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Wall to Wall Sonidos: Celebrating Latino Arts
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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.




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+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 05/14/2011 at Symphony Space.

Symphony Space's annual gift to New York, explores the breadth and depth of Latino cultures and features a stellar roster of artists and a number of commissioned works debuting their world premiere performances. 

 

PROGRAM

 

PART 1 - Dance!

Calpulli Danza Mexicana
Mexican traditions in movement including Mexika, Veracruz, and patriotic Jalisco

Flamenco Viva Carlota Santana
Traditional flamenco including Sevillanas, Alegrias, and Solea por Bulerias
Rebecca Thomas, Ricardo Santiago, dancers; Jed Miley, guitar; Alfonso Cid, vocals

 

PART 2 - From Puerto Rico to Perú

Elliot and Aurora Flore
Mi Bandera

 

Junior Cepeda
Quimbara

 

Hector LaVoe
Aguanile
Aurora and Zon del Barrio: Aurora Flores, bandleader; David N. Fernandez, musical director, arranger, piano/synthesizers; Ruben Lopez, baby bass; Eduardo “Tito” Gonzalez, bongos; Sammy Rosa, lead vocals; Maryann Santiago, lead vocals; Oreste Abrantes, congas; Nelson Matthew Gonzalez, timbales; William Ash, tres; Mireya Ramos, violin

 

Robert Sierra
Fanfarria, Aria y movimento perpetuo

 

Gabriela Lena Frank
Suenos de Chambi: Snapshots for an Andean Album
I. Harawi de Quispe
II. Diablicos Punenos
III. Responsorio Lauramarqueno
IV. P'asña Marcha
V. Adoracion para Angelitos
VI. Harawi de Chambi
VII. Marinera
Airi Yoshioka, violin;  John Novacek, piano

 

PART 3

John Mark Doing
Moche

 

Grant Fisher
Coati

 

Laura Andrea Leguia
Esquino del Pansamiento

 

Aaron Prado
El Diablo Mayor
Chilcano: Gabriel Alegria, trumpet; Lauren Wood, baritone saxophone; Aaron Prado, keyboard; Grant Fisher, guitar; Alexander DaSilva, bass; John Mark Doing, drums; Toño Vilchez, cajón; Laura Andrea Leguía, special guest

 

Tango Argentina!

Angel Villoldo, arr. Daniel Binelli
El Choclo

 

Astor Piazzolla
Verano Porteno

Binelli-Ferman Duo: Daniel Binelli, bandoneon; Polly Ferman, piano

 

Astor Piazzolla, arr. Saul Cosentino and Juan Carlos Zunini
Oblivion

Polly Ferman, piano

 

PART 4

Daniel Binelli
Corales de Hawaii (World Premiere)
Polly Ferman, piano; Quintet of the Americas: Sato Moughalian, flute; Matt Sullican, oboe; Nicholas Gallas, clarinet; Maureen Strenge, bassoon; Barbara Oldham, horn

New York Tango (World Premiere)
I. Tango
II. Milonga
III. Balada
Binelli-Ferman DuoQuintet of the Americas

 

Sebastian Piano
Caseron de Tejas

 

Astor Piazzolla
Libertango
Quintet of the Americas

 

Carlos Gardel, lyrics by Alfredo LePera
Volver

 

Virgilio Exposito, lyrics by Homero Exposito
Naranjo en flor

Chris Vasquez, vocals; Quintet of the Americas

 

Astor Piazzolla
Histoire du Tango
II. Cafe 1930
I. Bordel 1900
Tara Helen O' Connorflute; David Leisnerguitar

 

Osvaldo Golijov
Fish Tale

 

PART 5

Astor Piazzolla
Chau Paris 
(NY Premiere)
Poulenc Trio: Toyin Spellman-Diaz, oboe; Bryan Young, bassoon; Irina Kaplan Lande, piano; Anton Lande, guest violin

 

Fernando Otero
Sonata Morrison

Manifestacion

Siderata

Globalizacion

De Ahora en Mas
Otero Quintet: Gabrielle Fink, violin; Adam Fisher, violoncello; Pablo Aslan, bass; JP Jofre, bandoneno; Fernando Otero, piano

