Barcelona, a city that is passionate about classical music
Barcelona's connection to classical music goes back a long way, with a long history and a strong tradition throughout its history, but above all, it is the result of many decades of work and effort. Today Barcelona has become a referent in classical music at the European level thanks to a prestigious offer, a continuous program, and spectacular spaces that were designed to enjoy classical music at an exceptional level. Welcome to a city that is passionate about classical music!
Throughout the year, the musical offer has its epicenter in the city's three large auditoriums. The Gran Teatre del Liceu, one of the best opera houses in Europe, the Palau de la Música Catalana, an architectural jewel of Catalan modernism designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner — the only concert hall declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO —, and the Auditori, the most recently built and home to the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra (OBC), are a must-see for the best orchestras and conductors in the world. On the stages of Barcelona, you can enjoy soloists, sopranos, tenors, and internationally renowned ensembles month after month.
Music all year round and everywhere
These three temples of classical music host one of the most awaited events every year: the Barcelona Obertura Spring Festival. From March 6 to 30, Barcelona brings together big names of the national and international scene not only in these three auditoriums but also in multiple spaces scattered around the city such as the modernist Casa Batlló, the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, the Fundació Miró, the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, the MACBA, the casa SEAT and the civic centers of the different districts of Barcelona. Practically a whole month during which classical music becomes the catalyst for the cultural dynamism of the city.
And it's not the only big event of the year. If your passion is classical music, you can't miss the BCN classics, a series of concerts with internationally renowned artists; the Bachcelona festival, which fills the city with international performers specializing in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, or prestigious contests such as the Maria Canals piano competition or the Tenor Viñas opera, oratorio and Lied competition. All of them complete the calendar of unmissable events for any music lover. Barcelona even has its own Music Museum, a place full of surprises such as unique instruments, sound immersion, live music, and activities for all ages. Other major museums in the city also offer musical activities such as the Symphony immersive audiovisual experience at CaixaForum or the classical music and blues concerts at the European Museum of Modern Art-MEAM, so that classical music never stops playing in the city.
This close link between Barcelona and musical art can be felt in many other corners of the city. The Palau de la Balmesiana organizes dinners with opera, an authentic architectural, gastronomic and musical evening, and cycles of pocket opera that introduce new audiences to small gems of opera. The Casa Beethoven, a century-old store located in the heart of La Rambla, is a magical space full of sheet music, vinyl records, and instruments where the visitor loses track of time. The Boileau publishing house, inaugurated in 1939, also has an extensive catalog of sheet music, methods, and music books. And in the Palau de la Música shop, located in the modernist space of the Foyer, there is no shortage of objects related to music and decorative elements of the Palau. Even the names of many streets reflect the close ties of great geniuses of classical music with the city, such as Pau Casals Avenue or Enric Granados Street.
Barcelona and its artists
Speaking of names, did you know that Barcelona is the birthplace of great composers, artists, and performers related to classical music? Enric Granados and Isaac Albéniz, both composers and pianists, were part of the modern piano school and are great figures in the history of music. The Palauet Albéniz, located on the mountain of Montjuïc bears the name of this great musician as the city's recognition of his figure. Jordi Savall is one of the greatest viola da gamba players and orchestra conductors, as well as an honorary member of the Royal Philharmonic Society, one of the oldest and most prestigious musical entities in Europe. A distinction that was also awarded to the universal composer and cellist Pau Casals, closely linked to the city.
Barcelona is also the city of reference of great women in the history of classical music, like the soprano Montserrat Caballé, one of the best in the world in the second half of the 20th century, Conxita Badia, a pianist and soprano from Barcelona from the first half of the 20th century, highly admired by the leading musicians of her time, Isabel Güell, a pianist and composer and the daughter of Count Güell, Gaudí's patron, or Maria Canals, the great pianist who today gives her name to the Maria Canals International Music Competition, a contest that has brought to the city young pianists from all over the world for the last 66 years.
The city of Barcelona also has a great relationship with the work of Richard Wagner, one of the most important composers in history and a renovator of the operatic genre. Barcelona's passion for the German composer has its maximum expression in the Wagner Club. This club highlights the city's connection to Wagner and regularly organizes events and activities related to the composer.
As you can see, Barcelona has a great musical heritage. If you are passionate about classical music, here you will find an exceptional and varied offer. Every season, the city hosts a long list of concerts and musical performances so that the most soul-touching music is never missing.
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