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Olivier Bellamy is a music journalist known for his daily program "Passion Classique" broadcast on the French station Radio Classique. He has written several books, including the famous biography of the legendary pianist Martha Argerich, translated in many languages around the world.


A pause without rest.

What if we pressed « Pause » this summer while the frantic modern society keeps spinning, what if we pressed Pause to look after our essence? In the heart of the Andalusian mountains has emerged a surprising spot: La Donaira, a name that echoes like a promise. We would « give » everything instead of taking over, and foremost we would share to re-establish a forgotten bond between man and nature. In the middle of nature this farm-hotel imagined and coined by Manfred Bodner, the contract between living elements has been re-mastered to a righteous equilibrium. Organic farming, genuine designs, eco-tourism, luxury and arts live harmoniously to answer a quest of meaning.

Rupert Huber was one of the very first musician associates of the project « Pause », a festival of a new kind, where the musical reach is not only to entertain elegant people, but where music plays a more global and deeper role with social dimensions. Electronic composer Rupert Huber wished to come out of his studio and interact with the richness of human’s hearts. He wrote an original piece that will be played on the 14th of August at the San José church in El Gastor. Three local choirs, a professional and two experienced amateurs, will join his creation: the Coro Orfeón Vicente Espinel de Ronda, the Coro Brisas del Pinsapar, and the Coro Aires del Gastor. To be continued...

In the second part, musicians invited by the pianists Julien Brocal and Julien Libeer will be playing the show. Both discovered and contacted by Manfred Bodner on the net, they had joined their skills to the genius of the place last year, under the auspices of the project « Partitura » led by Maria João Pires, whose spirit and reach resonate with the one’s shared by la Donaira.

Julien Brocal and Julien Libeer live in Brussels and they are friends. The first practises permaculture: a global and systemic approach to give back to the earth the benefits that she donates us. More of a city-dweller, the second Julien is fascinated by the interrelation between culture and agriculture, yet quoted by Cicéron with his cultura animi’s reflection.

For this 2018 edition, we gathered the right artists: phenomena, UFOs who are not looking after the forced success story in which music is a sequence of prestigious concerts in fancy theatres. The pieces will follow a thematic linking of the five elements: Fire, Earth, Air, Water and Spirit. Julien Brocal and Julien Libeer are telling us:

The American Caroline Goulding is a “mystical who plays violin”. This stunning virtuoso paused her career for seven months to build different projects like playing for migrants.

Laureate of the Queen Elisabeth of Brussels’ contest, the contralto Sarah Laulan is endowed with rare magnetism. Walking along new paths, as evidenced by her new Edith Piaf project aside from her opera. 

For Julien Brocal, the Dutch cellist Lidy Blidjdorp is a “bird fallen from the skies”. If some people are looking for the natural, Lily “is” nature. Over and above her classical repertoire, she touches upon gipsy music and creates her own records. 

Julien Libeer introduces his wife Elodie Vignon, a pianist, as the “most determined person he has ever met in his life”. She initiated a musico-poetical project and built her own school in Brussels. 

Yuja Wang and Gautier Capuçon’s violinist partner Rosanne Philippens has been entrusted with Janine Jansen’s Stradivarius. Her last CD echoes pieces dedicated to Eugène Ysaÿe.

Laure Stehlin (flute, singer, percussion) and Robin Scott Fleming (guitar, singer, percussion), are both exploring the effects of sound on health. They give “therapeutic” concerts that are gaining resounding successes. 

The French pianist Damien Westrelin first studied classical piano before steering to jazz like “the realisation of a child’s dream”. He will play alongside two Austrian musicians, who both frequent classical and jazz scenes: the saxophonist Gerald Preinfalk and the trumpet player Franz Hautzinger.

All together surrounded by flowers, the trees’ songs and the rocks’ silence, they will write on the wind and foment durable emotions, so nothing stops yet everything is on “Pause”.

Olivier Bellamy,