 

PART 6 The Mexican Spirit

Arturo Marquez
Danza del mediodia

 

Carlos Chavez
Upingos
Quintet of the Americas

 

Mario Lavista
Suite de Gargantua
I. Pains of labor & birth of Gargantua
II. During the night, Gargantua goes to Paris
III. Gargantua's Genealogy
IV. Gargantua's parents: Grandgousier & Gargamelle
V. Gargantua & the bells of Notre Dame
VI. Gargantua's lullaby
VII. Gargantua has fun (Dance)
Quintet of the Americas; Colorado Quartet: Julie Rosenfeld, Deborah Lydia Redding, violin; Marka Gustavsson, viola; Katie Schlaikjer, violoncello

 

Enrique Gonzalez-Medina
Suite Latina
 (NY Premiere)
I. Rumba
II. Habanera
III. Tango
IV. Meditation
V. Cumbia
Poulenc Trio

 

Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez

Here, Again (NY Premiere)
[Commissioned by Kyo-Shin-An Arts and Colorado Strign Quartet through Meet the Composer's Commissioning Music/USA program, which is made possible by generous support from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust. The Ford Foundation, the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, the William and Flora Hewlitt Foundation, and the Helen F. Whitaker Fund.]
James Nyoraku Schlefer, shakuhachi; Colorado Quartet

 

Conversation with Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon

 

PART 7

Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez
Five Memos
I. Essatitude
II. Gli Uccelini di Signar Tic-Tac
III. Levetá
IV. Rapiditá
V. Multieplicitá

 

Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon
Paramo 
  
Eastman Broadband: Deidre Huckabay, flute; Andrew Brown, clarinet; Aaron Yarmel, violin;   Mariel Roberts, violoncello; Cherry Tsang, piano; Jacob Ertl, piano; Damon Martinez,  Melanie Sehman, Steven Sehman, percussion; Juan Trigos, conductor

 

Brasil: Viva Villa-Lobos!

Heitor Villa-Lobos
Guitar Etudes
 Nos. 7, 8, 11, 12
David Leisner, guitar

Trio No. 1
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Andante sostenuto
III. Scherzo: Vivace
IV. Allegro troppo e Finale
Damocles Trio: Airi Yoshioka, violin; Sibylle Johner, violoncello; Adam Kent, piano

 

PART 8

Heitor Villa-Lobos
Bachianas Brasileiras No. 4

I. Preludio

Choros No. 5 (Alma Brasileria)

Bachianas Brasileiras No. 4
IV. Danca (Miudinho)
Sonia Rubinsky, piano

 

Heitor Villa-Lobos REMIX
Uirapuru

"Toccata (Desafio)" of Bachianas Brasileiras
No. 7 & "Toccata (O Trenzinho do Caipira)" of Bachianas Brasileiras No. 2 Genesis
 
Antonio Carlos Jobim 
REMIX
Jobim Jam (Excerpts from Tom Jobim's work): Insensatez, Samba de uma nota so, Aguas de Marco, Garota de Ipanema, Sabia

Heitor Villa-Lobos
 REMIX
"Plantio do Caboclo" & "Festa no Sertao" of Ciclo Brasileiro Dansa do indio branco of Ciclo Brasileiro"Toccato (O Trenzinho do Capira)" of Bachianas Brasileiras No. 2 (Carioca Funk version)
XPLAU: Antonio Sartori, keyboard and electronic tracks; Sonia Rubinsky, piano; Colorado Quartet

 

PART 9 - Something Old, Something New

Gutierre Fernandez Hidalgo
Magnificat Octavi Toni

 

Anonymous
Pange lingua

 

Gutierre Fernandez Hidalgo
In manus tuas

 

Anonymous
Psalm 147

Meridionalis: Elizabeth Baber, Martha Cluver, sopranos; James Blachly, Luthien Brackett, altos; Timothy Hodges, tenor; Steven Hrycelak, Thomas McCargar, bass; Sebastian Zubieta, conductor

 

Roberto Sierra
Cuarteto Para Cuerdas No. 2
 (World Premiere)
I. Salseado
II. Lento con gran expression
III. Vivo
IV. Rapido
[Commissioned by Symphony Space with funds from the New York State Council of the Arts.]
La Catrina Quartet: Daniel Vega-Albela, Blake Espy, violin; Jorge Martinez, viola; Cesar Bourguet, violoncello

 

!Si Cuba!

