Friday 27th November 2015 saw the realisation of ILAMS' first-ever collaboration with the National Gallery in London. A full house was in attendance at the Gallery's Barry Rooms to hear our concert 'Music in the Time of Goya', specially-curated by pianist and Artistic Director of ILAMS, Helen Glaisher-Hernández, in tandem with the Gallery's new blockbuster exhibition Goya: The Portraits.
Described in the press as 'the exhibition of the decade', Goya: The Portraits, which runs until January 2016, presents 70 of the artist’s most outstanding works from public and private collections around the world, including paintings, drawings, and miniatures never-before-seen in London.
Amidst the full-length, 18th-century portraits of Room 36, whose imposing subjects (including Queen Charlotte and Mrs Oswald) wryly observed the event as if to take their place amongst the spectators, this proved to be an authentically magical evening of sumptuous Spanish music inspired by Goya's era, staged in the very same spectacular space used by Myra Hess for her historic war-time concerts.
Alongside a vivacious line-up of young musicians (Amaia Azcona, Cressida Wislocki, Eduardo Frías, Elena Jáuregui, Evva Mizerska, Helen Glaisher-Hernández, Isabel María Martínez and Violeta Barrena) special guest flamenco dancer, choreographer and percussionist, the inimitable Nina Corti, gave an incendiary performance of Valledor's Mambrú quedó difunto, a selection of Granados' Tonadillas and, of course, Boccherini's famousFandango.
'Music in the Time of Goya' stands as one of the most beautiful events ever organised by ILAMS since the inception of our Society in 1997, something which was attested by two standing ovations from the public. Fred Murray, an ILAMS member who attended the event, said that he 'wanted it to go on all night!'
Our deepest thanks go to Accion Cultural Española and the Fundación Píu Mosso for supporting the event, and, of course, to The National Gallery, for inviting us to share our music culture in this majestic space.
ILAMS will shortly be publishing a selection of photographs and video clips taken at the concert, to be posted here and on our social media channels. Watch this space!
Image by Alan Barnes