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Spanish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1965. The repertoire of the Spanish music, from the classical-romantic era to contemporary, is ensured by the orchestra’s beautiful performance.

Born on 27 May 1965, the orchestra was one of the youngest among European radio and television and when one speaks of musical activity in our country in the second half of the 20th century, RTVE’s Symphonic Orchestra merits honorable mention as a firs-rate ensemble. It made its official presentation in Madrid’s Teatro de la Zarzuela along with its Conductor-Founder Igor Markevitch with a program that included works by Prokofiev, Wagner, Falla and Beethoven. Only a few days prior it had debuted with Odón Alonso in the Festival of the ISCM interpreting works by authors such as Nilsson, Webern, Stravinsky and Schoenberg. These initial public performances marked the orchestra’s main priorities: the classical-romantic repertoire, Spanish music and contemporary musical creation. Markevitch did an encore of that inaugural concert in 1982 only a few months before his death, bringing to a close a historical period for the Orchestra.
His successors as Conductor were Antoni Ros Marbà (1965-1967), Enrique García Asensio (1966-1984), Odón Alonso (1968-1984), Miguel A´ngel Gómez Martínez (1984-1987), Arpad Joó (1988-1990), Sergiu Comissiona (1990-1998) and García Asensio again (1998-2001). Adrian Leaper took over as Conductor at the outset of the 2001-2002 season.
A number of Maestros have also visited the Orchestra such as Celibidache (who maintained a close relationship for several years), Maazel, Rozhdestvensky, Kondrashin, Frühbeck de Burgos, Inbal, Marriner, López Cobos, Dutoit o Albrecht, to name only a few. From among the composers who have taken to the podium to conduct their own works we have Nadie Boulanger, Carlos Chávez, Aaron Copland, Luciano Berio, Cristóbal Halffter, Mauricio Kagel and Kryzsztof Penderecki.
Although radio and television are the natural channels through which the RTVE Symphonic is heard (making it the most listened to orchestra in Spain), its residency in Madrid has taken it to a number of different stages: the already mentioned Teatro de la Zarzuela, the Palacio de la Música, the Palacio de Congresos and the Teatro Real, before the inauguration of the Teatro Monumental, remodeled and heir to Madrid’s most prestigious symphonic tradition. In addition to its participation in the principal Spanish festivals, mention should be made of the ensemble’s international presence that can be summarized by its performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall (1971), the Royal Festival Hall of London (1975), Tonhalle de Zurich (1986), Théatre Chatélet of Paris (1986), Suntory Hall of Tokyo (1988), L’Arsenal de Metz (1989) or the Enescu Festival of Bucharest (1995).
In more recent times it has significantly increased its recording production that includes Manuel de Falla, Barbieri, Latin American music, lyrical galas, paso doble… up to the slow movements of Gustav Mahler.
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