PICK OF THE WEEK: Andorra (Pyrenees)

Main places:

Andorra la VellaEscaldes-EngordanySan Julia de LoriaLa MassanaOrdinoEncampCanilloPas de la Casa

PICK OF THE WEEK: Monday, 9th July – Sunday, 15th July, 2018


Wednesday, 11th July at 21:30 in the Main Square, Ordino. (Free) 22nd Season of Open Nights: Sonia Miranda. Sonia Miranda stands out for her full-voiced singing. Her repertoire includes both the best known songs and a series of songs that are no longer sung. Her strong personality is characterized by an emotional tenderness in the treatment of singing. “Flaming”.

She has participated in the main festivals of Spain, and has also performed at international festivals, such as in New York, Berlin, Grenoble, Miami, Lille, Utrecht, Amsterdam, which have endorsed her career. In 2006 she released her first solo album, Garabato, a record with which she won the prize awarded by the specialized magazine Deflamenco.com ‘to the best debut disc ‘. In 2015 she produced a second album, Casita el panaero, to great critical acclaim.

Wednesday, 11th July at 22h in the Museu de la Moto (motorbike), Canillo. (Free) (Places limited. Advance booking obligatory at 853 444.) Summer Nights at the Museums: Odara Trio. The Odara Trio mix styles starting with a base of bossa nova intermingled with traditional music from various countries plus touches of flamenco. Musicians: Carles Sans (accordion); Sabela Simón (vocals) & Albert Ginestà (guitar).

Thursday, 12th July (no time given) at the cafè teatre, La Fada Ignorant, Andorra la Vella. Concerts a la Fada: jam-session by the students of l’Espai de Música Moderna.

Thursday, 12th July at 22h in the Plaça de les Arínsols, Encamp. (Free). Encamp in the Key of Light: Concert by Mestral with the Esbart Sant Romà folk dance group. Versions of pop fusion with the rumba and flamenco of Spanish music in the format of voices, guitars and boxes. Mestral is made up of five musicians, all of them from Encamp.

L’Esbart Sant Romà was created in 1989 with the desire to cultivate and spread traditional dances. As of 1992, it moved towards more contemporary dance forms, without losing the traditional and required folkloric ones. This new identity strengthened the group thanks to this renewal of its repertoire, integrated further since then by new choreographies.

Friday, 13th July at 23h at the cafè teatre, La Fada Ignorant, Andorra la Vella. Concerts a la Fada: El Sobrino del Diablo.

Friday, 13th July at 21h at the National Automobile Museum, Encamp. (Free) (Places limited. Advance booking obligatory at 836 908.) Summer Nights at the Museums: ONCA Basic – ‘To the rhythm of the Trio. From Joseph Kreutzer (1790-1840) to Olivier Bensa and José Lezcano (1960…) with Cuban Sketches, Bolero, Grand Tango, Samba Cubana and more. What can one expect from a conversation between a delicate guitar, a powerful saxophone and a serpentine flute?  At first, a pessimistic person may have some doubts. After all, this timbre combination is far from the “standard” formation that was consolidated during the 18th century, such as the string quartet or the trio with piano.

But nothing could be farther from reality: with the emergence of intimate and private chamber concerts, many composers were encouraged to place the guitar at the centre of the room and surround it with other instruments such as the flute, the oboe, the violin or the viola, as is the case with Joseph Kreutzer. In Rhythmic Trio we have replaced the violin by a soprano saxophone, which has a volume close to the oboe and, therefore, perfectly matches the flute and the guitar. But it was in the twentieth century that the expressive possibilities of a trio with these characteristics reached their peak. And that is why Rhythmic Trio would like to propose a series of pieces that, despite being classical, have their roots deeply embedded in popular music: tango, samba, bossa nova and Latin dances like bolero and guaracha. We can call it music crossover, or fusion, or classical-modern: in all cases it is a unique experience, which will not leave listeners indifferent. Musicians: Jordi Gendra (flute); Efrem Roca (saxophone); David Sanz (guitar).

Saturday, 14th July at 21:30h at the Museum of Electricity, Encamp. (Free) (Space limited. Advance booking essential at 739 111) Summer Nights at the Museums: with the Laguards in Concert. A night visit to the museum ending, thanks to the acoustic trio, The Laguards, with a concert of rhythm and blues, ragtime and gospel played in unique surroundings.

Saturday, 14th July at 23h at the cafè teatre, La Fada Ignorant, Andorra la Vella. Concerts a la Fada: Daniel Higiénico. Daniel Higiénico will offer an acoustic concert of humour, reflexion and music. with a repertory of his best songs. He’ll mix all these ingredients to offer an amusing show that is unclassifiable.

