City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Saturday, 30 November 2019



Saturday, 30 November 2019



City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Oval Hall | Sheffield City Hall

Jaume Santonja Espinós conductor
Oliver Janes clarinet
Nikolaj Henriques bassoon

BEETHOVEN Egmont: Overture 9’

STRAVINSKY Petrushka [1947] 34’


R STRAUSS Duet Concertino for clarinet and bassoon 19’

FALLA The Three Cornered Hat: Suite Nos 1 & 2 24’

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra join us in the Sheffield International Concert Season at Sheffield City Hall for an eclectic programme featuring two incredible woodwind soloists to perform Strauss’ ‘Duet Concertino’. Richard Strauss’s graphic Duet Concertino for clarinet, bassoon and orchestra was the composer’s final instrumental work. Its first movement is dominated by the solo clarinet representing a dancing princess, the second by a bassoon signifying a cavorting bear. Finally the princess dances with the bear and it becomes a prince.

This concert also includes two seminal ballet scores adapted or specially written for the great choreographer Sergei Diaghilev. Falla’s vibrant The Three Cornered Hat is full of colour and the influence of Spanish dance. Stravinsky’s pulsating Petrushka comes with carousels, concertinas, dancers and popular songs. It ends with the eerie appearance of the puppet Petrushka’s ghost. The talented Jaume Santonja Espinós also conducts Beethoven’s dramatic and stirring Egmont Overture.

View the rest of the Classical Music Concerts in the Sheffield International Concert Season>

Meet the Conductor...Jaume Santonja Espinós!

Ahead of this special CBSO concert, we caught up with rising conducting star Jaume Santonja Espinós as he tells us about the programme, his background and more!

  1. Are you from a musical family?

 Not at all. No one from my close family did ever make music and even less professionally. In other had I come from a region in Spain (Valencia) where music is a big part of society, especially in small villages. Wind and percussion amateur bands are very present and popular music is used at every event happening. Apparently I got attracted to music and percussion in particular since a very early age (3 years) and I was always massively supported by family both as an amateur at the beginning and further on when decided to of music my way of leaving. 


  1. Do you have a favorite work you like to conduct? Why this choice?

 Right now I couldn’t mention one. I am still at that early stage as a conductor when I haven’t conducted most of the repertoire yet. And how wonderful that is! So much to discover / or re-discover (one thinks to know a piece that has played many times, but getting to deep on it from a conductor's perspective is completely something else).  Our work is to be crazy in love with any work we have at our table. 


  1. Do you play any other instruments? Does this skill help you with conducting?

 I’ve been always very curious and active, and have played with the idea of learning…. Almost every instrument!. But can’t say that I really play (at least decently) any more instrument that percussion (which means lots of instruments actually). I can bring sounds out of keyboards, guitars, trombone, tuba and especially trumpet (an instrument I really love and like to play now and then for my own). 

I really think being a percussionist does help me to conduct, and not for the ‘rhythm’ as many of the people would think, but technically speaking, the basics of conducting are very much as playing percussion on the air (or I do feel like it). I remember having many facilities to understand and execute all the technicals/beating aspects at conduct ting class at the beginning. Having said so, I think conducting is way more complex than beating. 


  1. This is a very diverse program you have chosen, can you tell us how and why you put it together?

Most of the time the confection of a program is a negotiation with more than one side, and the orchestra schedule is also a crucial thing to consider. This concert in Sheffield is very close to my debut on the subscription season in Birmingham with the CBSO and there we had a very interesting program where Falla’s Ballet Suites was one of the main works, and one that I was very much looking to do with them.

Then, the orchestra has been working the last days on Petrushka, another of the great Ballets created for Diaghilev. That was a great opportunity to have these two masterworks in one evening centered on Ballet music. The concert opens with Beethoven’s overture from the Incidental music to Egmont and features also two of the young stars of the CBSO: Oliver and Nikolai, principal Clarinet and Bassoon, acting as soloists for the ‘Duet Concertino’ from Strauss. A great work to show the audience the incredible level of Strauss’ musicianship.

  1. Have you ever visited Sheffield City Hall before?

If I remember well, I did perform at Sheffield’s City Hall with the CBSO during my trial period as percussionist here. It was a concert with Andris Nelsons and we had also some Strauss music on the program. Very happy to be here now at the podium of the CBSO. Who would have said it back then! 

  1. Tell us why you’re looking forward to this special ‘on tour’ CBSO concert in Sheffield.

I have been going on tour with the orchestra for the last year and a half, and it is always a great experience. It is a big honor and responsibility to be in front of the CBSO for this fantastic program. I hope everyone enjoys it.