Robert Trevino and the Basque National Orchestra Focus on Basque Female Composers

Robert Trevino and the Basque National Orchestra Focus on Basque Female Composers

Robert Trevino's tenure as Music Director of the Basque National Orchestra continues with a special focus on two female Basque composers. The selected composers, Maria Eugenia Luc and Maria Luisa Ozaita are, says Trevino, just the first two in an ongoing initiative that will see female Basque composers performed across future seasons.

The performances are part of the Musikaste Festival in the Basque Country that closes out this month, with Trevino himself conducting. And he sees the pair as something of a study in contrasts, in terms of their locus to Basque culture. "Maria Luis Ozaita, who sadly passed away quite recently, focussed very much on the Basque culture in her music, and involving that in her pieces, using folk tunes and indigenous rhythms," says Trevino, "Whereas Maria Eugenia Luc is more of an 'absolute music' type of composer, musically speaking."

The project, adds Trevino, is an important one to the orchestra. "We want to support the female composers of the Basque Country - in tandem with male composers of course - we want all great Basque music and artists to be heard, and to have equal opportunities to be heard."

Ozaita was already in the sights of the Basque National Orchestra when he arrived as the new Music Director, says Trevino, while Maria Eugenia Luc was a composer whose music he personally discovered when searching through lots of scores for Basque composers he wanted to present. "She is a composer who is very curious to combine orchestral colours in unique ways, which I find a fascinating perspective and aesthetic. It has been a great process; she has been at rehearsals and collaborating with us and in the editing process of her score."

Plans for future years? "The orchestra and I plan to continue as we look at our seasons in future years, and even in a more aggressive way to support the female composers of this region. The Basque National Orchestra is determined to project its cultural identity and that of the Basque Country into the world, and we need to be playing the Basque composers of our time. So those composers need our support, on an equal footing."

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