Of particular note are the opening concerts of Bragança ClassicFest with one of Spain's leading orchestras, the Asturias Symphony Orchestra (OSPA). Under the direction of its Principal Conductor since 2022, portuguese Nuno Coelho, OSPA presents two concerts in the magnificent hall of the Teatro Municipal de Bragança, with masterpieces of musical heritage: Beethoven's 5th Symphony and Dvořák's 9th Symphony, "From the New World".
This is also an extraordinary opportunity to hear two concert masterpieces by Mozart and Tchaikovsky, with two remarkable soloists – violinist Esther Hoppe and cellist Christian Poltéra – playing magnificent instruments built by Antonio Stradivari (Stradivarius), born in Cremona in 1644 and considered by many to be the best maker / luthier of all time.
Also noteworthy is the presence at this edition of Bragança ClassicFest of two renowned musicians, especially in the world of wind instruments: the famous French clarinetist Pascal Moraguès, 1st Soloist of the Orchestra of Paris, who has been among the world's elite for four decades, and the Portuguese flutist Adriana Ferreira, 1st Soloist of the National Orchestra of Santa Cecilia in Rome and a prize-winner at the main international competitions.
Another highlight of the 3rd Bragança ClassicFest is the Portuguese debut of soprano Julia Muzychenko, a star on the rise on the world opera scene and a laureate of major international singing competitions such as the Clermont Ferrand Opera Competition (1st Prize), the Montserrat Caballé Competition (2nd Prize) and Belgium's Queen Elisabeth Competition (3rd Prize). In 2023, Bragança ClassicFest will also continue to be the stage for young and talented Portuguese musicians at the start of their careers, some of whom live in other countries and thus return and maintain their connection to Portugal.
The musical repertoire of this 3rd edition spans four centuries, from the Baroque music of Johann Sebastian Bach to the 21st century music of Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov, including the great composers of classicism and musical romanticism and 20th century music, namely Spanish music by Joaquín Turina and Portuguese music by Fernando Lopes-Graça.
The Closing Concert of the 3rd Bragança ClassicFest is an excellent example of the stylistic and international variety of this edition's repertoire, culminating in the famous and festive "The Carnival of the Animals, Great Zoological Fantasy", a work full of humor composed by the French composer Camille Saint-Saëns in 1886 and which, on this special occasion, will feature Jorge Vaz de Carvalho's narration of humorous texts written by António Mega Ferreira.
Alongside the concerts, the 3rd Bragança ClassicFest continues its important educational and cultural awareness axis, inaugurated in the 2022 edition, with the holding of masterclasses and meetings, with the participation of the artists present at the festival and especially aimed at musicians and students from the city and the region.
An important feature of Bragança ClassicFest, since its first edition, has been the holding of concerts in venues with rich heritage, as in 2023 in the churches of São Francisco, Sé Velha and Santa Maria, in a healthy crossover between music and the historical, cultural and architectural heritage of Bragança
The purpose of this 3rd edition of Bragança ClassicFest is to consolidate the festival as a cultural event of excellence on a national and international scale, contributing to the dynamism and prosperity of the region and promoting universal access to culture and the celebration of community life through the extraordinary universal language of music.
My best wishes to everyone who makes the Bragança ClassicFest International Music Festival possible, starting with the fundamental support of Câmara Municipal de Bragança, Teatro Municipal de Bragança and DSCH Associação Musical, the promoters and organizers of this praiseworthy initiative, and the festival's main patron, BPI/Fundação "la Caixa". I would also like to thank Direcção-Geral das Artes, Diocese de Miranda-Bragança, media partner RTP Antena 2 and, especially, His Excellency the President of the Republic, for the High Patronage once again granted.