The career of Conjunto Ibérico, founded in 1989 by Elias Arizcuren and supported by Mstislav Rostropovich and Yo-Yo Ma, could be summarised as 13 CDs (2 in preparation) and over 65 first performances of works by today’s most notable composers. A.o. Xenakis, Nobre, Halffter, Pärt, Boulez, Donatoni, De Pablo, Bussotti, Denisov, Loevendie, Riley, Kagel and Glass dedicated works to Conjunto Ibérico, that also plays some 100 beautiful songs by all famous Spanish and South-American composers. The Cello Octet participated in concerts with Teresa Berganza, Bernarda Fink, with flamenco singer Carmen Linares and in dance productions with Conny Janssen’s Rotterdam dance company. It performed at prominent festivals in many European countries and in Asia, Israel, South-America, the United States and Canada.
Elias Arizcuren, Spanish-born conductor and cellist studied with Cassadó, Navarra and Sandor Végh. In 1969 he founded the Mendelssohn Trio, which now has an extensive discography. He published a video method of ‘cello technique’, several books on ‘cello history’ and a collection of works of the repertoire. He is often member of the jury in international competitions and gives master-classes. For years he was a professor of cello and chamber-music at the Conservatories of Amsterdam and Utrecht.
Mezzo-soprano Elena Gragera (Badajoz, Spain) studied in Madrid and The Hague Conservatory. In 1994 she achieved great succes in Moscow with “El amor Brujo” by de Falla and has recently won the acclaim of the Spanish music scene, thanks to the depth and genuineness with which she imbues her interpretations. Her discography includes: Songs on poems by Garcia Lorca (Mompou, Montsalvatge, Poulenc, Nin-Culmell, Ohana); Songs 1920-1930 by Joaquín Nin (Columna Música); Roberto Gerhard songs (Harmonia Mundi); the complete songs of Joaquín Nin-Culmell and Ernesto Halffter (both Columna Música); and most recently, her interpretation of the title role in Felip Pedrell’s opera La Celestina with the Orchestra Ciudad de Barcelona under the direction of Antoni Ros Marbá (Autor).