Founded by Josetxu Obregón when he was based in The Netherlands, the ensemble La Ritirata takes its name from the final movement of the famous quintet composed by Luigi Boccherini in Spain, entitled “La musica notturna delle strade di Madrid”.
Dedicated to combining accurate historical awareness (through a knowledge of the instruments and aesthetics of a composer’s time) with the highest levels of artistic quality, La Ritirata is at home in Baroque musical traditions from all across Europe; Bach and Handel figure in the ensemble’s programmes as much as Italian and Spanish composers from the courtly traditions of Early Baroque who feature on the Glossa album Il Spiritillo Brando. And naturally, given the Boccherinian reference in its name, La Ritirata holds a special place in its heart for the Classical era composer from Lucca who settled in Spain: programmes of cello sonatas, string trios and other chamber works feature in the group’s repertory.
The talent of La Ritirata is taking the group to concert venues and festivals all over the world; recent examples include the National Theatre of Beijing, the CNART Early Music Festival (México City), the closing ceremony of the Spanish EU presidency (Tokyo), the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele (Germany), the Museo de Bellas Artes in Santiago (Chile), the Centro Studi Boccherini (Lucca), the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, as well as all across Spain including at Musika-Música for La Folle Journée in the Palacio Euskalduna (Bilbao), the Real Alcázar (Sevilla) and the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid (in a series organized by the Centro Nacional de Difusión Musical). La Ritirata was also the only Spanish group to be selected for the first ‘Grande Audition’ of the European Early Music Network, REMA.
La Ritirata’s artistic director, cellist Josetxu Obregón (born in Bilbao), a student of Anner Bylsma among others, holds a teaching post at the Real Conservatorio Superior in Madrid and is the recipient of a substantial number of prizes from prestigious national and international competitions; his solo versatility encompasses all epochs as well as seeing him play with leading European early music ensembles such as L’Arpeggiata (Christina Pluhar) and Le Concert des Nations (Jordi Savall). Regular members of La Ritirata include some of the finest musicians of the younger generations of historically-informed performers, such as Tamar Lalo, Enrike Solinís and Daniel Zapico, as well as more-established players such as the renowned Hiro Kurosaki.