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El canto de Atenea

Pilar Constancio, flute soloist, and Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra / Nafarroako Orkestra Sinfonikoa

Teresa Catalán was born in Pamplona on 12 April 1951. She studied Piano and Composition at the ‘Pablo Sarasate’ Music School in her hometown, taught by important figures such as Fernando Remacha, Ramón Barce, Franco Donatoni and Agustín González Acilu, who she considers to be her master. She took a master’s degree in Musical Aesthetics and Creativity at Valencia University and a PhD in Philosophy of Art at Valencia University. She was the director of the Tarazona Conservatory, a Lecturer in Composition and Instrumentation at the Royal Music School in Madrid, Vice-Principle of the Zaragoza Conservatory and guest teacher at the Balearic Islands Conservatory of Music and Dance. Her teaching experience extends to courses and conferences all over Europe and Russia. She was the director of the Contemporary Music Festival and International Course at the Monastery of Veruela (Zaragoza) and a member of the Government of Navarre Ministry of Culture. In July 2010, she was named member of the State Council of Performing Arts and Music, proposed by the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music (INAEM) and in 2011, she received the Order of Civil Merit. In 2015, she was appointed as a distinguished academician by the Academy of Science, Arts and Literature for the Basque Country, Navarre and Aquitaine (JAKIUNDE) and in 2017, she won the National Music Award for Composition. She is the Professor Emeritus of Composition and Instrumentation at the Royal Music School in Madrid and a member of the Academic Commission for the Doctorate Programme on Music and its science and technology at the Polytechnic University of Madrid.

On 28 May 2021, she won the Principe de Viana Award for Culture 2021, given by the Navarre Board of Culture and the Arts.

El canto de Atenea was commissioned by the Baluarte Foundation and Catalán dedicated it to her mother. Written in two movements, De las cien cabezas and Euríale, the composer does not claim to retell the myths of Athena and this work is intended to be metaphoric rather than descriptive. The goddess Athena invented a flute from the bones of a deer. She used this instrument to play a song that imitated the cry of the Gorgons Stheno and Euryale when Perseus cut off the head of the third of the sisters, Medusa. The first movement refers to this myth, while the second movement is inspired by Euryale who, according to several sources, is the only one to have lamented the death of their sister.

Recording date

14 to 17 September 2021.


Pilar Constancio

Born in Manises, she began to study the flute with Joaquín Constancio, the soloist teacher in the Valencia Municipal Band, and went on to the Valencia Conservatory, taught by Jesús Campos and Mª Dolores Tomás. She won the National Award for Excellence in Academic Performance. She broadened her studies with Mdme. Ribera and moved to Paris where she studied at the Hector Berlioz Conservatory and the Versailles Region National Conservatory with teachers such as Raymond Guiot and Christel Rayneau.

She has been the Flute Soloist for the Madrid Symphony Orchestra, the resident Orchestra at the Teatro Real in Madrid since 1986. As a concert musician, she has played concerts for the flute by W.A. Mozart, his complete Quartets with flute in the Teatro Real, the Concert for flute by Carl Reinecke in the National Auditorium or the entire concert for flute by André Jolivet. Her commitment to contemporary music has led her to work with composers such as Betsy Jolás, Carol Beffa and in Spain with Jacobo Durán-Loriga, Manuel Busto, Jesús Torres, Elena Mendoza, Raquel García-Tomás or Teresa Catalán.

She has worked with ensembles such as the Reina Sofia Orchestra in Madrid, the Spanish National Orchestra, the Valencia Orchestra, the RTVE Orchestra and the Navarre Symphony Orchestra.

Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra

The current Navarre Symphony Orchestra was founded by Pablo Sarasate in 1879, making it the oldest working orchestra in Spain. It is currently part of the Baluarte Foundation, an institution funded mainly by the Government of Navarre and, as such, it is the province’s official orchestra. The Navarre Symphony Orchestra (OSN) has been around for almost one hundred and forty years, playing in major auditoriums, opera seasons and festivals, both in Spain and abroad. Highlights include playing at the Champs Elysées Theatre and the Châtelet Theatre in Paris several times, plus a concert tour organised by the Universal Music record label encompassing important European concert halls. The orchestra is the benchmark ensemble for the works of composer and violinist Pablo Sarasate and their recording of this Navarrese composer’s complete works for Naxos, featuring the violinist Tianwa Yang, has been unanimously praised by international critics. With the same recording label, the OSN performed a programme of recordings with the Polish orchestra director Antoni Wit, lead conductor from 2013 up to the 2017-2018 season. The OSN plays for the public during an annual concert season in the cities of Pamplona and Tudela, in the Baluarte Auditorium and the Gaztambide Theatre, respectively, and it performs an important social and educational role throughout the province. Manuel Hernández Silva is the current resident conductor and artistic director, taking up this position in 2018-2019.

Jesús Echeverría


Born in Olite, he received a scholarship from the Gipuzkoa Provincial Government to study conducting at the Vienna Conservatory with Julius Kalmar. In 1987, he won a place at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he furthered his training as a conductor with teachers such as Sir Colin Davis, Colin Metters, George Hurst, John Carewe and Horst Neuman. He completed his studies by winning the South Hall Memorial Prize in Conducting. He studied composition with Agustín González Acilu, Francisco Escudero, Tomás Marco, Javier Darias, Cristóbal Halffter and Mauricio Sotelo.

At the age of 23, he set up the Donostia Chamber Orchestra and, during his time in London, he founded The European Sinfonia.

He has conducted and recorded opera, zarzuela and symphonic-choral music in Spain, Poland, Japan, Latvia, Italy and Switzerland and he has conducted groups such as the Basque National Orchestra, the Latvian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra or the Navarre Symphony Orchestra where he was the Associate Conductor between 2015 and 2018.

He has received awards such as the INJUVE Composition Prize from the Navarre Institute of Sport and Youth, in 1998 and 1999, the International Pablo Sorozábal Composition Award for his work Quartet for Strings Nº 2 – Tétares or first prize for musical composition awarded by the Government of Navarre for his work Ennea III. In 2000, he received the 18th Joaquín Turina Award for musical composition, from Seville City Council, for his work Requiem Sine Verbis for a large orchestra, and the 15th Ciutat d’Alcoi Composition Prize, for Coplas.

He is currently the analysis professor at Musikene - the Higher School of Music of the Basque Country and resident conductor for the La Rioja Symphony Orchestra.


El canto de Atenea. Movimiento 1: De las cien cabezas

El canto de Atenea. Movimiento 2: Euríale