ELISENDA FÁBREGAS

Photographer: Quim Roser

Spanish/American composer Elisenda Fábregas (b. 1955, Terrassa, Catalonia) just finished her 1 year residency (2023-2024) as a composer at the Palau de la Musica Catalana (Barcelona). Four new compositions were commissioned and premiered at the Palau along with other of her compositions in seven concerts throughout this season at the Palau.  Elisenda settled in Catalunya in early 2022 after living and working in South Korea and the USA. In Seoul she was a Visiting Professor of music and cultural studies at Kyung-Hee University Humanitas College (Global Campus). Elisenda holds doctorates from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in music composition (DMA, 2011), and from Columbia University Teachers College in education (Ed.D. 1992); she also received a Masters and Bachelors in piano performance from The Juilliard School (1982-83). She was a Post-Doctoral Fulbright scholar in the USA.  Before studying and living in the US, she  completed the highest studies as a pianist in Barcelona. During her early career, Elisenda performed as a pianist throughout Europe and the US, including a Carnegie Recital Hall debut in New York City in 1983. These experiences and training as a performer ultimately propelled her towards musical composition. She has written compositions for symphonic orchestra, wind ensemble, large mixed ensemble, triple concerto (piano, vln, vlc), cello concerto, choir with string quartet, choir with orchestra, a cappella choir, percussion ensemble, chamber music (piano quintet, quartets, trios and duos, some incl. guitar), song cycles with piano (incl. soprano, mezzo, tenor, baritone); solo instrumental (violin, cello, flute, harp), and solo piano works. Elisenda’s compositions have been the subjects of doctoral thesis in North America, South Korea and Spanish universities. In 2000, Elisenda received the Shepherd Distinguished Composer of the Year Award from the Music Teachers National Association in Washington D.C. for her piano work Portraits I.  Recordings of Elisenda’s compositions have been released on Naxos, Bridge Records, Haenssler (Profil Edition), Albany Records, Centaur Records, Mundo Arts, Odradek, lBS classical and NCA Classical Adventure Records; and her music is published by Hofmeister MusikVerlag (Leipzig, Germany), Alphonse Leduc & Cie. (Paris.), and Hidden Oaks Music Co.

UPCOMING & RECENT

PERFORMANCES & NEWS

Upcoming and recent Performances & Recording projects

*Co-commissioned by Cuarteto Casals and the Palau de la Musica Catalana to write a string quartet for the groups’ 2025-26 concert season.  With the title of “Fiery earth‘, the new string quartet will be part of the Cuarteto Casals program titled Anthropocene.  More details later on the premiere venue but some concerts are already scheduled for 2026 in Europe.

*Commissioned by Canadian pianist Jaeden Izik-Dzurko to write a Piano Concerto which he will premiere during the 2026-27 season at the Palau de la Musica Catalana.  This commission is possible in part with a Fellowship from the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fund. More details later as to the premiere date.

* National Flute Convention in San Antonio, TX – August 1, 2024 – Sonata for flute and piano (1995) will be performed on August 1, 16:30, at the National Flute Convention in San Antonio by flutist Ingrid McDuffee and pianist Yujung Um.  The performance will take place during the program titled ‘Flauta Mundi: Global Voices of the Flute‘ on August 1-4, 2024. Location: Henry B. González Convention Center 900 E Market St San Antonio, TX 78205-2654.

*Merkin Hall – Cantori New York 40th anniversary season – May 10, 2025 – The Flaming rock for SATB choir and string quartet will be performed by Cantori New York at Merkin Hall.

*Elisenda was the Resident Composer for the 2023-24 season at the Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona. She was awarded four commissions from the Palau to write Symphonic, Choral and Chamber music works. In addition, six of her other works (Symphonic, Choral, Chamber and solo piano) were performed at the Palau.  Elisenda will also give a conference at the Hivernacle of the Palau on ‘Sound, music and quantum physics‘ on April 2, 2024. In occasion of her work with the Palau, Elisenda was featured on the cover of September’s RMC (Revista Musical Catalana No.380), along with an extended interview conducted by Albert Torrens, the director of the magazine.

