The Setúbal Music Festival is a unique cultural phenomenon, now in its 9th edition, and continues to bring together internationally acclaimed guest artists, from Portugal and overseas, with the local community – again involving almost 1,500 young people – in making music and enriching the cultural life of this lovely city.
As always, our festival programme has been inspired and nourished by topical themes which are close to the heart of the people of Setúbal. Last year’s central idea of home, for which there are words for several different meanings in Portuguese (lugares, lar, em casa, raízes and origens are some), was variously present throughout the 2018 Festival and continues to find rich resonances in today’s world. Therefore, we have chosen to turn again to this all-embracing theme of home.
We open with the wonderful singer, Beatriz Nunes, and her jazz quartet, followed the next day by the renowned choral director, Paulo Lourenço, with his brilliant chamber choir from Lisbon’s Superior School of Music: like all of our visiting artists, they are committed to sharing their skills and their platforms with Setúbal’s local young people. We welcome back the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra in a programme of Gustav Mahler, joined by young string players from the Setúbal region and conducted by their maestrina Joana Carneiro. André Gaio Pereira, winner of the 2017 Premio Jovens Musicos, appears in two concerts, first as solo violinist and then as director of the Festival Camerata, which once a year brings some of Setúbal’s most gifted young professional musicians home again from elsewhere in Portugal and overseas to play together, delight us all and inspire future generations to follow in their footsteps.
Our socially inclusive and artistically adventurous Setúbal Youth Ensemble, now in its fifth year, is joined by several musicians from the UK, including the remarkable Clarence Adoo, paralysed in a road accident more than 20 years ago, trombonist John Kenny (complete with his carnyx – an ancient Celtic war-horn), trumpeter Torböjrn Hultmark and singer and composer Merit Ariane, all returning home as artists-in -residence and spreading their star-dust throughout the community.