Adam O' Farrill
Full Measure
O' Farrill Brothers Band: Adam O' Farrill, trumpet; Livio Almeida, tenor sax; Adam Kromelow, piano; Michael Sacks, bass; Zachary O' Farrill, drums

 

PART 10

Enrique Fernandez
Experimento Tres

 

Horace Silver, arr. Enrique Fernandez 
Senor Blues

 

Enrique Fernandez
Bugalú Monkó

 

Onel Mulet, Roman Diaz
Biankomeko Jarro (Abakua)
Afro-Cuban Jazz Saxtet: Roman Diaz, percussion and vocals; Enrique Fernandez, alto saxophone, flute, clarinet; Jason Marshall, baritone, saxophone, flute, bass clarinet; Onel Mulet, soprano and alto saxophone, flute, percussion; Xavier Perez, tenor saxophone, flute, bass clarinet [Presented in collaboration with Habana/Harlem]

 

Tania Leon
Cuarteto No. 2 
(World premiere)
I. Soy (I am)
II. De vez en Cuando (Once in a While)
III. Son retazos (They are fragments)
Harlem Quartet: Ilmar Gavilan, Melissa White, violin; Juan-Miguel Hernandez, viola; Paul Wianko, violoncello

 

Discussion with Tania LeonArturo O' FarrillOnel Mulet, and Damien Fernandez

 

PART 11

Arturo O' Farrill
A Still Small Voice (World Premiere)
LaGuardia High School Senior Chorus: Jana Ballard, director

 

Pablo Mayor
Mercado en Domingo

 

PART 12

Corina Bartra, arr. Todd Bashore
Yambambo

Corina Bartra, vocals; Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra

 

Traditional, arr. Cristina Pato
Cristina Pato, gaita (Galician bagpipe); Victor Prieto, accordion; Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra

 

Pepe Vasquez, arr. Todd Bashore, words by Susana Baca
No Valentin

Muineiras
[Commissioned by Symphony Space with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts.]
Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra: Arturo O' Farrill, piano, musical director; David DeJesus, Bobby Porcelli, alto saxophone; Peter Branin, Ivan Renta, tenor saxophone; Jason Marshall, baritone saxophone; Seneca Black, Michael Mossman, Jim Seeley, John A. Walsh, trumpet; Reynoldo Jorge, Tokunori Kajiwara, Gary Valente, trombone; Earl McIntyre, bass trombone; Ricardo Rodriguez, bass; Roland Guerrero, congas; Vince Cherico, drums, timbales; Joe Gonzales, bongos, percussion

+ About the Artists

About the Composers

Carlos Chávez was a renowned composer, conductor, and educator whose distinctive, often highly percussive music synthesized elements of Mexican, Indian, and Spanish-Mexican influence. A prolific writer of music and music criticism, Chávez’s oeuvre includes five ballets, seven symphonies, four concertos, a cantata and opera, and innumerable pieces for voice, piano, and chamber ensemble. Chávez was trained primarily as a pianist and developed much of his compositional skills independent of instructors. Coming of age at the close of the Mexican revolution and during a time of renewed cultural nationalism, Chávez’s investigation of indigenous Indian cultures, native folk elements, and dance forms brought an unprecedented vigor and visibility to 20th-century Mexican music. He organized and served as music director of the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico and conducted nearly every major orchestra in the United States, Europe, and Latin America.

Identity has always been at the center of Gabriela Lena Frank’s music. Born in Berkeley, California, to a mother of mixed Peruvian/Chinese ancestry and a father of Lithuanian/Jewish descent, Frank explores her multicultural heritage most ardently through her compositions. Inspired by the works of Bela Bartók and Alberto Ginastera, Frank is something of a musical anthropologist. She has traveled extensively throughout South America and her pieces reflect and refract her studies of Latin-American folklore, incorporating poetry, mythology, and native musical styles into a western classical framework that is uniquely her own. She writes, “There’s usually a story line behind my music; a scenario or character.”

