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About Cobla Amsterdam

Cobla Amsterdam (formerly known as “Cobla la Principal d’Amsterdam) is the only sardana-orchestra outside of Catalunya, based in Amsterdam (The Netherlands). The ensemble was founded in 1987 by clarinet player Rolf van Kreveld, who fell in love with the music which the Catalan Cobla’s performed. Nowadays the members of Cobla Amsterdam form a close group of professional musicians, in which the experience of the older members and the youthful enthusiasm of the younger members combine perfectly.

Next to sardana’s (sardana? Check it out at “The Sardana”), Cobla Amsterdam also plays other kinds of music. For example, the ensemble plays arranged renaissance- and baroque music (like the 15th and 16th century music which was based on the collection of medievel texts, named Llibre Vermell de Montserrat). Also a lot of compositions are being written for Cobla Amsterdam, like Con Amore by Caliope Tsoupaki, Babel by Jesus Ventura and Puigsoliu by Joaquim Serra.

In 2007, Cobla Amsterdam received one of the highest civil distinctions of Catalunya: the Creu de Sant Jordi, because of their groundbreaking effort for the distribution and development of the music and repertoire for Cobla. It’s a great achievement for Cobla Amsterdam, because it’s higly exeptional that this award is being given to foreigners.

The Premi Nacional Agustí Borgunyó was awarded to Cobla Amsterdam in 2010. This prize is awarded once a year to a person or institution that helps “creating, distributing and developing the symphonic or “free” music for Cobla”.

A few press-releases about Cobla Amsterdam: “Cobla Amsterdam provides remedy against colorlessness”, “sparkling passionate music”, “It is absolutely fantastic”.

Cobla?

A cobla is a (originally Catalan) streetensemble which consists out of 11 persons, who are situated in 2 rows. The woodwinds are sitting in front, the brass and double bass are standing behind them. A cobla consists of:

1 Flabiol & Tamborí (1-hand flute and drum)
2 Tible’s (short double reed instruments)
2 Tenora’s (long double reed instruments)
2 Trumpets
1 (Valve-) Trombone
2 Fiscorns (bass-flugelhorn)
1 (Threesnared) Double bass

Especially the woodwinds are special: The Tible’s and Tenora’s (which are a kind of shawms) and the Flabiol and Tamborí do not exist outside of Catalunya.

The original music which a cobla performs is the Sardana. This dance music has two parts (the A-part and the B-part), at which a round dance is being performed. The Flabiol announces the beginning of a new Sardana: the dancers know they have to find their places again. For more information about the Sardana, please click “The Sardana”.