Performed by: Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra / Nafarroako Orkestra Sinfonikoa and Orfeón Pamplonés / Iruñeko Orfeoia
It is accepted that the Himno de las Cortes or Marcha y Minueto para la entrada del Reyno was created in Pamplona Cathedral as a processional work that accompanied retinues between the 17th and 18th centuries. The Cathedral Chapter used it to receive the kingdom’s civic representatives in their church and, little by little, it was institutionalised, without ever recognising it as the official Hymn.
The instrumentation of the Hymn has varied since the late 18th century or early 19th century, and different harmonisations appeared during the 20th century. Around 1936, José Olaizola harmonised it for the choir with words in the Basque language.
It was made the official Hymn for Navarre by the Foral Law 7/1986, on 28 May. Foral Order 172/1987 convened a competition to select the official harmonisation of the Himno de Navarra, and the winner was declared to be Valentín Ruiz López. A text by Manuel Iribarren was adapted for the words, subsequently translated by José Mª Azpiroz.
14 to 17 September 2021.
El Orfeón Pamplonés dates back to 1865, when the institution was set up with Conrado García as president, conducted by Joaquín Maya. This first group closed down in 1873. The Ateneo Orfeón Pamplonés was founded in 1881 and lasted until 1885. Finally, the definitive Orfeón was set up on 28 August 1890 and conducted by Fidel Maya, who left in 1891, replaced by Remigio Múgica. Great names in Navarre’s music have all conducted El Orfeón Pamplonés such as Martín Lipúzcoa, Juan Eraso, Pedro Pirfano, José Antonio Huarte, Juan Carlos Múgica, Koldo Pastor, Pascual Aldave and Alfonso Huarte, and it is currently conducted by Igor Ijurra.
Over all these decades, their brilliant work has included singing not only an outstanding choral symphonic repertoire, but also a stage and a capella repertoire. The choir’s standing in Navarrese cultural life means that it often performs at important artistic, social and institutional events. This institution’s reach is not limited to the province of Navarre. Over the last decade, it has undergone an internationalisation process that has taken it to perform on the major stages of countries such as Mexico, United States, England, France and Russia, as well as taking part in some of the most prestigious international symphonic festivals such as the PROMS or the White Nights of St Petersburg.
Among its many awards, it has received the Principe de Viana Prize, the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts and Gold Medals from Navarre and Pamplona.
Igor Ijurra Fernández
With the Advanced Choir Conducting Qualification from Musikene, a diploma in Singing and Musical Theory from the Sarasate Music School and a degree in Law from the University of Navarre, he extended his musical training with prestigious choir and orchestra conductors such as Juanjo Mena, Philip Ledger, Johan Duijck, Javi Busto, Gary Graden, Peter Erdey, Laszlo Heltay, Gabriel Baltes, Donato Renzetti, Massimiliano Caldi, Kenneth Kiesler, Manuel Hernández Silva and Yaron Traub.
As the current choirmaster of the Orfeón Pamplonés, he has worked on the great choral symphony repertoire, as well as operas by Mozart, Verdi and Puccini, or La vida breve, by Falla, introducing around 30 new works into their repertoire. He has worked, as both choir and orchestra conductor, with other ensembles such as the National Choir, the RTVE Choir, Madrid Province Choir, Pamplona Chamber Choir, Navarre Symphony Orchestra and Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra. He gives conducting courses, musical workshops and conferences and he is invited to be on the jury for choral and composition contests.
Ijurra’s interested in authors from the Basque Country and Navarre has led him to conduct and release many works with these characteristics. He is also a spokesperson for the work by composer Lorenzo Ondarra (1931-2012).
In 2014, he was awarded the Diapasón de Oro by the Spanish Choir Association Federation (COACE) and, in November 2016, he was named a young distinguished academician of Jakiunde, the Academy of Sciences, Arts and Literature in Navarre, Euskadi and Aquitaine.
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.
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.
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