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REVIEWS

“They are one of the world's finest brass quintets ranking up there with Empire Brass, Canadian Brass and American Brass.” —Greg Alley, New York Brass Conference 

“Spanish Brass has earned an international reputation for the quality of its playing, reaching across boundaries of geography and style . . . Their enthusiasm, and their commitment to their musical cause, made them the best kind of ambassadors.” —Louisville Courier Journal

“There was a real air of anticipation as the large audience streamed into the Campus Center Auditorium . . . Spanish Brass did not disappoint . . . energetic, precise . . . keeping the tension just right and never losing that tightness and drive.” —International Trumpet Guild Journal

“Of all the 1st Prize winners of the Narbonne Competition, Spanish Brass is the best since the competition was founded in 1986.” —Bernard Soustrot

“Spanish Brass worked their magic from the opening chords.” —The Brass Gazette

“Spanish Brass was every bit as thrilling, entertaining and memorable as I recall hearing the famed Canadian Brass for the first time in the late 1970s . . . amazing feats of musicianship . . . Spanish Brass dazzled us with daunting passages fearlessly flown across the stage, brilliant color, and comedic moments that endeared each one of them to their audience.”  —Sarasota Herald Tribune


BIOGRAPHY

SPANISH BRASS was created in 1989 by five Spanish musicians as an innovative ensemble that quickly gained world renown for its performances, educational activities and creative collaborations. After they won the First Prize in the 1996 Narbonne (France) International Brass Quintet Competition, the most prestigious event of its kind in the world, trumpeter Bernard Soustrot said, "Of all the First Prize winners of the Narbonne Competition, the Spanish Brass is the best since the competition was founded in 1986. 

Spanish Brass has given hundreds of concerts across the globe, in such prestigious events and venues as the Great American Brass Band Festival; the New York Brass Conference; the Juilliard School of Music, the National Gallery in Washington, DC; Festival de Musique de Radio-France; Granada International Festival; Lucerne Festival; Cheju Summer Festival (Korea); Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival (Germany); National Auditorium (Madrid); Palau de la Música (Barcelona); Kalavrita Festival (Greece); International Horn Society, Merano Brass Festival and Trento Philharmonic (Italy); Barcelona Auditorium; Festival de Inverno de Brasília, and countless others. 

Exciting and artistic . . . a gloriously brilliant performance.
— International Trumpet Guild Journal

Spanish Brass has been in the forefront of international music education, giving courses and master-classes with the Spanish National Youth Orchestra. the Youth Orchestras of Catalonia, Valencia, Andalucía and Madrid, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Trumpet Lounge (Japan), the Showa School for Performing Arts (Japan), Lieksa Brass Week (Finland), the Eastman School of Music, University of Georgia, Venezuelan Youth Orchestra, Dartington International Summer School(England), International Winter Music Festival of Brasilia (Brazil), Ibero-American Cultural Festival (Puerto Rico), etc. In 2017 they received the I Bankia Music Talent Award in Spain, for the most influential musical artists.

Spanish Brass also runs two major brass festivals in Spain: SBALZ Festival in Alzira (www.sbalz.com) and Brassurround (www.brassurround.com).

A sampling of their international accolades includes: “They are one of the world´s finest brass quintets ranking up there with Empire Brass, Canadian Brass and American Brass” (Greg Alley); “One of the most exciting and artistic brass quintets to come on the scene in recent years … a gloriously brilliant performance” (International Trumpet Guild Journal); “They play with amazing cohesion, and set the highest standard for brass chamber music” (Maurice André, trumpeter); and “I cannot think of a better brass quintet in the whole world” (Christian Lindberg, trombonist).  

I was astounded by their virtuosity . . . they play with amazing cohesion, and set the highest standard.
— Maurice André

Among the most sought-after brass ensembles on American and international stages, SPANISH BRASS stands out in many ways, not least by featuring the passionate, Flamenco-flavored music of their native Spain alongside Dixieland, Baroque, Christmas, Latin-American and favorite brass standards. Their dazzling virtuosity and intimate, light-hearted audience rapport make each concert an unforgettable experience. 

SPANISH BRASS has given hundreds of concerts and masterclasses in such prestigious venues as the New York Brass Conference, Chicago Brass Festival, Juilliard, the National Gallery, and in nearly every musical capital in Europe, Asia and South America. 

Their discography includes 21 CDs, the most recent being a CD-DVD set of their educational program, “Brass Brass Brass.” 


