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An open-air circular courtyard with a renaissance colonnade at the centre of the Alhambra.

This venue has been associated with performances of symphony orchestras since the late 19th century. This great colonnaded circular courtyard is open to the summer evening sky and is situated within the walls of the palace. The solid stone contrasts with the sparkling stars, the renaissance and imperial certainty is pitched against the unfinished and changing reality which, ultimately, provides the venue with a continuous present and a specificity which reaches all audiences. A venue in the heart of the Alhambra where orchestras recreate both the celebration and the mystery which emerge to inspire the musical creation which is firmly anchored in its time and yet wildly searches for its timelessness.

«We reject nothing, we deny nothing, because everything is necessary; […], in a wise and careful alternating of poisons and antidotes. Let us enjoy the Alhambra; but let us also occasionally rejoice at having the massiveness of the palace of Charles V at its side. Life is so complicated!» Thus wrote the eminent arabist Emilio García Gómez in 1953 after attending a Festival performance.

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