TOUR SINFÓNICO. Audición guiada del Concierto The American TV Suite
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Un día antes del tradicional concierto de la Orquesta Ciudad de Alcalá sobre música de cine (en este caso, series de TV), tendrá lugar una audición guiada en el Centro Sociocultural Gilitos, un aperitivo ideal para el que quiera saber más sobre un concierto que es ya cita obligada en ALCINE.
There is no doubt that American TV has influenced, educated and been the trailblazer for this art form. This entertainment revolution turned the general public into the audience of TV shows in the comfort of their own homes. This piece is a tribute to a select number of very popular American TV shows, which became a blueprint for the development of the industry.
‘The American TV Suite’ is an orchestral arrangement comprising thirteen themes presented in chronological order. After a pompous and energetic introduction, the first theme is a classic from 1951, ‘I Love Lucy’. This TV show is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential in the history of television series. It was the first show to present a cast of actors, led by Lucille Ball, her husband in real life, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance and William Frawley. The theme is related to the music in vogue at that time, ‘Big Band Music’, in classical Hollywood style.
The second theme is from the series ‘Little House on the Prairie’, based on the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, about the life of a family in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, in the western United States. This TV show was on air for eight years from 1974 to 1982.
The third theme of this suite is the music from a 1978 soap opera, ‘Dallas’, which told the story of a wealthy and feudal Texan family, the Ewings, the owners of an oil company, Ewing Oil, and the Southfork ranch.
Next up is the theme from the series ‘Cheers’, which was one of the most popular TV shows on American television, on air for eleven year from 1982 to 1993. All the action takes place in a bar in Boston, Massachusetts, called Cheers, frequented by a group of residents from the local area who meet there to drink, relax and socialise. The refrain of the song, co-written and interpreted by Gary Portnoy, is the famous “Where everybody knows your name”.
Then we will hear the theme from the iconic TV show, ‘Friends’, which was on air for ten years, considered one of the most popular and successful TV series ever and nominated for sixty Emmys. The last episode, aired on the 6th of May 2004, was watched by around 52.5 million Americans, which makes it the fifth most watched series in the history of television, and the episode with the largest audience in the decade of the 2000s.
‘Band of Brothers’ was a 2001 HBO miniseries produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. The series is a dramatization of the story of the ‘Easy Company’, 2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. It moves from training jumps in the United States, through participation in major combat in Europe, to the capitulation of Japan and the end of the Second World War. This pompous and more traditional orchestral theme was composed by Michael Kamen.
‘Lost’ is a drama originally broadcast by the television channel ABC from the 22nd of September 2004 to the 23rd of May 2010, in a little over six seasons, with a total of 121 episodes. The TV show has a supernatural and science fiction side, based as it is on the story of the survivors of an airline accident of a commercial jet flying from Sydney to Los Angeles, after the plane crashes on a mysterious island somewhere in the southern Pacific Ocean. The music’s composer, Michael Giaccino, has won several Oscars.
The next theme in this suite is from the series broadcast by the Starz channel in 2014, ‘Outlander’. It is a drama based on the book of the same name by the author Diana Gabaldon. It starred Caitriona Balfe in the role of Claire Randall, a married woman who is a nurse in the Second World War and is transported through time from 1946 to the Scotland of 1743. There she meets the handsome highland warrior Jamie Fraser during the Jacobite Rising. Its composer is Bear McCreary who uses a traditional Scottish song as the theme for his orchestration.
The series ‘Narcos’ is a 2015 American drama, which was made and filmed in Colombia. Seasons one and two are based on the story of the drug lord, Pablo Escobar, famous for building an empire through the production and distribution of cocaine. The series also presents his relationship with various heads of drug cartels, DEA agents and other enemies of his illicit business. The singer songwriter of the opening theme to this series is the Brazilian Rodrigo Amarante.
‘Stranger Things’ is a science fiction horror series created by the Duffer brothers and released in 2016. The action takes place in the fictional village of Hawkins, Indiana. In November 1983, during its first season, it was about the disappearance of a boy with a backdrop of supernatural events occurring in the village, including the appearance of a girl with psychokinetic powers, who helps the lost boy’s friends look for him.
‘Westworld’ is a 2016 series. Its music was composed by Ramin Djawadi. It is the story of what happened in Westworld, a fictional, technologically advanced wild west themed amusement park populated by android ’hosts’. The park caters to high-paying ‘guests’ who may indulge their wildest fantasies within the park without fear of retaliation from the hosts, who are prevented by their programming from harming humans
Another TV show scored by Djawadi was a hit from 2011 to 2019. ‘Game of Thrones’ takes place in the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos. The series, with various plotlines and a huge cast, has attracted a countless number of adoring TV fans the world over.
The last theme in this suite is from the animated series ‘The Simpsons’. Although not exactly the last series to be launched in chronological order, ‘Los Simpson’ brings this suite to a close as the longest to remain on air in the history of television. Since its premiere on 17 December 1989, 662 episodes have been broadcast. The show takes place in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies US culture, television and the human condition. This, the most complex piece in the suite, was flawlessly composed by Danny Elfman.
