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The history of UPC's Orchestra


The Orquestra de la Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya was founded in 2000 by Lluís Carné i Miguélez, with the support from the university extension vice chancellor Helio Piñón. From the beginning the creation of the Orchestra was conceived as a complement to the already existing choirs that were part of the UPC: Coral Arquitectura and Coral del Campus de Terrassa. The opening concert took place on 21 March 2000 to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the foundation of the School of Architecture of Barcelona (ETSAB). Mozart, Telemann, Brahms and Charpentier were part of the concerts repertoire. The Orchestra consisted of 16 students and professors from the UPC and four professional backup musicians.

One of the main features of the Orchestra from its beginning is the fact that most of its components are members of the university community (students, professors, administration personnel and alumni), although the doors have never been closed to people from other universities. Due to this fact, the number of components is highly variable from one year to another, and in some occasions, the lack of musicians of a section might force an adaptation of the repertoire. More than thirty musicians are currently part of the UPC Orchestra.

From its beginning there has been a really close collaboration with the different university choirs (specially with Coral Arquitectura) and almost all concerts are performed jointly.

The repertoire is diverse with pieces of all styles:

  • J. S. Bach: cantatas 50, 140 i 147; concert for two violins and orchestra.
  • W. A. Mozart: Spätzen-Messe, Krönungs-Messe, Concert for piano and orchestra num. 23, massonic cantatas, fragments from Idomeneo and the Requiem.
  • G. F. Händel: fragments from The messiah and Judes Macabeu, Coronation Anthems, Fireworks suite.
  • Vivaldi: Gloria, concert for two flutes and orchestra.
  • Michael Haydn: Requiem (1st audition in the Iberian peninsula)
  • Joseph Haydn: brief masses, Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze and some symphonies.
  • F. Mendelssohn: A mid summer night's dream.
  • C. W. Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice.
  • L. van Beethoven: Chorfantasie and other small symphonic-choir pieces.
  • D. Shostakovich: Small suite for Orchestra.
  • J. Brahms: Academic overture, Variations on a theme by Haydn.
  • J. Rutter: Magnificat
  • Opera excerpts from Verdi, Donizetti, Rossini, Mascagni, Puccini or Offenbach.
  • Catalan composers like Amadeu Vives, Armando Blanquer, Enric Morera, Cristòfor Taltabull, Joaquim Cassadó, Manuel Blanch or Miquel Querol. 

Apart from participating in university academic events (honoris causa, congress openings, opening ceremonies...) the Orchestra has also played in many concert halls around Barcelona and also abroad: Mallorca, Zarautz, Sant Sebastian, Sanxenxo, Ponteareas, Algemesí, Maó, Ciutadella, Madrid, Saragossa, Osca, Avinyó, Paris and Wien.