2024 CONCERTS & PREMIERES AT THE PALAU DE LA MUSICA in Barcelona:

  1. Premiere of Oda a la fortalesa (Ode to fortitude) for symphony orchestra, women’s choir and soprano and mezzo was premiered on April 6, 2024, by the Sinfonica del Valles, Carmina Choir, Laura Brasó, soprano, Mariona Llobera, contralt, conducted by Andres Salado, at the Palau Concert Hall. This Oda preceded Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 ‘Choral’. An additional performance took place on April 7 at the Palau. This work was set to text in Catalan  written by the composer.
  2. Premiere of Quintet for piano and strings, on April 8, with pianist Jaeden Izik-Dzurko and the Atenea QuartetYoutuBe Video Premiere April 8, 2024.
  3. Premiere of a new version of Bonna Domna set to Occitan language was premiered on April 28, 2024, by the Cor de Cambra del Orfeo Catala conducted by Júlia Sesé. Bonna domna is a new a cappella work based on the 2001 version of Bonna Domna (English text) commissioned by the Dale Warland Singers. This new version of the same title (Bonna Domna) was set to the Occitan (old Provençal) language.
  4. Chamber music concert from existing works of Elisenda’s catalogue by the Trio Pedrell including “Image” from Portraits (clarinet, violin cello & piano); Ancient Walls for violin; Wandering Spirit for violin & piano; and Masks for Cello, Clarinet and Piano at the Palau de la Musica on February 29, 2024.
  5. Premiere of Elisenda’s new arrangement of the Nadala “La pastora Caterina” written for the Cor Mitjans i Petits de l’Orfeó Català and string quartet (Cosmos String quartet) at the Palau de la Musica Catralana on December 26, 2023. This concert was nationally televised Concert de San Esteve’.

*Catalan cellist Roger Morelló Ross performed Danses de la terra (2020)  throughout Europe during the 2023-24 season as part of a solo cello concert titled La veu de Casals. This is also the title of his 2023 CD, which included works connected with cellist Pau Casals and Catalunya. The CD was released in April 2023 on IBS Classical. Danses de la terra was originally premiered at Palau Güell in Barcelona on October 28, 2021.  Although not literally based on traditional Catalan music, this work is inspired by the composer’s childhood memories of Catalonian dances and folk music. As a Catalan living outside Catalonia since 1978, the author recreates a Catalan sound world of melodic and rhythmic folk idioms tinged with emotions from her childhood. This work consists of four dances: I. Ball d’entrada (Opening dance); II. Ball ceremonial de purificació (Ceremonial dance of purification); III. Dansa de rondalla amorosa (Dance of amorous tale; IV. Records de sardana (Memories of sardana). For a full list of concerts featuring Danses de la terra performed by Roger Morelló Ros go to Concerts.

*Duo of cellist Roger Morelló Ros and pianist Anna Khomichkho performed Uphill: from Clara to Robert for cello & piano (2021) in their European tour during 2023-24. This work was written for and dedicated to the the duo.  Uphill was inspired by a 16th century poem of Pedro Padilla, and also inspired by Clara’s feelings over her caring of Robert and the interruption of her composing activities. For a full list of concerts featuring Uphill: from Clara to Robert performed by Roger Morelló Ros and Anna Khomichkho go to Concerts.

* ‘Somnis radiants (Radiant dreams)‘ for piano was performed at L’Auditori by Canadian pianist Jaeden Izik-Dzurko on February 17, 2024,  for whom this work was written for and dedicated to. Jaeden premiered this work on June 8, 2023, at the prestigious Ruhr Klavier-Festival in Essen, Germany, the Spanish premiere on June 14, 2023, at the Auditorio Nacional de Musica de Madrid, Sala de Cámara, and at the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona on August 30). Subsequently, he performed this work on September 22, 2023, at the Santa Catalina Classics in Las Palmas (Spain); September 25, 2023, at the Festival de Musica Española de Leon; October 21, 2023, at Templo de la Compañía de Jesús Oratorio de San Felipe Neri , Guanajuato Festival Internacional Cervantino (Mexico); November 7, 2023, at Auditori del Centre Social, Dénia, Sociedad de Conciertos L’esperança Coronada (Alicante); November 10, 2023, at Festival Pianino, Valldemossa (Mallorca); Teatro Municipal ‘Baltazar Dias”, Funchal Madeira Festival, Portugal; November 15, XXI Festival de Piano Rafael Orozco, Conservatorio de Musica”Rafael Orozco, Cordoba;  November 19 at Münchner Künstlerhaus, Munich. The score of ‘Somnis radiants’ can be purchased on pdf or  print.

