When someone listens to the music of Carles Magraner, what is perceived is not simply a succession of notes produced by the strokes of the bow on the strings of the viola da gamba, but rather sounds transformed into a chain of feelings and emotions. Much in the same way, his extensive professional career cannot be understood as a number of concerts and recordings, but as the story of much effort and the result of his love for music.
Carles Magraner was born in Almussafes (La Ribera Baixa. Valencia), where he began his musical studies, later completed in the conservatories of Valencia and Carcaixent, where he was awarded a degree as professor of cello. He soon became captivated by early music and specialised in baroque cello and viola da gamba, with studies in Barcelona, Madrid and the Department of Musique Ancienne the Conservatoire National de Région de Toulouse. Also attends seminars on medieval music, Renaissance and Baroque taught by Miquel Querol and Josep Miquel Bonastre, among others, completing his training in Iberian music of XI-XVIII centuries with numerous music seminars. Gets the Musical Creativity Award of the University of Valencia in years 88 and 89 and the Ministry of Culture of young performers. Carles Magraner is Master’s Degree in Early Music and Doctor en Música (PhD) from the Polytechnic University of Valencia.
In addition to his intense activity as a concert performer, both as a soloist and with various chamber ensembles, he has taught in diverse music academies and schools. Moreover his intervention with presentations and lectures in the University of Valencia, University of Alicante, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Universitat de Girona, in the College of Music in Stockholm, Shanghai Conservatory, School of Art in Havana and Mina Gerais (Brasil), International Congress Els mons de Vicente Martín y Soler, and participated in Peñíscola’s cours of early music, also as professor at Francisco Guerrero seminar taught at the International University of Andalusia, UNIA Huelva and in the course of the International University Menéndez Pelayo Barcelona, Centre Ernest Lluch, Lyon-2 and Sorbone Paris, and other conferences, and seminars. In 2004 he was awarded in his hometown with the civic prize. Since 2010 is a specialist teacher in early music at the Conservatory of Castellón. He also participated as an early music specialist in Peñíscola and Morella, in summer courses of the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo in Barcelona, and the Universidad Internacional de Andalucia among others. In year 2004 there is awarded the civic price of his natal locality Almussafes – Ribera Baixa. Has been specialized professor in Early Music at Conservatorio Superior de Castellón.
His long experience and knowledge of early music have led to a collaboration with the Orquesta Barroca de la Comunitat Valenciana and the Orquesta Barroca de Xátiva. Outside the province of Valencia, he collaborated with the Orquesta Barroca Española and received a grant from the University of Salamanca to form the Baroque Orchestra of the same university. Carles Magraner has also directed diverse instrumental and vocal ensembles, such as the Cor de la Generalitat Valenciana, the viola da gamba quartet Millennium, Acadèmia CdM and Orquesta Sinfónica de Alicante (ADDA). In the field of organization, he has been commissioner of the Festival Mare Nostrum of the Centro Cultural La Beneficencia de Valencia, artistic director of the international early music festival Música, Història i Art de Valencia, as well as of diverse early and baroque music festivals in the Valencia Region. In 2006, directs and coordinates the construction’s project of the instruments based on the twelve angel musicians from frescoes of the main altar of the Valencia’s Cathedral, offering a concert in acts of welcome from His Holiness the Pope to Valencia. Addition to this individual professional career, his most well-known side is his work as founder and director of the Valencian group of early and baroque misic Capella de Ministrers, with whom he has recorded numerous albums recognized such as Best Production Label awarded by the Ministry of Culture Award, Premio Importante from editiorial Prensa Valenciana, Gramophone awards, Goldberg, CDCompact, among others.
He has given numerous concerts in the most prestigious state and international festivals, among which include the Auditorio Nacional de Espña, Palau de la Música de Valencia, Palau de la Música Catalana, Auditorio de León, Teatro de La Maestranza, El Escorial, Centro Conde Duque, Auditorio de Castellón, Teatro Cervantes, Festival de Música Antiga de Barcelona, Madrid Cultural 1992 (with the recovery of the opera Los Elementos, Antonio Literes), Festival de Teatro Clásico de Almagro, Festival de Música Antigua y Barroca de Peñíscola, Festival de Peralada, Quincena Musical Donostiarra, Los Veranos de la Villa (Madrid), Festival Grec (Barcelona), Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada, Festival de Música Religiosa de Cuenca. Giving concerts and participating in the most important festivals in countries like France, Belgium, Romania, Portugal, Netherlands, Egypt, Italy, Germany, Morocco, England, Poland, Tunisia, Chile, Portugal, Greece, Argentina, Brazil, USA, Mexico, Finland, Austria, Cuba, Croatia, China, Algeria, Sweden , Norway … among them the Oude Muziek de Utrecht, La Chapelle de Lyon, the Tomás Luis de Victoria’s Requiem in the cathedral of Saint Patrick in New York, or the International Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam.
In May 2008 Capella de Ministrers participated in the inauguration of the “Casa de la Lengua Española en Rodas”, chaired by His Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain. The group took part in the same year in the official acts that took place in the Monastery of Santa Maria de Poblet to commemorate the 800th Anniversary of the birth of James I of Aragon. Its activity has gone beyond the strictly musical, making inroads into the performing arts in collaboration with the world of scenic arts, with directors such as Àlex Rigola, Juli Leal, Vicent Genovés, Jaume Martorell and Bigas Luna. With choreographers such as Santiago Sempere and Toni Aparisi, with artists such as Manolo Boix, Carmen Calvo, Eva Lootz, Isabel Muñoz or Flor Garduño, other disciplines such as the world-famous chef Ferran Adrià, and musicians from other musical styles such as Joan Enric Lluna or Miguel Marín.
Among the best performances in which the Capella has taken part, special mention should be made of their premiere of the stage version of the zarzuela la Madrileña by Vicente Martín y Soler, the first Spanish Sacred Oratorio, and the oldest version of the historical approach to the interpretation of drama in two parts for the Festivity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin of Elche. In the audio-visual field, his version of the Cant de la Sibil·la was included in the soundtrack of the Bigas Luna film Son de Mar, which launched a series of collaborations with the Catalonian director, such as the participation in the adaptation of the play Comedias bárbaras, for the II Biennale of Valencia.
Magraner has an usual collaboration with Maricarmen Gomez Muntané (UAB), Josemi Lorenzo and other musicologists and medievalists, allowing to investigate in the Spanish musical heritage with music examples recovery in times of Jaume I, Ausiàs March, Llibre Vermell, Borgia dynasty , Cancionero de Palacio and Cancionero del Duc de Calabria (Uppsala) … His musicological studies on the Valencian Baroque music served for editing early music discs on Valencia: Matthias Navarro, José Gil Perez, troubadours of the Crown of Aragon, Alfonso the Magnanimous, among others. He has published, along with David Antich, the critical edition of the zarzuela La Madrileña de Vicente Martín y Soler; and with Gersón Padilla, the medieval suite Els Viatges de Tirant lo Blanch for symphonic band. The activity of Capella de Ministrers, directed by Carles Magraner, is reflected in the more than 1500 concert offered since its inception in 1987 and its vast discography, welcomed all with great reviews from public and specialists, the excellent critics in the most prestigious specialised magazines, as well as national and international awards for institutions and professional journals.