SPANISH BRASS

Carlos Benetó and Juanjo Serna, Trumpets; Manuel Pérez, French Horn; Inda Bonet, Trombone; Sergio Finca, Tuba

February 20 and 21, 2023

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With a thirty-two year trajectory in the world of chamber music, SPANISH BRASS (www.spanishbrass.com) is one of the most dynamic and sought-after brass groups on the international musical stage.

Founded in 1989 by five Spanish musicians as an innovative project that quickly gained world renown for performances, educational activities and creative collaborations, Spanish Brass won the First Prize in the 1996 Narbonne (France) International Brass Quintet Competition, the most prestigious event of its kind in the world. Trumpeter Bernard Soustrot said, “Of all the First Prize winners of the Narbonne Competition, the Spanish Brass is the best since the competition was founded in 1986.” In 2017 the group received the I Bankia Music Talent Award in Spain, for the most influential musical artists, and in 2019 they received the Espai Ter de Música Award. They have also been honored with three Carles Santos Awards for their CDs XXX and Mira si hem corregut terres… (2019) and Les Aventures de Monsieur Jules (2020). In 2020 they received the Spanish National Music Award.

SPANISH BRASS has given hundreds of concerts across the globe, in such prestigious events and venues as the Great American Brass Band Festival; the New York Brass Conference; the Juilliard School of Music, the National Gallery in Washington, DC; Festival de Musique de Radio-France; Granada International Festival; Lucerne Festival; Cheju Summer Festival (Korea); Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival (Germany); National Auditorium (Madrid); Palau de la Música (Barcelona); Kalavrita Festival (Greece); International Horn Society, Merano Brass Festival and Trento Philharmonic (Italy); Barcelona Auditorium; Festival de Inverno de Brasília, and countless others.

SPANISH BRASS has been in the forefront of international music education, giving courses and master-classes with the Spanish National Youth Orchestra, the Youth Orchestras of Catalonia, Valencia, Andalucía and Madrid, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Trumpet Lounge (Japan), the Showa School for Performing Arts (Japan), Lieksa Brass Week (Finland), the Eastman School of Music, University of Georgia, Venezuelan Youth Orchestra, Dartington International Summer School (England), International Winter Music Festival of Brasilia (Brazil), Ibero-American Cultural Festival (Puerto Rico), etc. SPANISH BRASS also runs two major brass festivals in Spain: the SBALZ Festival in Alzira (www.sbalz.com) and Brassurround (www.brassurround.com). They currently teach at the Berklee College of Music campus in Valencia and at the Universidad Europea in Madrid.

A sampling of their international accolades includes: “They are one of the world´s finest brass quintets ranking up there with Empire Brass, Canadian Brass and American Brass” (Greg Alley); “One of the most exciting and artistic brass quintets to come on the scene in recent years … a gloriously brilliant performance” (International Trumpet Guild Journal); “They play with amazing cohesion, and set the highest standard for brass chamber music” (Maurice André, trumpeter); and “I cannot think of a better brass quintet in the whole world” (Christian Lindberg, trombonist).

They have recorded 29 CDs, including the double CD “The Best of Spanish Brass,” a disc of Christmas music, and “Puro de Oliva,” with flamenco-jazz pianist Chano Domínguez.

INDIVIDUAL BIOS:

 Carlos Benetó:

Born in Castelló, Valencia in 1969, Carlos began his musical training at the Lira Castellonense Music Society’s Music School in Vilanova de Castelló, Valencia. He graduated from Madrid’s Royal Conservatory of Music, where he studied with José María Ortí.

In 1988 he joined the Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the Spanish National Youth Orchestra, of which he was a member until 1992. He was trumpet player of the City of Granada Orchestra as well as being one of its founding members.

A founding member of SPANISH BRASS, Carlos enjoys cooking, reading  and watching movies with his family. He has an 18-year-old son.

Juanjo Serna:

Juanjo was born in Albuixec, Valencia in 1970. He trained with José Ortí at Madrid’s Royal Advanced Music Conservatory, where he received the advanced level Honor Award. He regularly performs with such symphony ensembles as the Spanish National Orchestra, the Spanish Radio and Television Orchestra, the Madrid Symphony Orchestra, and the Euskadi (Basque), Canarias and Cadaqués Symphony Orchestras. He was Principal Trumpet of the City of Granada Orchestra.

A founding member of SPANISH BRASS, Juanjo loves football, especially the matches of the Levante Team. He also likes to listen to salsa and jazz, and is a specialist in jazz music. He has a 15-year-old son.

Inda Bonet:

Born in Vila-real, Castellón in 1971, Inda began his musical training with his father. He continued his training at the Valencia Advanced Music Conservatory, where he won the Honor Awards at the elementary, intermediate and advanced levels Conservatory. He then went to study in Paris at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique, where he won First Prize. Inda was Principal Trombone of the Spanish National Orchestra from 1993 to 1998. He sat on the juries of the International Chamber Music Competition of Lyon, France in 2005 and the Philip Jones de Guebwiller International Competition, also in France, in both 2005 and 2007.

A founding member of SPANISH BRASS, Inda lives in the mountains with his wife and his three children, ages 18, 13 and 8, and various animals.

Manuel Pérez:

Manolo was born in 1971 and began his musical studies at the age of eight at school in his home town of Guadassuar, Valencia. His studies were concluded at the Joaquin Rodrigo Higher Conservatory of Music in Valencia under the tutelage of Joaquin Vidal, Encara Grau and Jose Rosell, where he was awarded the Prize of Honor at the completion of his studies. From 1990 to 1993 he perfected his technique under Daniel Bourgue at the Conservatoire National de Région in Versailles (France), where he won the First Prize and Gold Medal. Manolo was a member of the Spanish National Youth Orchestra and performed with the City of Granada Orchestra, Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra, Madrid Symphony Orchestra, National Orchestra of Spain, among others. From 1989 to 1998 he taught at the professional conservatories of Cáceres, Gijón and Albacete.

A founding member of SPANISH BRASS, Manolo has two sons, ages 13 and 10.

 Sergio Finca:

Born in 1979, Sergio comes from Pola de Siero, a small town in northern Spain. He began his musical studies at the age of eleven and later studied at the Conservatory of Music in Oviedo, Spain and in France at the Conservatoire National de Région in Perpignan and Bordeaux, where he was awarded the city’s Medal of Honor. He earned the Superior Diploma from the National Higher Music Conservatory in Lyon with a mention “Très Bien a l’Unanimité” in a competition between that school and the Paris Conservatory.

Sergio won First Prize at the Brno (Czech Republic) Competition and the Young Performers Competition of Spain. He was also a prize winner at the International Competition of Sydney, Australia. His outstanding performance at the National Auditorium in Madrid was broadcast on Spanish TV. He has taught in France and given masterclasses across Europe.

Sergio often plays with major orchestras in Spain and France. He was Principal Tuba of the Lyon National Opera Orchestra and has worked under such conductors as Zubin Mehta, James Levine, Bernard Haitink, Yuri Temirkanov, Jesús López Cobos, Paavo Jarvi and Ivan Fischer.

The youngest (and newest) member of SPANISH BRASS, Sergio joined the group in 2006. He is a gourmet and enjoys fine dining and gardening. Sergio has a 4-year-old son.

 

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