Thanks to its meteoric national and international growth in the 1980s, the Symphony Orchestra of Tenerife marked a turning-point in the recognition of Spanish orchestras at home and abroad. Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, already consolidated as one of Spain’s best orchestral groups, the OST begins a new era, led by the internationally prestigious Maestro Lü Jia, who became new artistic director during the 2006-2007 season and completed his first season as artistic director and chief conductor in 2007-2008.
The Symphony Orchestra of Tenerife fulfils the mission expected from an entity of its importance through an annual programme composed of close to twenty events. The season also offers three series of didactic concerts for schoolchildren, regular appearances at the Canary Isles International Music Festival and the Tenerife Opera Festival, extraordinary concerts, frequent recordings and international tours.
All the great artists who have accompanied the Tenerife orchestral group have admired the excellent sound and enormous cohesion of the different instrument sections. These qualities they have publically praised by artists such as Krystian Zimerman, Kyung Wha Chung, Mischa Maisky, Schlomo Mintz, Gil Shaham, Grigorij Sokolov, Frank P. Zimmermann and Dimitri Bashkirov.
Over the past twenty years, artists of undisputable international projection have participated in the more than thirty-two annual OST programmes, including Plácido Domingo, Alfredo Kraus, María Bayo, Barbara Bonney, Nathalie Stutzmann, Brigitte Fassbaender, Arleen Auger, Frederica von Stade, Elena Obraztsova, Barbara Hendricks, Simon Estes, Ian Bostridge, Marjana Lipovšek, Ainhoa Arteta, Katia & Marielle Labèque, Olli Mustonen, Bella Davidovich, Philippe Entremont, Andrei Gavrilov, Ivo Pogorelich, Emanuel Ax, Viktoria Mullova, Vladimir Spivakov, Silvia Marcovici, Nikolaj Znaider, Leonidas Kavakos, Steven Isserlis and Manuel Barrueco.
No less brilliant are the batons that have led the Tenerife orchestral group, which include Jesús López Cobos, Raymond Leppard, Alberto Zedda, Vasily Petrenko, Vassily Sinaisky, Emmanuel Krivine, Leopold Hager, Giovanni Antonini, Edmon Colomer, Fabio Biondi, Marc Minkowski, Eliahu Inbal, Günther Herbig, Josep Pons, Krzysztof Penderecki, Christian Badea, Claus Peter Flor, Jean Jacques Kantorow, Gianandrea Noseda, Libor Pešek, Ton Koopman and Dmitry Sitkovetsky, amongst many others.
Thanks to the notable imprint left by these major figures of musical performance worldwide, the Symphony Orchestra of Tenerife has toured the most important concert halls in Spain –Madrid, Bilbao, Valencia, Barcelona, San Sebastián, Peralada, Seville, Granada, Santander, Zaragoza, La Coruña and Murcia–, has performed at some of the great musical centres in Germany –the Schleswig Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern festivals– and Great Britain, invited by the BBC to make its debut in London. During its international tour in December 2004, the OST had great success in the main concert halls of Cologne, Düsseldorf, Karlsruhe, Ulm, Stuttgart and Salzburg, and in June 2008, it participated, equally successfully, in the 2nd edition of the Spanish America-Spain Festival of National Orchestras and Choirs at the National Music Auditorium in Madrid.
A large part of its more than thirty recordings for record labels such as Auvidis, Decca and Deutsche Grammophon have obtained great national and international recognition, such as the ‘Cannes Classical Awards’, the ‘Grand Prix’ of l’Académie Française du Disque Lyrique, the ‘Ondas Award’ –1992 and 1996 editions–, the ‘Choc’ of Le Monde de la Musique and the ‘Diapason d’Or’ –in 1994 and 1995–, as well as best record of the year for the CD Compact y Ritmo magazines.
The OST was created as the Canary Isles Chamber Orchestra in 1935, under the direction of Santiago Sabina. Between 1968 and 1985, it was conducted by Armando Alfonso. In 1970, it was renamed Symphony Orchestra of Tenerife. Edmon Colomer was the conductor during the 1985-1986 season and Víctor Pablo Pérez was the chief conductor between 1986 and June 2006.
The Symphony Orchestra of Tenerife is a member of the Spanish Association of Symphony Orchestras [AEOS]www.aeos.es