Jazz in the streets – all free.

All at 19:30h in the Plaça Copríncep, Escaldes-Engordany (except Friday)

Monday, 9th July: the Ronald Baker quartet. One of the great North American jazz trumpeters of past generations. Faithful to traditions, singing, he plays with an exquisite sensibility. Musicians: Ronald Baker (trumpet and voice) Gerard Nieto (piano); Ignasi Gonzalez (double bass); Xavi Hinojosa (drums).

Tuesday, 10th July: The Dry River Stompers. Their repertoire based on the standards of the best American swing and jazz will take us to NYC in the 40s. Let’s Swing, lets dance! Musicians: Àngels Vilaró, (voice); Juan Carlos Meléndez (guitar) Antonio Meléndez, (trumpet); Joan Casas (sax); Álvaro Taborda (double bass);  Iñaki Rodríguez (drums).

Wednesday, 11th July: Marc Ferrer Trio. After the excellent reception of his last record, 3 coffees, Marc Ferrer is here with Another Way, a new work that reconciles the origins of jazz piano with the derivatives closest to the primordial sounds of Afro-American rhythms. Musicians: Marc Ferrer (piano);  Pep Rius (double bass); Olivier Rocque (drums).

Thursday, 12th July: Amós Lora & Ivan “Melon” Lewis. Solo2, a unique concept where two exceptional musicians of diverse talents offer a repertoire of songs from the world in which they fuse jazz and flamenco and evoke Manuel de Falla and all flavours Cuban. Musicians: Amores Lora (guitar); Ivan “Melon” Lewis (piano).

Friday, 13th July at the Creu Blanca: Marina Tuset Quartet. At the head of an original, emerging band, you will hear the particular voice, powerful and subtle at the same time, of this young revelation of Catalan jazz. One of the most refreshing original additions to the recent music scene. Musicians: Marina Tuset (vocals); David Sam (piano);  Juan Pastor (double bass); Robert Oriol (drums).

Saturday, 14th July: Men In Swing Band. An impeccable staging, from the golden age of swing to the most free jazz and the improvisation of the most modern styles. Musicians: Marc Riera, (voice & guitar); Gerard Cuní (double bass); Martí Mitjavila (sax); Jaume Grau (trumpet); Joan Molina (drums); Oriol Codina (clarinet); Gil Casals (trombone).


Days of the Iberian Organ

Monday 9th to Saturday, 14th July. Five Concerts, Master Classes, an International Competition – and special menus designed to go with the week’s music. (All spoken events will be in Catalan.) Note: the Iberian or Spanish organ first emerged in Catalonia in the 16th century. The Royal Court, fleeing before the Moors, had moved to Barcelona where the instrument became ever more refined and complex.

All concerts will be held in the La Massana Church of Sant Iscle and Santa Victoria at 20:15h played on its rare, Iberian organ. Entrance is free but you need to collect a ticket from the La Massana Tourist Office 835 693. Collect their leaflet to see which restaurants are offering special menus.


MONDAY: Landscapes of Iberian music with Ignacio Ribas Taléns. With music from around the Iberian peninsular, Ignacio, chief organist of Sant Esteve and La Massana churches, will be introducing the very special characteristics of La Massana’s Spanish organ. Winner of the Andrés Segovia Prize and the Cristóbal Halffter prize for organ composition, Ignacio’s latest disc of organ music is suffused with his own compositions.

TUESDAY: La Tempestad, Recital of keyboard and viola de braccio with Silvia Márquez on organ and clavichord and Antonio Clares on 16th century viola, with pieces ranging from 1553 to 1759. Márquez is founder and director of the prize-winning group of early music, La Tempestad. Clares has played in many early music and Baroque orchestras including as first viola in the Baroque Orchestra of the European Union.

WEDNESDAY: The Iberian Party with Montserrat Torrent. This 92-year-old maestro and renowned pedagogue of generations of European organists, will play eight pieces ranging from the 16th to the 20th century. She has served as judge for organ competitions in Chartres, Àvila, Geneva, Naples, Nuremberg, Lübeck and Paris.

THURSDAY: Live musical improvisation on the 1926 silent film ‘Don Quixote’ with Guy Bovet. Winning various prizes, he was able to start his professional career aged 19. From the beginning Bovet was in love with the Iberian organ and is now internationally sought-after to give concerts and courses in its little-known music. With support from UNESCO, he has researched it in various Latin American countries. As a composer he has published more than 250 pieces (Oxford University press etc) for the organ and other instruments, and has collaborated with film and theatre. He has recorded more than 60 discs for historic instruments from Europe, Latin America and the Philippines.

