Two of the competing categories can be voted by the public until December 31
Cistermúsica – Alcobaça Music Festival and Gravíssimo! – Low Brass International Academy and Festival, organized by the Alcobaça Band/Alcobaça Music Academy in partnership with the Municipality of Alcobaça, are part of the list of nominees for the 4th edition of the Iberian Festival Awards, unveiled this week. The Iberian Festival Awards aim to distinguish the best festivals that take place in Portugal and Spain, and are inserted in the Talkfest - 8th International Forum of Music Festivals, events promoted by the Portuguese Association of Music Festivals that will take place next March, in Vigo and Lisbon, respectively.
Cistermúsica and Gravíssimo! festivals were nominated for 3 of the 22 categories in the competition and are a unique case in the Iberian panorama, since there is no other entity, at least outside the logic of the big festivals, with two festivals included in this competition, both being carried out in a medium-sized city of Portugal: Alcobaça (although Cistermúsica presents a part of the programming in other counties of the country through networks of cultural cooperation that have been established over the last years).
Cistermúsica seeks recognition on two fronts: Best Small Festival and Best Cultural Program. In the first category, it stands out as one of the few classical music festivals in the competition and, within this range, is perhaps the most eclectic one (it is not by chance that the theme of the 2018 edition was "Music Without Borders"), once that the program includes all sorts of ensembles, from recitals to great symphonic orchestras, including vocal groups and chamber music that annually present works from all periods of the history of music. Also the multidisciplinarity of its programming sections, developed by Junior and Families (dedicated to training and didactic activities) and OFF (which includes other artistic domains and musical genres besides classical music, as was the case of contemporary dance, jazz, cinema, inclusive theater, among others, in 2018), makes it a strong candidate for the second category mentioned above, which will be decided by a jury.
In turn, Gravíssimo!, the only serious low brass academy and festival that takes place in our country and which is already an international reference, seeks to obtain recognition as Best Academic Festival, a category in which it distinguishes itself from the other candidates by combining training with a music festival dimension. The vote for the 13 categories decided by the public, as well the aforementioned Best Small Festival and Best Academic Festival, are already available on the Talkfest website and run until 31 December. The winners will be announced on March 13 at a gala at Teatro Afundación in Vigo, where Alcobaça festivals seek once again recognition for their work of excellence.
It should be noted that both Cistermúsica and Gravíssimo! have received international recognition in recent years, particularly with the award EFFE "Remarkable Festival" by the European Festivals Association and the European Union in two consecutive biennia (2015-2016 and 2018-2019). Both festivals have a strong link with heritage, programming most of its activities at the Monastery of Alcobaça (World Heritage) and among other artistic goals are the valuing of young national and international values. In 2018, both Cistermúsica (26th edition) and Gravíssimo! (8th edition) gathered once again the best critics as were a public success with many of its concerts and other parallel activities sold out.