‘A young musical promise’ – La Vanguardia (Barcelona)
Nico Gutiérrez is a composer and director of symphonic-choral music, film and videogames. He began his musical studies at the age of six and has composed since he was twelve.
His compositions have been premiered and recorded professionally by members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra of Bogotá, Fort Worth Youth Orchestra, Texas Christian University (TCU) Concert Chorale, TCU Symphony Orchestra, and the Texas Boys Choir. His works have been played and well received in many different countries including the US, Mexico, Colombia, Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, China and Japan. In the Summer of 2014, Nico was invited to be the composer in residence at the Barcelona Festival of Song in order to premiere his song book, ‘Nostalgias del Abuelo’ (‘Nostalgia for Grandfather’). In March 2018, he was invited by the Fox Foundation in Guanajuato, Mexico to conduct the youth orchestra playing his music in a concert for the former President, Vicente Fox Quesada.
As a musician, Nico grew up playing the piano and the cello, and conducting orchestras and singing as a professional boy soprano. For several years he was a member of the famous Texas Boys Choir, and the winner of a GRAMMY©. He was the soprano soloist of that choir until his graduation from High School (at the age of 18, somewhat unusual in the history of the choir), and made several professional recordings and went on tour around the country. On tour with the choir, Nico sung as the soloist in some of the most celebrated concert halls in the United States including Carnegie Hall. His love of writing music for film led him to work for Hollywood composers such as Mark Isham, Jake Monaco and Heather McIntosh on films and TV series such as ‘Duck, Duck, Goose’ (with Zendaya), ‘Dumplin’ (with Jennifer Aniston), and ‘One Dollar’ (CBS All Access).
Nico obtained a Bachelor of Music in Composition from the Texas Christian University in 2015 and a Master in Music for Film and Videogames in 2017 from Columbia College, Chicago. He now lives in Los Angeles, California.
The CITY OF ALCALÁ ORCHESTRA
The Symphony Orchestra was presented to the city in 1996 when the Town Hall of Alcalá de Henares ruled on the adoption of its current name of City of Alcalá Orchestra. Since then, the increasingly motivated and involved musicians, the tireless work of its director and founder Vicente Ariño, who has guided its growth and consolidation, participating teachers and support from the City of Alcalá Orchestra Foundation, mean the orchestra now has close to seventy musicians, has given more than three hundred concerts, in Alcalá and all over Spain, and has been involved in artistic-cultural exchanges with other music groups from Spain and abroad: Mannheim (Germany, 1998), Talence (France, 2000), Varna (Bulgaria, 2003), New York (US, 2004), Paris (2005), Porto (2007), Mannheim and Heidelberg (Germany, 2007) Paris and Bordeaux (France, 2009) and Rome (2017).
In November 2012, it represented Spain at the XII International Festival of Music of the State Conservatory in St. Petersburg on the occasion of the celebration of its 150th anniversary, alongside orchestras from some of the most important conservatories in the world, and was the only group to give two recitals in the legendary Glazunov room of the conservatory and in Smolny Cathedral.
It also has a chamber group that has a programme of educational concerts every year for school children in cooperation with other institutions and identities, and performs at various festivals and seasons, as part of a European programme, in Lithuania, Turkey and Poland. Since October 2004, it has also had a youth and children’s section directed by Iñaki Urbina with stable programming, and some of its members recently joined the symphonic section, which is one of its goals.
The orchestra has a stable annual program under the agreement with the Town Hall of Alcalá de Henares. On 30 December 2005, it was presented at the National Auditorium in Madrid as part of the events celebrating the IV centenary of the publication of Don Quixote, and returned there for performances in June 2011, and March 2015, to celebrate the X anniversary of the youth and children’s section at which a chorus of 450 children from all over the Madrid region joined the symphonic section on stage.
Over a career spanning 30 years, Ariño has performed as a pianist and chamber musician at the Concert Hall of Shanghai, the Mirato Miral Hall of Yokohama, the George Enescu Room in Bucharest, invited by the UNESCO, the Villa Louvigny Auditorium in Luxembourg, and the Emmanuel Hall in San Francisco, as well as in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, the United Kingdom, Portugal, France, Italy, Holland, South Korea, China, Japan, the US, Canada and various African countries. He has recorded Enoch Arden Op. 38 by Richard Strauss for the first time in its entirety in Spanish, as well as the Doce Danzas Españolas by Granados.
As a conductor, he is regularly invited to conduct the national orchestras of different countries, and theatre orchestras in Asia, Africa, Europe and America.
He is a tenured professor of chamber music of the Corps of Music Professors and Stage Arts at the Alcalá de Henares conservatory.
He has devoted 23 years of his 30 year plus professional career to consolidating and expanding the musical project developed by the City of Alcalá Orchestra Foundation in its three sections: symphony, chamber and youth/children’s. And he promoted the creation of the City of Alcalá Orchestra Foundation to help carry it all out.