On February 3, 2024, Accents Catalans for symphony orchestra was performed by the Sinfonica del Valles conducted by Anna Sulkowska-Migon at the Palau de la Musica Catalana alongside Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony.

On March 8, 2024, Sophie Justine Herr offered a concert of solo cello works for the release of her CD :INSIDE, including Danses de la terra.

On March 9, 2024, Gacelas de amor for mezzo, flute and piano was performed in Helsinki, Finland, by Katajanokan muusikot ry at the Balderin sali.

On January 20, 2024, Cristian Torres, violin, and Jordi Humet, piano (both members of the Trio Pedrell) performed Wandering spirit for violin & piano at Auditori de Terrassa.

On March 11, 2023, Jaeden Izik-Dzurko performed the Catalan premiere of Image (a movement from Portraits) at Jardi dels Tarongers (Casa bartomeu) (Barcelona)This concert was sponsored by the Maria Canals Piano Competition. Jaeden also performed Image on February 17, at Teatro Villamarta (Jerez de la Frontera).  Jaeden is the first prize winner of the 2022 Paloma O’Shea Santander Piano Competition and the 2022 Maria Canals Int. Piano Competition) where he performed two movements of Portraits at the Festival de Musica Isaac Albeniz 2022 on August 7, 2022, at the Monestir de San Pere in Camprodon.  Video of round II of Maria Canals Competition performance.

Five Songs based on poems by F. Garcia Lorca (1986) for soprano and piano was performed at Festival Musika-Música de Bilbao, in Palacio Euskaldunafestival on March 4, 2023, by soprano Naroa Intxausti and pianist Aurelio Viribay in a recital dedicated to songs based on poetry by Federico García Lorca.

Parlen les dones (Women speak) (2023) for mezzo, SATB choir and chamber orchestra, commissioned by El Cor Canta, was premiered by mezzo-soprano Marta Infante, el Cor Canta, and Orchestra de Cambra Terrassa 48,  on March 5, 2023, at  L’Auditori de Barcelona (Sala Pau Casals), and on March 11 at the Auditori Municipal Enric Granados of Lerida (Catalunya). Parlen les dones is based on four poems by Catalan author Montserrat Abelló.  El Cor Canta is  a group that consists of 150 amateur singers that work with various professional chamber orchestras and soloists, conducted by Elisenda Carrasco and Eva Martínez.

Aires Catalans (2023), is a new work commissioned by and dedicated to the  Orquestra de Cambra Terrassa 48, based on Catalan traditional songs.  It was premiered on April 23, 2023, at Auditori Municipal de Terrassa in a concert homage to Catalan poet Maria Merce Marçal titled ‘Cau de Llunes‘. Further performances are planned.

Amalia Tortajada, flute and Andrea González, guitar, performed Goyescas for flute and guitar at the MNAA Auditorio (Museu nacional de Arte Antica) in Lisboa (Portugal) on December 13, 2022. It was streamed live on Antena 2 RTP de Portugal.  Goyescas was presented as part of in their first album  ‘SERENATAS’  at the Serenades Festival – Centre Cultural Nau, Institut Valencia, University of Valencia (Spain) on June 29, 2022. The program titled Women and Art and Goyescas for flute and guitar was a premiere in Spain. Both performers joined forces in this very personal project, giving life to IDENTIDADE, an inspiring project that, in addition to promoting music written and performed by women, has the purpose of promoting and giving value to the work of women from different cultures in various artistic fields. IDENTIDADE included four premieres of works by composers Gabriela Ortiz (Mexico), Clarice Assad (Brazil), Elisenda Fábregas (Spain) and Johanny Navarro (Puerto Rico). More information on the concertListen to the recording.