FRIDAY: Ex Ancient and Modern with Roberto Fresco, chief organist of the cathedral of Santa María la Real of l’Almudena, Madrid and professor of organ at the Centre Superior d’Ensenyament Musical Katarina Gurska of Madrid. He will be playing five pieces ranging from the 16th to the 20th Century. The greatest influence on his career has been Montserrat Torrent (see above). His career as concert organist and teacher has taken him across Europe, the United States, Latin America and the Philippines. He is the founder and director of the Academy for organ Fray Joseph de Echevarría. Since 2014 he has also directed the organ courses of the Universitaris Internacionals de Música a Compostel·la.

To mark this week of the Iberian Organ, the project MassanaOrgue offers the chance to attend Masterclasses given by two specialist professors of the Iberian repertory, Guy Bovet and Roberto Fresco. The professor Montserrat Torrent will give three private classes with advanced bookings.

Thursday, 12th at 9h private classes with Montserrat Torrent

Friday, 13th at 9h The problems of the edition of the “Facultad Orgánica” by Francisco Correa de Arauxo (Alacalá, 1626) Presentation and Masterclass by Guy Bovet.

Saturday, 14th at 9h. The singularity of the organ of the Iberian Peninsula. Presentation and Masterclass by Roberto Fresco. What is the Iberian organ? How did it arrive at its peculiar construction? When was it born?

Tuesday, 10th July at 19h. Illustrated talk: a workshop on organ building by Joaquín Lois, organ maker. A new interest in the Iberian organ blossomed in the 1970s and Joaquín Lois, using illustrations, will show in detail how their workshop and organ-building has evolved over the past 40 years.

Wednesday, 11th July at 19h. An Interview and homage to Montserrat Torrent, led by the music journalist, Albert Torrens, who will outline her musical trajectory. Pioneer of the Iberian organ, this project recognises her educational and illuminating work. The interview will be carried out by various generations of her pupils.


Collect a leaflet from the La Massana tourist office to see the differing Iberian menus offered by the nine La Massana restaurants collaborating with this major event. Prices range from 7€ – 35€.

Finally, every Friday from July to September there will be a guided tour of the heritage sites of La Massana starting at 16h, with an organ recital at 19:30h at the church. Bookings and more information from the La Massana tourist office.


Tuesday, 10th July starting in front of the Casa Comuna, Sant Julià de Lòria at 21:30h (a bus will then carry you to Auvinyà. Punctuality is requested.) Or, at 22h, at the Plaça de la Dama Blanca, Auvinyà. (Free but places limited. Reservation essential either at the desk in the Sant Julià Centre Cultural or by phone 744 044) Summer evenings: Corners of Auvinyà. This is an itinerant activity using a micro format with a mini theatre production: Adopta un freak i Love me tender. And a mini format concert by La Sonsoni. La Teva Gran Nit (Your Great Night) is one of the most successful programmes of the season and will be the grand, live finale at the Auvinyà residential complex. The famous presenters Meritxell and Roger will help us enjoy an unforgettable evening. But which of the finalists will win the first prize? The activity includes a visit to the church of Sant Iu and will end with a little snack. (In case of bad weather the event will take place in the Casa Comuna.)

Thursday, 12th July at 19:30h throughout the village of Santa Coloma, Andorra la Vella. (Pre-booking and ticket sales at the Tourist Office of Andorra la Vella, tel.(+376) 750 100) Summer Nights at the Museums: ‘La santa, el rus i el comte. (The Saint, the Russian and the Count’) A dramatized visit to the village of Santa Coloma. Three representative people of the town will guide us, during an unusual visit, through the singularities of the town, on a route that will review the most fascinating moments in the history of Andorra.

Saturday. 14th July at 20h in the Historical Centre of Andorra la Vella. (Pre-booking and ticket sales at the Tourist Office of Andorra la Vella, tel.(+376) 750 100.) Summer Nights in the Museums – Viatge a través de la història i les llegendes – (‘Travel through history and legends’ – activity in Spanish.) Take a trip through history and legend. Dramatized visits to the capital’s old quarter that recreates the adventures of three characters who flee from the authorities and take advantage of the presence of another group to camouflage themselves and cross the streets together. You will discover houses, streets, legends and other stories.

Tuesday, 10th July from 12h – 14h in the Plaça de Carlemany (in front of the Comú building) Canillo. Day of Sant Cristòfol: Mass and the blessing of vehicles.

Saturday 14th and Sunday, 15th July Festa Major d’Erts, La Massana. (Hopefully more information to follow.)

Saturday 14th to Monday, 16th July all day in the Plaça Carlemany. Festa Major of Canillo: Mass, aperitifs, activities for young and old, night-time dances etc.


