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A year of celebration with an eye to the future

The year of 2022 marks the commemoration of 30 years of Metropolitana, an unique institution in Portugal, which combines the artistic component, with a professional orchestra, and the pedagogical component, with three schools, from beginners to university level. In these times of distance and alienation, Metropolitana wants to be ” more and more close to the Portuguese”.

An ambitious and inclusive programme, with new challenges and artistic intersections, a new image and graphic identity, a more modern and intuitive website, the launch of a commemorative book, the expansion of ANSO, with the strengthening of internationalisation and the cycle of post-graduate studies and also new institutional partnerships mark the year in which Metropolitana celebrates its 30th anniversary and in which it seeks to extend its area of influence in Portuguese society.

The commemorative programme of the thirtieth anniversary, which began with the New Year’s Concert and will take us to 10th of July, Metropolitana’s Day, with a full programme at CCB, has one main goal: “we want to be increasingly closer to the people”, explains maestro Pedro Neves, Metropolitana’s artistic director.

“There’s no point in denying it. It’s a very important and special year for us, because of the celebrations of Metropolitana’s 30th anniversary. It is a time to rejoice, to reflect on our past and on the work of the institution and, with it, to project the future, always with our public in mind”, explains the musician, who took up his new duties a year ago.

Pedro Neves, also a product of Metropolitana’ s formation, reinforces the idea. “For us it is very important to instil in people this habit of consuming art, and especially music. Our objective is to be close to people through music, to gather, to help more people learn to like this universal language that is music, which does not live isolated from other artistic manifestations”.

The conductor highlights the “30 years cycle” because “this is the season of celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra”. This cycle was programmed to “accompany the self-reflection that a date like this imposes”. “This cycle will include guests who are connected in some way to the orchestra and to the institution”. “Beyond the musical aspect, which is already very attractive, there is also an emotional and affective aspect that touches us a lot”.

The cycle opened in September with the presence of Mário Laginha and Pedro Burmester, two old friends of Metropolitana.

But Metropolitana is not only about concerts and professional music. Hundreds of students of all ages pass by the institution’s headquarters, by the Tagus, in Alcântara, every day. In the air one breathes music. Always music. “That’s why I call it the “Metropolitan universe”. For its complexity so inspiring”, notes Miguel Honrado, executive director, who two years ago succeeded António Mega Ferreira in the position.

“Of course, the Milky Way is Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, but there are so many other galaxies to discover, which make this an unique universe”, says the executive director. And he adds: “the pedagogic one, for example, which is in great expansion, with a renewed Metropolitan Conservatory and the National Academy of Advanced Orchestral Studies (ANSO) offering, as of this year, a new cycle of post-graduate studies in orchestral performance”.

Miguel Honrado also highlights “the recent adhesion of ANSO to the Erasmus + programme, which will be a decisive motor for its internationalisation”, and which will allow Metropolitana to be a revolving door for Portuguese students from other European countries, who study here or in other similar universities and institutes. To create mixed master degrees, with other European institutions, is one of the future objectives of the pedagogical direction of Metropolitana, led by Professor Yan Mikirtumov.

With his eyes on the future, Miguel Honrado is already winking at that special day – July 10th, the so-called “Metropolitana Day”. It will be a day entirely dedicated to this passionate universe in which we will invite all the “compagnons de route” of these three decades to be present, and to reflect with us on the next 30 years, amongst a wide variety of concerts, activities and proposals”.