A recording of Sonata for flute and piano (1995) (published by Alphonse Leduc Cie.), was made by Singapore based Spanish flutist Roberto Alvarez and Ukranian pianist Kseniia Vokhmianina and released on the Odradek label on June 3, 2022.  The CD titled “The Whirlwind Within”, was promoted  in The Whirlwind Tour, with performances in Europe, among them in Madrid (June 3 and  7), at the International Festival in Deiá (Mallorca on June 9 and 10), Zurich (June 12), and Montesilvano (Italia) (June 15).  In this challenging Sonata, the piano is an equal partner with the flute, and Roberto and Kseniia both exhibit a “superlative musicianship and extraordinary technical mastery.” I am very excited about this recording! Review of the concert at the Esplanade (Singapore) on May 15, 2022.

The Agrupació Cultural Folklòrica Barcelona in collaboration with Músics per la Cobla commissioned a new work for the Memorial Joaquim Serra 2022. The new work titled Castell de Miravet for cobla and percussion will celebrate the hundred years aniversary of Agrupació Cultural Folklòrica Barcelona on Novembre 21, 2022, 19:00, at the “Teatre del Casino de la Aliança del Poble Nou” in Barcelona. The new composition will be premiered by Cobla Sant Jordi- ciutat de Barcelona, conducted by Marcel Sabaté. Castell de Miravet was recorded on June 28, 2022. (Cobla is a Catalan traditional wind ensemble composed of 11 players.)

Dos Colores Andaluces (arr. for cello solo for Roger Morello Ros). Morelló premiered this work on March 4, 2022, at Kulturkirche Ost in Cologne;  later on May 11 was performed at Ufa Fabrik Berlin with the Babylon orchestra and a recording on May 13 and 15.

Accents Catalans (2016) received its Spanish/Catalonian premiere in two performances by the San Cugat Symphonic Orchestra under the direction of Salvador Brotons on March 11, 20:00, at Teatre-Auditori of Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona; and on March 20, 19:00, at Teatre La Massa, Vilassar de Dalt, Barcelona. The concert  included Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 1 and a work by Chaminade.

Accents Catalans for orchestra (2016) recently received its USA premiere by the Florida Orchestra under the direction of Stuart Malina in a performance dedicated to the music of Spain: February 23, 2022, at Ruth Eckerd Hall; Clearwater, FL USA.

The West Coast Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Elise Chong recently performed the Australian premiere of Accents Catalans for orchestra on October 9 at 7:3 pm at Winthrop Hall, UWA. This work was premiered by the Bucheon Philharmonic and maestro Youngmin Park in April of 2016 at the Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall. The program was:

   CHABRIER | España
   TORROBA | Sonatina with guest artist Melissa Fitzgerald
   BIZET | Carmen Suite No. 1, and Mvts. 7 & 9 from Suite No. 2
   FÁBREGAS | Accents Catalans *Australian Premiere*
   RAVEL | Rapsodie Espagnole
   DE FALLA | “Final Dance” from The Three-Cornered

“Masks” for clarinet, cello & piano (2019/21) was performed at the Toledo Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series at the Peristyle on October 3, 2021, by Amy Chang, cello Georg Klaas, and clarinet Frances Renzi, piano. The concert included also works by Grażyna Bacewicz, Yvonne Desportes; Haruka Fujii; and Kala Ramnath. Video of performance.

Masks for cla, vlc, pno (2019/21) was performed ‘live’ at Thomas Piercy “Tokyo to New York” Celebration on September 12, 5 PM, at Scorca Hall, National Opera Center, 330 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10001. The concert included many international composers!

Duende for solo cello is originally one of the pieces from the collection Colores Andaluces for cello & piano. Duende was arranged for solo cello for Roger Morello Ross who premiered it at the opening concert of the chamber concert series commemorating the centenary of the Association of Concerts of Reus. Duende was performed again by Roger Morelló: on September 17, 2021, at Stiftung Florinskirche in Koblenz (Germany); on August 7, 2021, at Sant Pere de Belltall, Belltall (Tarragona, Spain) during the celebration of ‘la Festa de l’All‘; on October 11, 2020, at BasilikaMusik St. Aposteln Köln in Cologne; and on October 16 at the ‘Opening Concert of the Chamber Music Series that commemorates de Association of Concerts in Reus’, Tarragona (Spain).

