Gramophone presents: Music, art and culture in Brazil

Julian Halse Thu 12th February 2015

A cultural tour to São Paulo and Iguazú

Gramophone, in association with Master Travel, invites you to join fellow classical music enthusiasts and keen explorers on a journey of a lifetime to Brazil. You will visit one of the largest and best known orchestras in South America, the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, and meet with conductors, composers and performers and experience an evening performance. You will also be able to discover the very best in art and culture that São Paulo has to offer, and to explore the spectacular Iguazú Falls.


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The itinerary will include:

  • A private tour of the impressive Sala São Paulo, one of the most stunning concert halls in the world. It is located in the fully restored and renovated Julio Prestes Cultural Centre, formerly a railway station that was key to bringing coffee into the city. It is a perfect shoe-box shape, clad in a beautiful pale Brazilian wood, has a capacity of 1500 and contains 22 balconies at mezzanine and first floor levels between huge Corinthian pillars. Here we will learn all about the symphony orchestra, as well as hear about the history and design of the building.
  • One of the tour highlights: a private meeting with Marin Alsop, Principal Conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra. During the meeting, you will get a chance to talk to Marin about her career and ambitions for the Orchestra, as well as have a private introduction to the work that will be receiving its South American debut the following evening, Anna Clyne’s violin concerto, The Seamstress.
  • A concert by the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop of music by Giovanni Gabrieli  (two Canzóns), Anna Clyne’s violin concerto, The Seamstress (with violinist Jennifer Koh) and Holst’s The Planets. This is a programme that will show off the range of the orchestra, and showcase Alsop’s committed championing of new music. Holst's ever popular suite, whose journey from powerful themes to its concluding wordless chorus will offer a wonderful opportunity to experience the stunning acoustic of the Sala São Paulo hall.
  • A guided city tour, which will take in historic downtown, the financial centre of Paulista Avenue, Neighbourhood of Liberdade (home of the largest Japanese community outside of Japan), and Ibirapuera Park, one of South America’s largest city parks, which houses museums and a music hall. We will also visit the São Paulo Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art.
  • A food tour of São Paulo that will sample the delights of Brazil’s culinary culture. We will explore the famous Municipal Market or Mercadão, one of the city’s most traditional gourmet markets, whilst learning about the gastronomic secrets of some of Brazil’s favourite dishes. 
  • A half-day architectural tour, where we will learn about the range of building styles, from colonial Portuguese buildings to art nouveau and modernist structures, including the Edifício Eiffel (Eiffel Building) and the Unique Hotel.
  • A guided tour of the Municipal Theatre of São Paulo, which is regarded as one of the landmarks of the city, both for its architectural value and its historical importance. It was the venue that housed the Week of Modern Art in 1922 which revolutionised the arts in Brazil. The São Paulo Municipal Symphonic Orchestra, the Coral Lirico (Lyric Choir) and the City Ballet of São Paulo are all located within the building.
  • A visit to a coffee farm, where we will be able to observe the whole process of coffee production, explore the plantation, visit the museum, explore the history of the Brazilian coffee trade, and enjoy a traditional countryside lunch in their restaurant.
  • A visit to the stunning Iguazú Falls, one of the great wonders of the world, and a sight not to be missed when visiting Brazil. The Falls are taller than and twice as wide as Niagara Falls, they are truly a breath-taking sight. We will explore the Brazilian and Argentina Falls, navigating the many walkways that offer breath-taking close-up views of the Falls and the spectacular surrounding scenery.


    You will be accompanied throughout the tour by James Jolly, Gramophone’s Editor-in-Chief. James was editor of Gramophone from 1990 to 2005. He organises and hosts the annual Gramophone Classical Music Awards and is a regular contributor to the magazine. He also leads the newly-launched EFG Gramophone Conversations At Foyles, where leading musicians discuss their lives and works. He is a regular voice on BBC Radio 3, and one of the presenters of ‘Sunday Morning’, three hours of music each week.

    ‘I travelled to São Paulo a couple of years ago for the first concerts of Marin Alsop's tenure at the helm of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra: it was an unforgettable experience. The city itself – absolutely enormous – has a buzz about it that is infectious: it has a slightly Californian feel but with the vibrancy and energy of a huge Latin American city.’ 

    ‘The venue where the orchestra rehearses and performs is one of the most striking buildings I've visited, a former train station with a magnificent concert hall, decked out in pale Brazilian wood, at its heart. And not only does it look good, but it sounds great too. The architecture of São Paulo is worth a pilgrimage in its own right, with a huge range of styles and influences. And the art galleries and museums also demand taking time out to visit. The central market, too, is a must – offering a fantastic array of local fruits, the like of which we simply never encounter in Europe.’ 

    ‘Our tour will allow plenty of time to explore the city, its food, its culture and its music – the concert contains a South American première of a new violin concerto by Anna Clyne as well as a work that Marin Alsop does very well, Holst's ever-popular The Planets.’ 

    - James Jolly, Editor-in-Chief, Gramophone

     

    To find out more, call 020 7501 6741 or visit www.mastertravel.co.uk

    Exclusive discounts are available to Gramophone Club members.

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