Monday, 9th July at 22h in the Plaça Major, Sant Julià de Lòria. Summer Evenings: Wonder. Directed by  Stephen Chbosky, Starring:  Jacob Tremblay,  Owen Wilson, Julia Roberts, Izabela Vidovic. (Not clear whether it will be in Spanish, or English with subtitles…) The Story: Based on the New York Times bestseller, Wonder tells the incredibly inspiring and heart-warming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters 5th grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time. Thanks to the support of his parents, August manages to fit in with his new companions and teachers, demonstrating that despite his appearance he’s a boy just like any other.

Monday 9th – Thursday, 12th July at 20:15h at the Cinemes Illa Carlemange, Escaldes-Engordany. Ocean’s 8 Directed by  Gary Ross, Starring:  Sandra Bullock,  Cate Blanchett,  Anne Hathaway.

Debbie Ocean gathers an all-female crew to attempt an impossible heist at New York City’s yearly Met Gala.


Monday, 9th July at 15h in the Plaça de l’Església de Pas de la Casa. (Free) Summer afternoons in Pas de la Casa: Ballem pel Món. (We’ll dance for the world.) This is a show where the dances, games, stories and songs from around the world are the protagonists. From home we all go to Cuba, Canada, China, Morocco… and we won’t only sing and dance, we’ll also see how they dress, these people from the places that we’re visiting, and we’ll see an African totem pole, a big Chinese lion. A Whole entertaining tour of the world in only one show.

Tuesday, 10th July at 18h at Prat Gran, Encamp. (Free) Summer afternoon in Encamp: Visca la Festa! (Long live the party!) An entertainment for everyone with music for the whole family to dance to.


Saturday, 14th July at 17h in the Plaça de Les Fontetes, La Massana. Day of the Pyrenees: Afternoon of Human Castles with the groups: Castellers d’Andorra, Minyons de Terrassa and Colla Jove in Barcelona. They will attempt, for the first time in Andorra, to raise a high end castle of 9! Don’t miss it!

Friday 13th and Saturday, 14th July at 21:30h at the Iron mine in Llorts, Ordino. (Tickets and prior booking obligatory on tel. (+376) 878 173.) Summer Nights in the Museums: a night visit to the Llorts iron mine and the Iron Way. Visit the interior of an ancient, 30-meter-long iron mine, walk along the Iron Way with headlamps and discover an outdoor sculpture exhibition. It is recommended to wear a headlamp. Approximate duration two hours and 30 minutes.

Saturday, 14th July at 21:30h in the MW Electricity Museum, Encamp. (Free but reservation essential. Telephone 739 111.)  Night visit to the MW Electricity Museum plus The Laguards in concert.

The Laguards is an Andorran acoustic trio that offers a repertoire that ranges through blues, ragtime and gospel, with versions of classics and some of their own songs.

Sunday, 15th July from 10h to approximately 14h starting at the end of the paved road of the Ransol Valley, Canillo. (Free but prior registration essential. Contact CENMA by email at [email protected] or by phone at (+376) 742 630.) An outing to get to know some of the country’s butterflies. The route will pass through different habitats until arriving at the shelter of Coms de Jan. Wear sturdy shoes and I suggest you take a waterproof jacket.


UCI World Cup and World Championship BTT 2018

Tuesday, 10th July to Sunday 15th July at the Vallnord Bike Park, La Massana. The 2018 BTT World Cup returns to the Vallnord Bike Park, where there will be two types of BTT races: Olympic cross-country (XCO) and descent (DHI), both in men’s and women’s categories. The Andorran event will be the eighth of this year’s international calendar of the International Cycling Union (ICU). The number of spectators of the BTT World Cup trials in Andorra has increased with each edition making Andorra an important destination for BTT.

The following week, from Sunday 15th to Wednesday, 18th July, while the Andorran stage of the World Cup is still being disputed, Vallnord Bike Park will also be the venue for the UCI Masters Mountain Bike World Championships. In this race, the more veteran riders will compete, both men and women, in the same disciplines as the World Cup: XCO and DHI.


If you take a hypertension drug that contains Valsartán you should take the packet to your pharmacist to be checked at once, as some batches have been withdrawn as from last Tuesday.


On Friday evenings during the next six weeks (that is  until the end of August) the Giberga Apartments are fully booked, and because clients with cars pay a fee to reserve a parking space – Club Members are requested to avoid parking in the Giberga car park immediately opposite the Club entrance on Friday evenings until September when once again there should be extra space available. There is also new parking along the side road opposite the pool entrance.

Culturally yours,



Look for about the author of the blog Clare Allcard

See also Andorra travel guide

See also Pyrenees travel guide

See also France travel guide

See also Spain travel guide

Read more: What to do today? Cultural events in Andorra with Clare Allcard ...