INDIVIDUAL BIOS

Carlos Benetó: 

Born in Villanueva de Castellón, Valencia in 1969, Carlos began his musical training at the Lira Castellonense Music Society's Music School in Vilanova de Castelló, Valencia. He graduated from Madrid's Royal Conservatory of Music, where he studied with José María Ortí. In 1988 he joined the Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the Spanish National Youth Orchestra, of which he was a member until 1992. He was a trumpet player with the City of Granada Orchestra, as well as being one of its founding members. 

A founding member of Spanish Brass, Carlos enjoys cooking, readingand watching movies with his family. He has a 13 year old son. 

 

Juanjo Serna: 

Juanjo was born in Albuixec, Valencia in 1970. He trained with José Ortí at Madrid's Royal Advanced Music Conservatory, where he received the advanced level Honor Award. He regularly performs with such symphony ensembles as the Spanish National Orchestra, the Spanish Radio and Television Orchestra, the Madrid Symphony Orchestra, and the Euskadi (Basque), Canarias and Cadaqués Symphony Orchestras. He was Principal Trumpet of the City of Granada Orchestra. 

A founding member of Spanish Brass, Juanjo loves football, especially the matches of the Levante Team. He also likes to listen to salsa and jazz, and is a specialist in jazz. He has a 10 year old son. 

 

Inda Bonet: 

Born in Vila-real, Castellón in 1971, Inda began his musical training with his father. He continued his training at the Valencia Advanced Music Conservatory, where he won the Honor Awards at the elementary, intermediate and advanced levels Conservatory. He then went to study in Paris at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique, where he won First Prize. Inda was Principal Trombone of the Spanish National Orchestra from 1993 to 1998. He sat on the juries of the International Chamber Music Competition of Lyon, France in 2005 and the Philip Jones de Guebwiller International Competition, also in France, in both 2005 and 2007. 

A founding member of Spanish Brass, Inda lives in the mountains with his wife and his three children, ages 13, 8 and 5, and various animals. 

 

Manuel Pérez: 

Manolo was born in 1971 and began musical studies at the age of eight in his home town of Guadassuar, Valencia. His studies were concluded at the Joaquin Rodrigo Higher Conservatory of Music in Valencia, where he was awarded the Prize of Honor upon the completion of his studies. From 1990 to 1993 he perfected his technique under Daniel Bourgue at the Conservatoire National de Région in Versailles (France), where he won the First Prize and Gold Medal. Manolo was a member of the Spanish National Youth Orchestra and performed with the City of Granada Orchestra, Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra, Madrid Symphony Orchestra, National Orchestra of Spain, among others. From 1989 to 1998 he taught at the professional conservatories of Cáceres, Gijón and Albacete. 

A founding member of Spanish Brass, Manolo has two sons, ages 8 and 5. 

 

Sergio Finca: 

Born in 1979, Sergio comes from Pola de Siero, a small town in northern Spain. He began musical studies at the age of eleven and later studied at the Conservatory of Music in Oviedo, Spain and in France at the Conservatoire National de Région in Perpignan and Bordeaux, where he was awarded the city’s Medal of Honor. He earned the Superior Diploma from the National Higher Music Conservatory in Lyon with a mention "Très Bien a l'Unanimité" in a competition between that school and the Paris Conservatory. 

Sergio won First Prize at the Brno (Czech Republic) Competition and the Young Performers Competition of Spain and was a prize winner at the International Competition of Sydney, Australia. His outstanding performance at the National Auditorium in Madrid was broadcast on Spanish TV. Sergio was Principal Tuba of the Lyon National Opera Orchestra and has worked under such conductors as Zubin Mehta, James Levine, Bernard Haitink, Yuri Temirkanov, Jesús López Cobos, Paavo Jarvi and Ivan Fischer. 

The youngest (and newest) member of Spanish Brass, Sergio joined the group in 2006. He is a gourmet and enjoys fine dining and gardening.  


Spanish Brass has earned an international reputation for the quality of its playing, reaching across boundaries of geography and style . . . Their enthusiasm, and their commitment to their musical cause, made them the best kind of ambassadors.
— Louisville Courier Journal

 PRAISE FROM PRESENTERS

"Spectacular.  SPECTACULAR.  One of our top 5 concerts ever.  Those guys had the audience in a state of nirvana from the start.  Really nice guys, Carlos is great talking with the audience—they jumped out to the reception immediately to meet, greet and sign CDs.  We had one of the biggest audiences we've had in a long time, too. 

