In December 2022, the last work composed by Tena Manrique received a special mention in the WPTA International Competition. This is the Piano Concerto nº1 “Khárôn” Op. 42, which in addition to having been awarded, has obtained very positive reviews from professional colleagues. His Op. 42 is also included in the historical list, made by Josu De Solaun, of compositions for this genre, by Spanish composers over 255 years. A list headed by Manuel Narro and his harpsichord concerto written in 1767. An honor to appear on this fantastic list, with a genre of music as special as the Piano Concerto.
In 2022 the name of Abraham Tena Manrique has been related to international competitions. Firstly, he has participated as a guest composer in two prestigious international competitions. His works were performed by dozens of participants in the WPTA IPC Spain and MIMAS Music Festival Competition (Italy) contests, awarding a special prize to the best performers of his compositions. Secondly, he has been part of the jury of the first edition of the international online contest held in Hong Kong between November and December 2022.
Since the fall of 2022, two agent agencies have been interested in the music of Tena Manrique. After signing two contracts, his name joins a select group of high-level musicians, represented by both agencies. Vida Art Management (whose headquarters are in Switzerland) and Quiero dar conciertos (headquarters in Valladolid).
In the RITMO magazine of January 2022 we can read an extensive interview in which the composer Tena Manrique talks, among other topics, about two of his latest works, the most ambitious ones, written in the last 3 years. We refer to the Oratorio “The seven last words of Christ on the Cross” Op. 40 and his first concerto for piano and orchestra “Khárôn” Op. 42.
In 2021 the DaVinci publishing house has concluded the ambitious project of publishing all the works composed by Abraham Tena Manrique. The final result is 7 beautiful volumes in which we find works for piano, for piano 4 hands, the concerto for piano and orchestra Op. 42, the oratorio “The seven last words of Christ on the Cross” Op. 40, chamber works with clarinet and a lied.
Review of the Piano Concerto “Khárôn” Op. 42. Sergio Espejo, principal pianist of the OCNE (Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España), after reading the manuscript of this work, comments on it:
“It is a sincere, profound and extremely personal work. There is a lot of pain, sorrow and sadness, but I especially like that they are generally approached with serenity.”
“The harmonies are impeccable and the melodies and their treatment flawless as well. The combination of blocks of piano only, orchestra only, strings only, winds, etc… is magnificent.”
About this work. Being a pianist, it was only a matter of time before I embarked on a work of this genre. Since I was a child, the record player at my parents’ house played non-stop, through it I listened to all the great piano concertos. My father taught them to me. As well as all the great symphonic and chamber works. All the great music of the great names was revealed to me thanks to my father. I have never met a more passionate music lover; more of a musician, without being one, but certainly more so than almost anyone else. This Concerto was written during his illness. My father and I crossed that Styx together, with Charon. A painful crossing that ended with my father’s life and left me, in part, on that other shore. This work is obviously dedicated to my father, the person who opened the doors to Music in capital letters. That is his legacy in me, his son. And this is my small tribute to him, my father.
The Oratory “The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross” Op. 40 is published by the Japanese publisher DaVinci. The work between composer and publisher to publish the entire catalog continues at a good pace.
Almost 3 years ago I proposed Sergio Espejo (principal pianist of the OCNE) to write the Oratorio with the same text as the German composer Heinrich Schütz. That work has accompanied and captivated me since I was a teenager, and I also wanted since I was a child to dedicate a religious work to my mother, to honor the figure of the one who I believe listened to my prayers to cure her. It was time and crossing my fingers, maybe in the not too distant future it can be premiered on the same stage as the “Seneca” Octet, in 2016, the National Auditorium of Madrid.
Last October 2021, Abraham performed again his Confession Op. 31 in a concert organized by the Associació Catalana de Compositors (ACC) at the SGAE hall in Barcelona. A work that arose after reading the 7-volume novel “In Search of Lost Time” by Marcel Proust. Once again, one of the great works of literature was the seed from which these pages sprouted. The need to receive the mother’s good night kiss leads the character to live that previous moment, with the fear that that night he may not hear his mother’s footsteps climbing the stairs. Sometimes this waiting is so dramatic that the atmosphere is suffocating. And sometimes sleep overtakes him without having received the longed-for goodnight kiss from his beloved mother.
At the beginning of 2018, Abraham Tena Manrique is designated President of the WPTA SPAIN-COMPOSITION (World Piano Teachers Association). His career as a composer and concert pianist is taken into account by Nati Ballarín, President of WPTA SPAIN, to present his name to the Association and occupy this position within this prestigious international association. The WPTA, presided by Dorian Leljak, is an association that organizes conferences, concerts, competitions, etc… always counting with musicians of an enormous worldwide recognition.
“Abraham Tena Manrique is native of Spain (b. 1973). He is one of the best examples of the new generation of Spanish composer. Thanks to his own musical language since 2012 the interest of performers and artists towards his art is increasing as showed the number of concerts where his music is performed.”
Edmondo Filippini, President of DaVinci publishing house