“...the Spanish composer with the greatest reach outside our borders” Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias

La Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias (OSPA) announced this month that composer-conductor Francisco Coll will be one of the orchestra’s artistic collaborators in a multi-season partnership, beginning with the 22/23 season. Their announcement describes Coll as “the Spanish composer with the greatest reach outside our borders”.

On 13 October they play Aqua Cinerea under the baton of artistic director Nuno Coelho, in a programme that also features the Three-piece Suite from Powder Her Face by Thomas Adès. On 8 June Coelho conducts Coll’s Hímnica; both concerts will take place at the Teatro Jovellanos in Gijón.

Aqua Cinerea will receive three performances from Coll champion Gustavo Gimeno in November at the Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, and will conduct it next March with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Toronto; Coll himself conducted the piece at the ICMA awards this year in Luxemburg.

Aqua Cinerea (2005) was written when Coll was 19 (before being later revised) for the Orquestra Filharmònica de la Universitat de València, in which Coll himself played the trombone. In the notes to Gustavo Gimeno’s 2021 recording Jesús Castañer says that “in its pages, spontaneously and intuitively, can be found his whole world in concentrated form, poured out raw onto the paper”. The 10-minute work is describes a restless, tempestuous orchestral landscape, with glittering flashes of percussion and woodwind punctuating its brooding forward movement.

August has seen other performances of Coll’s orchestral work, with Gustavo Gimeno conducted Coll’s Hímnica with the Concertgebouworkest Young in Amsterdam and Hamburg. Looking ahead, Coll’s Cello Concerto will premiere in Paris this November, with another longstanding collaborator Sol Gabetta. Coll himself conducts the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.