Thanks for everything—as usual, stellar group, but this was truly extraordinary."

—Paul Nitsch, Friends of Music, Charlotte, NC

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Thank you so much for bringing Spanish Brass to our series!  They're phenomenal (!!!) - and . . . an absolute joy to work with - perfect gentlemen with beautiful spirits! . . . I would be happy to tell anyone that they're exceptional artists who also have the unique gift of being outstanding entertainers.  Our patrons were absolutely ecstatic for them and we had huge numbers asking when Spanish Brass were coming back. I can't wait to have them back in a few seasons with a fiery Latin program." 

—Kelly Garrison, Da Camera Society, Los Angeles

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“The Spanish Brass concert was packed and rapturously received.  And many in the audience seemed to be newcomers to our series, always a plus.

In addition to the warm response of the audience, we sold many more CDs than usual!"

—Marietta von Bernuth, Chamber Music Society of Utica 

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"We couldn't be happier with both the concert and residency by Spanish Brass.  They far surpassed our expectations for their concert performance and for being so caring with our students . . . the audience loved each piece, applauding much longer and louder than at other similar concerts we have sponsored. I could tell the audience was in love with them. I am sure we will have them back again!" 

—Don Sparhawk, coordinator, Center Stage at Brigham Young University-Idaho.  

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"The residency with Spanish Brass was a fantastic success! They really did great work with our students and were so generous with their time. The students will be excited an motivated for weeks to come as a result of this event." 

—Dr. Bryce L. Mecham, Brigham Young University–Idaho 

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"Last evening was a wonderful concert.  It was one of the best attended in three seasons.  The Spanish Brass presented a brilliant program encompassing music of so many genres and styles.  Our audience was entranced and delighted.  They gave the group a standing ovation and called for two encores.  Cheers also to this brilliant work they do in the schools.  We had the group present concerts at two schools on the San Carlos Apache Reservation and they had the kid’s attention throughout.  Great musicians and great teachers.  Carlos is a great moderator of the program.  He easily adapts to the audience.

We will keep them on our “bring back” list."

—Jack Kuluk, Gold Canyon (AZ) Arts Council

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"Spanish Brass was another home run for us on both fronts. Their school residencies were very well done and appreciated by our schools. The evening perfomance was one of the best attended we've had in quite a while. Standing ovation.

These guys were awesome. You have a great porfolio of artists under your banner." 

 —Tom Green, Gila Valley (AZ) Arts Council

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"What amazing brass players . . . they were just terrific . . . They were fabulous . . . and got a RAVE review . . . And I'll send a copy to you.  Such fun . . . too . . . Soooo good."

—Lee Dougherty Ross., The Artist Series of Sarasota

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"I can easily speak for myself and others to say that Spanish Brass was highly successful in every aspect: concert; pre-concert reception; post-concert dining; master class; post-master class lunch.  Artistically, they are superb -- most certainly.  They handled the master class with great skill and care.  Personally, they are delightful in conversation and demeanor.

We here totally enjoyed the guys.  They seemed to enjoy being here:  part of their charm!

Lisa, you and I done good in making Spanish Brass in Temple finally work!"

Thanks!

—Joelle Bedwell, Central Texas Orchestral Society, Temple, TX

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“We had a new record audience attendance for Coastal Concerts. They sold 38 double CD's. Standing ovation! What a show! Thanks!“ 

—Gavin Braithewaite, Coastal Concerts, Lewes, DE

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“It is too bad that I can't include sound effects with this e-mail because if I could you would hear three standing ovations which had whistles and shouts of Bravo! The audience loved them. And so did I!!! These guys are not only very accomplished musicians they are great entertainers. People were asking when we can have them back! There were a lot of smiles on people’s faces as they left the auditorium. It was a wonderful evening of music with a warm connection between the audience and the members of Spanish Brass. BRAVO!!!“

—Leo McCarthy, EMMA Concert Association, St. Augustine, FL

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“What a fabulous concert the Spanish Brass gave us yesterday!! We received such wonderful feedback after the concert and at the reception. People were just buzzing and wondered where we found such an amazing group. Their selections were excellent and showed such virtuosity and range. They were both very professional and engaging. The audience was enraptured. If this was any indication of the caliber of your next three groups, we'll have a phenomenal season---thank you so much.” 

