Santa Cruz - Auditorium

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"Tenerife! And culture?" I hear you cry incredulously. Well, although slow to emerge into the mainstream line of vision, in Santa Cruz a certain refinement is warily poking its head around the corner of this bustling tourist market.

Discernible entertainment seekers are no longer restricted to the warbling renditions from the Johnny Goldenthroats of Southern playgrounds. Northern night time revelry comes in the fine-tuned form of the renowned Tenerife Symphony Orchestra (TSO).

Not a new ensemble by any means - the TSO was founded in the mid 1980's under the guidance of the enigmatic conductor Víctor Pablo Pérez. However, it's only during the recent facelift of the Tenerife tourist industry that the Orchestra has gained a wider following.

Previously, those in the know would have high tailed it in their glad rags to the Teatro Guimerá to rapture in the delight of the TSO performing with such notable soloists as Mischa Maisky, Frank Peter Zimmermann and Dimitri Bashkirov.

Now the old convent-cum-theatre resonates to the 87-member orchestra no more. A new home befitting this award-winning group of musicians was constructed on the seafront of Tenerife's capital, Santa Cruz. You can't miss it. The Auditorio de Tenerife is an outstanding piece of engineering by the celebrated architect Santiago Calatrava. Señor Calatrava is the man behind the Bach de Roda Bridge, commissioned for the Olympic Games in Barcelona; the Orléans Bridge in Orléans, France; and the Milwaukee Art Museum, which opened to great acclaim in autumn 2001.

This post-modern structure has the elliptical curves of the Sydney Opera House and stands as a monument to the island's newly revealed cultural enlightenment. As well as housing the TSO, the Auditorium hosts all manner of musical performances from opera and ballet to pop and rock. Acts such as Asia, ELO, The Crusaders and Michael Nyman have all graced the stage. The Tenerife Auditorium also serves as a showpiece convention, congress and exhibition centre.