A newly edited version of ‘Masks for clarinet, cello & piano‘ had the Catalonian premiere on April 23 and 24 in Tarragona, Spain, at a beautiful modernist church Esglesia del Sagrat Cor de Vistabella within the concert series titled Primavera Musical a Vistabella (Musical Spring in Vistabella); and in Creixells, Casal Municipal. Performers included Roger Morello Ros, cello; Oriol Estivill, clarinet; and Dani Ruiz Hurtado, piano.

Imitacio del foc for tenor and piano was released on Bridge Records  with tenor Jess Muñoz, tenor, and pianist Oksana Glouchko on an album entitled, Visca L’Amor: Catalan Art Songs of the XX and XXI Centuries. The album is having a very good reception See Gramophone review. The Album is now available worldwide on all major platforms including ITunes, Amazon and Spotify. I am very proud and honored to be in the company of such highly regarded Catalan composers such as Frederick Mompou, Eduard Toldrà, Ricard Lamote de Grignon, Narcis Bonet, and Joan Comellas.  And especially Frederick Mompou, whom I personally met and whose music I adore. Listen to some samples of the music.  Imitació del Foc is based on poetry by Mallorquin poet Bartomeu Rosselló-Pòrcel (1913-1938). It includes four poems: I. Inici de campana (Quadern de sonets); II.Escolto la secreta… (from Imitacio del Foc, ‘Arbre de Flames’); III. Pluja brodada (Imitacio del foc, ‘Fira encesa’); and IV. Ardent himne (Imitacio del foc, ‘Arbre de Flames’).

Masks for clarinet, cello & piano (2019), commissioned by the IonSound Project Ensemble, was recorded in August 2020 by the same group.  Masks for clarinet, cello and piano” received its New York City premiere on February 11, 2020, as part of the Random Access Music (RAM) Concert Series.

Pianist Becky Billock recorded Mirage for piano in a CD title Mother Earth that included works inspired by nature by Amy Beach, Marion Bauer, Henry Cowell, Edvard Grieg, Karen Tanaka, Bonnie McLarty, Elisenda Fabregas, Patrick Burke, Germaine Tailleferre, Robert Schultz, Katherine Hoover, Gwyneth Walker, and Kaja Bjørntvedt. More program details.  Becky performed Mirage in her Pacific Northwest tour  and also in Iceland and Norway.

On October 18, 2020,  violinist Victoria Kaunzner performed and recorded Ancient Walls for solo violin and Wandering spirit for violin & piano in Valencia (Spain). She also performed these works in Berlin on October 11, 2020.

On December 28, 2019, Homenatge a Pau Casals for cello solo was performed by Roger Morelló Ross at the 143rd Concert of the the Anniversary of the Birth of Pau Casals at the Museum Pau Casals, El Vendrell (Tarragona).  Morelló will also performed Homenatge a Pau Casals in Cologne (Klangraum-Kunigunde, January 26, 2020), in Vienna (St. Peters Kirche, February 3,4 , 2020), and in Berlin (Nikodemus Kulturkirche, February 23). He also performed Homenatge a Pau Casals for solo cello at the famed Gaudi building Casa Mila (La Pedrera) in Barcelona on March 17, 2019. Roger Morello Ros was a Resident Artist 2018/19 at Casa Mila in Barcelona). He has performed throughout Europe in festivals such as Musethica International Chamber Music Festival Berlin 2018, Aurora Winter Classic Festival 2016 in Sweden and Echo Festival 2016 in Italy, and in concert halls like Philarmonie Berlin, Pau Casals Auditorium and Josep Carreras Auditorium, among others. He is the winner of top competitions and has studied at Cologne University of Music (Germany). This October he will do his debut at Palau de la Música Catalana (Barcelona).

National Flute Convention, San Antonio, TX – Sonata for flute & piano. August 1, 2024

Ingrid McDuffee, flute; Yujung Um, piano August 1, 2024. Flauta…

Accents Catalans for orchestra at the Palau, Simfónica del Vallés with Sułkowska-Migon, February 3, 2024

https://www.palaumusica.cat/es/la-pastoral-de-beethoven_1128…

Jaeden Izik-Dzurko, piano, ‘Somnis radiants’ at L’Auditori de Barcelona, February 17, 2024.

https://www.auditori.cat/ca/esdeveniment/emergents-jaeden-iz…

Recordings