—Janet Moore, Utica Friends of Chamber Music

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Re. their school concert:

“The Outreach concert was fabulous . . . They were outrageous. They had a ‘bossa nova’ dance contest on stage and gave a lesson on a fugue with the individuals who played the theme stepping forward and doing a little dance each time they had the melody.  I invited all of our Spanish classes and also our English as Second Language classes. They were extremely appreciative of the opportunity. My music and art teachers were overwhelmed at the level of musicianship! What a treat.” —Carmela Brown

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“The audience loved them. They were funny, charming and played the daylights out of their repertoire. I think they had a good time as well. They sold a lot CDs which is a great thing." 

—Marty Merkley, Chautauqua Institution

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“The performance was outstanding. This is really one of the best brass quintets in the world.  Our audience gave them 2 standing ovations“

—Joe Ray, Oklahoma State University

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“The Spanish Brass is delightful, entertaining and consummate musicians. Their ability to connect with the audience made the show all the more enjoyable.“ 

—C.J. Walters, University of Nevada, Reno

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“The guys were truly amazing, and the opportunity to have them here was extraordinary!!  The concert exceeded all expectations - a full house, standing room only! The music was AMAZING, and the energy in the room was electric. As Carlos put it, ‘I don't know if we actually played better, but with an audience like that you feel like you play better!’ They really put on a spectacular show! 

The Master Class at NMSU was well attended and went over exceptionally well.

We also enjoyed the chance to spend quite a bit of time together at meals out, supper in our home, some sight-seeing, etc. . . .

I can't thank you enough for sharing them with our community - a delightful few days, wonderful new friends, and a real ‘feather in the cap’ of our series!”

—Barbara Toth, Mesilla Valley Musical Arts, Las Cruces, NM

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“The concert tonight was simply the best. We had a nearly packed house of folks that were transcended to a higher level. The quintet was spectacular in their precise playing (from pianissimo to very powerful fortissimo) and their professional, respectful presentation. And the program was so well engineered. From J.S. Bach to French and Spanish music to American classic jazz to an encore of a Dixieland version of the gospel tune, ‘Just a Closer Walk’ which left the audience on their feet for a second time.  They are stud players and true professionals. Carlos did an exceptionally good job of introducing their selections.  It was simply a super night . . . 

Their outreach was superb, performing choreographed numbers that the 2nd & 3rd graders really got into. The kids clapped rhythmically when appropriate and cheered robustly after the program. One class stayed behind to have their picture taken with the group. You have a real winner in them.“  

—Karner Trethaway, Tri-City Concert Association, Yuba City, CA 

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“Spanish Brass...excelente!!! Fabulous musicians and wonderful people. Lovely lovely concert. Many thanks once again!“

—Michael Curry, Director, The American Theatre/Hampton Arts, Hampton, VA 

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“They were real pros. The programming was excellent. Very difficult material well played. I felt they gave us their all . . . They were definitely a crowd pleaser. The fellow doing the announcing had the audience charmed.“

—Sam Kamilos & Dorothy Alden, Sacramento Community Concert Association

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“They were fabulous. We had a much bigger turnout than I expected and the audience loved them. A great way to start a season.“

—Tom Geballe, Hawaii Concert Association

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“They were fun!  Audience got a big kick out of them. Got an email from the music teacher at Kamehameha school saying the ed. service was ‘awesome’! One of the music faculty members said the students that attended the concert are still talking about it and the tech crew said how nice they were and how they appreciated the work they did.“

—Judy Wakely, Hawaii Concert Association 

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“Working with Spanish Brass was very easy.  Their ed services were wonderful. One group gave them a standing ovation. The evening audience loved their music, showman-ship, and delightful commentary. Many thanks for all the work it took to get them here.“

—Janet L. Coburn, Managing Director, Kahilu Theatre, Hawaii 

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“A great success. The audience loved them; good musicians and very entertaining. We had a good turnout, especially considering that on the same night was the Presidential debate on TV. With many thanks and best wishes,"

—Ludwig Brunner, St. Bonaventure University, NY

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"It was great!  The audience loved them.  And we had some pretty interesting conversation at the reception afterwards. Thanks for bringing them to my attention."

—Dr. George Reeke, Rockefeller University, NYC

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“Absolutely superb. We had an almost sold out crowd . . . the audience was VERY appreciative of the Brass's performance. A night to remember!“

—Steve Tolbert, Coastal Concerts, Lewes, DE

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“They were fantastic, and very nice people, also.  It was a great visit and concert.  I am glad we were able to make this work.”

—David Seaton, St. Pauls School, Concord, NH