The Symphony Orchestra of the Balearic Islands (OSIB) was founded in 1988, by means of a public entity known as “Fundació Pública de les Balears per la Música”, at the request of the Balearic Government, Ajuntament de Palma and Consell de Mallorca.

The history of the orchestra dates back to the 1940s, and its first conductor was Korean maestro Eaktay-Ahn. Nevertheless, the OSIB as we know it today performed its première concert season in September 1989, with Principal conductor and Artistic director Luís Remartínez, and soloist Teresa Berganza. Since then, title conductors have included Luís Remartínez (1989-1994), Philippe Bender (1994-1997) (2005-2009), Salvador Brotons (1997-2000) (2009-2013), Geoffrey Simon (2001-2002), Edmon Colomer (2002-2005), Josep Vicent (2013-2014), and Joji Hattori (2014-2018) as title Co-Director. Maestro Pablo Mielgo has been the OSIB’s Principal Conductor since 2014.

The OSIB performs its concert season at Auditorium de Palma, Teatre Principal de Palma, Trui Teatre and Auditori de Manacor; and it also offers extraordinary performances in Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera.

The OSIB regularly takes part in the opera seasons with Fundació Teatre Principal de Palma and “Amics de l’Òpera de Maó” (Menorca).

During the summer season, the OSIB carries out the festival “Estius Simfònics” with Bellver Castle as its main venue, and it collaborates with other festivals such as Pollença International Music Festival or Santanyí Music Festival.

The OSIB has performed in concert beyond the Balearic Islands, in places like San Sebastián, Bilbao, Santander, Valladolid, Burgos, Valencia, Zaragoza, Oviedo, the Auditorio Nacional and Teatro Real in Madrid and Palau de la Música in Barcelona, among others; as well as in Perpignan, Cannes, Prades, Zurich, Musikverein Vienna, Radio Hall France in Paris and at The Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room in Geneva.

In 2020, the OSIB was the first orchestra to go back on stage after Covid-19 lockdown. It is worth mentioning that the chamber groups formed by the orchestra’s musicians had performed a series of voluntary concerts under the title “Sonam per Tu” (We play for you), through the OSIB’s YouTube channel, during the pandemics.

The orchestra regularly participates in charity concerts for social projects, such as “Projecte Home Balears”, “Amics de la infancia” and Aspanob.

One of our main goals is to release the works of Balearic composers. An example of that is the première of Antoni Parera Fons’ opera, L’Arxiduc, with libretto by Carme Riera, member of the Real Academia Española.

Moreover, the OSIB develops a comprehensive educational programme, including school performances and family concerts.

The OSIB’s project “Petita Simfònica” started in 2017, and it gives children a chance to join the orchestra, playing along with their professors. Since 2016, Acadèmia OSIB functions as a project for young instrumentalists who study a superior degree, so that they can collaborate in the OSIB’s concerts.

Since 1989, the OSIB has accompanied renowned international solo acts such as Teresa Berganza, Alicia de Larrocha, Maurice André, Jean Pierre Rampal, Janos Starker, Misha Maisky, Ilona Tokody, Luis Claret, Salvatore Accardo, Renata Scotto, Pilar Jurado, Lola Casariego, Yelena Obraztsova, Maria de los Angeles, Juan Diego Flórez, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Vladimir Spivakov, Emmanuel Pahud, Khatia Buniatishvili, Giuliano Carmignola, Valentina Nafornita, Celso Albelo, Kiri Te Kanawa, Joaquín Achúcarro, María Bayo, Simón Orfila, Joan Pons, María José Montiel, Javier Perianes, Katia y Marielle Labèque, Johan Botha, Lisa Larsson, Francisco Fullana, Maria del Mar Bonet, Andrea Bocelli and Raphael, among others.

Guest conductors at the OSIB have included Odón Alonso, Arpad Joó, Rafael Nadal, Franz Paul Decker, Salvador Más, Antoni Ros-Marbá, Matthias Aeschbacher, Enrique García Asensio, Giuliano Carella, Krzysztof Penderecki and Víctor Pablo Pérez, among others.

Awards and recognitions:

– “Rotary Mallorca” Prize in Humanities 2010/2011.

– VI “Onda Cero Mallorca” Awards, Music category 2017.

– Honourable Mention from the “Fundació Projecte Jove Balears” 2019.

– Gold Medal of the Balearic Islands 2020 (the most important award from the autonomous Government).

The OSIB has a label which allows us to distribute our recordings across a number of music platforms, such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Google Play Music, among others.

Latest releases include: “Revolució”, with Symphony No.7 by Beethoven and The rite of Spring, by Tchaikovsky; Symphony No. 2 by G. Mahler, and works by Majorcan composers in “Mallorca Suite” by Baltasar Samper; and “Foners”, by Antoni Parera Fons.

Besides enjoying these recordings, through them the OSIB displays the talent and international scope of the Balearic Islands, and its institutions prove their firm commitment to support culture as an essential element for the future of the region.

The new headquarters of the OSIB are currently under construction. Once finished, Caixa de Música will be the first public building for an orchestra in Spain, with a strong collaboration of public and private funding, and will become an international reference for music hall spaces.


april, 2024

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