Madeira’s classical orchestra takes part in Portugal Day celebrations


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This Saturday, June 10, Madeira Classic Orchestra celebrates Portugal, Camões and Portuguese Communities Day with a concert at the Salão Nobre da Assembleia Legislativa da Madeira at 6 pm.

The concert will be performed by one of the string orchestras of the Madeira Classic Orchestra itself, Ensemble XXI, and will feature the participation of Madeira saxophone soloist Mariana Ornelas. This concert is part of the cycle of young soloists initiated by the Madeira Classical Orchestra in 2014.

On this occasion, the featured Portuguese work will be Nocturno by Joly Braga Santos, a Portuguese composer who has dedicated his entire life to the cause of music, and whose mission is to raise awareness of the art of music among young people.

The Fantaisie for soprano saxophone by Brazilian composer Villa-Lobos will also be among the works performed. Villa-Lobos was a Brazilian conductor, cellist, pianist and violinist, described as “the most important creative figure of the 20th century in Brazilian classical music” and considered the best-known South American composer of all time. The choice of the Brazilian composer is linked to the historical and cultural affinities between the two countries (Portugal and Brazil). And it is precisely in this work that the young saxophonist from Madeira, Mariana Ornelas, will perform her “Fantasy for soprano saxophone and orchestra” as soloist.

Ensemble XXI’s concert with saxophonist Mariana Ornelas is under the musical direction of violinist Yuriy Kyrychenko and concludes with two other works from Ensemble XXI’s own repertoire, one by English composer Gustavus Theodore von Holst and the other by Norwegian composer Edward Grieg.

Ensemble XXI, created as part of the Orquestra Clássica da Madeira, has as its primary objective the performance of works for small string orchestra by composers of the 20th and 21st centuries. The group’s repertoire includes works by national composers such as Joly Braga Santos, Vianna da Mota and European composers such as Turina, Britten and others. In a lighter vein, Ensemble XXI’s repertoire includes works by Scott Joplin and Duke Ellington, as well as other periods of musical history. Made up of members of the string section of the Orquestra Clássica, Ensemble XXI has already played all over Madeira and Porto Santo.

Tickets for the concert cost 15 euros (with discounts for children, young people and the elderly) and can be purchased at the Gaudeamus Shop – Colégio dos Jesuítas or on the day of the event from 5 p.m. at the Madeira Legislative Assembly.


Gustavus Theodore von Holst [1874-1934] – Saint Paul’s Suite (1912) ;

Heitor Villa-Lobos – Fantasy for soprano saxophone ;

Joly Braga Santos [1924 – 1988] – Nocturno ;

Edward Grieg [1843 – 1907] – Suite Holberg, op. 40.

Mariana Ornelas

Mariana Ornelas
Mariana Ornelas

Mariana Ornelas was born on the island of Madeira in 1995. She began her musical studies in 2007 at the Conservatório Escola Profissional das Artes Madeira, in the class of Professor Duarte Basílio. In 2013, she was admitted to the Escola Superior de Música e Artes do Espetáculo, in the class of professors Henk Van Twillert, Fernando Ramos and Gilberto Bernardes, where she graduated in 2016. Eager to continue her studies, she then obtained the Master’s degree in Music Education at the University of Aveiro, in the class of Professor Fernando Ramos, and completed her studies in 2018.

During her musical career, she has had the opportunity to perform as an artist at several festivals, including “FISP – Palmela”, “International Saxophone Week – Saxelectro”, “Serralves em Festa”, “SaxOporto International Saxophone Festival” and “Guimarães Jazz”. She was a finalist in the solo category and winner in the group category at the 2013 “Città di Chieri” international competition.

He has toured Europe (Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and Portugal) and the United States with the “Vento do Norte” ensemble, performing at the Concertgebouw (Netherlands), Eastman School of Music (USA), Casa da Música (Porto), Teatro Baltazar Dias (Funchal), Teatro Micaelense (S. Miguel), Teatro Helena Sá e Costa (ESMAE), Coliseu do Porto, among others.

He has taken part in several masterclasses, working with nationally and internationally renowned saxophonists and teachers such as Mário Marzi, Felipe Belijar, Jean-Yves Fourmeau, Francisco Ferreira, Pedro Silva, Jean Marie Londeix, Arno Bornkamp, Alfonso Padilla, Claude Delangle, Christophe Grèzes, Morphing Quartet, Ties Mellema, among others.

He currently works as a saxophonist with the Banda Militar da Madeira and the Orquestra Jazz do Funchal, collaborating with the Orquestra Bamba Social and the Uprising Band.

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