Osvaldo Golijov grew up in an Eastern European Jewish household in La Plata, Argentina, surrounded by classical chamber music, Jewish liturgical, and klezmer music, and the new tango of Ástor Piazzolla. He moved to Israel in 1983, where he studied with Mark Kopytman at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy and immersed himself in the colliding musical traditions of that city. Upon moving to the United States in 1986, Golijov earned his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania where he studied with George Crumb, and was a fellow at Tanglewood studying with Oliver Knussen. In 2006 Lincoln Center presented a sold-out festival called “The Passion of Osvaldo Golijov,” featuring performances of his major works. In 2007 he was named first composer-in-residence at the Mostly Mozart Festival. He is currently co-composer-in-residence, together with Marc-Anthony Turnage, at the Chicago Symphony. Golijov is Loyola Professor of Music at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.

Gutierre Fernández Hidalgo was tutored by Juan Navarro and worked in various churches in Spain, including as maestro de capilla. In 1583 he boarded a ship for the New World, and within a year found himself the maestro de capilla of the Cathedral of Santafé (today’s Bogotá). In a controversial appointment he also became rector of the Tridentine seminary of San Luís. With the help of the bishop, he then forced all the seminarians to sing every day for him at the Cathedral, providing for himself a “volunteer” choir. But it didn’t last: when all the students fled, he lost his job. He repeated this ploy in Quito, being both maestro de capilla of the cathedral and priest of a parish. His parishioners balked and again he lost his job. He then served the cathedrals of Lima, Cuzco in the Andes, and La Plata, then went back to Cuzco and finally in 1612 back to La Plata, where he remained for the rest of his life.

Composer-pianist Vijay Iyer is one of today’s most acclaimed and respected young American jazz artists. He received the Musician of the Year award in the 2010 Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards, the 2010 Echo Award (the “German Grammy”) for best international ensemble with his trio, and the Downbeat Critics Poll for #1 rising star small ensemble of the year. His latest recordings on the ACT label include Solo, and his trio album Historicity, which was named the #1 jazz album of 2009 by The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, the annual Village Voice jazz critics poll, and the Downbeat International Critics Poll. Iyer has also composed orchestral and chamber works; scored for film, theater, radio and television; collaborated with poets and choreographers; and joined forces with artists in hip-hop, rock, experimental, electronic, and Indian classical music. He teaches at Manhattan School of Music, New York University, The New School, and School for Improvisational Music.

Antonio Carlos Jobim is best known for his contributions to the development and popularity of bossa nova. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jobim was exposed to the sounds of samba as well as those of jazz, which was reaching a commercial peak in the 1930s and 40s. Soon Jobim’s talent was recognized in the United States, particularly by jazz saxophonist Stan Getz. In 1963 Getz invited Jobim and João Gilberto, the guitarist and composer who created bossa nova, to collaborate with him on an album. The music was a direct convergence of jazz improvisation and the tranquil bossa nova style, and became a commercial success. His “The Girl From Ipanema,” and “Corcovado” have become some of the most-played songs in jazz.

Born in Mexico City in 1943, Mario Lavista began piano studies as a child and enrolled at the Conservatorio Nacional de Musica in 1963 under the guidance of Carlos Chavez, Hector Quintanar, and Rodolfo Halffter. He studied at the Schola Cantorum in Paris, where he also attended courses given by Henri Pousseur, Nadia Boulanger, Christoph Caskel, and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Upon his return to Mexico he founded Quanta, a collective improvisation group. In 1972, he worked at the electronic music studio of radio and television in Tokyo, Japan. He has worked on interdisciplinary projects, such as Jaula (1976), and in the creation of multiple scores for films produced by Nicolas Echevarria. In 1982, he founded Pauta, one of the most important music journals in Latin America, and has served as its chief editor ever since. In 1987, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship for his first and only opera Aura. Lavista has taught in Mexico and abroad including the University of Chicago, Cornell University, University of California San Diego, Indiana University, and McGill University.

Tania León is highly regarded as a composer and conductor recognized for her accomplishments as an educator and advisor to arts organizations. Recent premieres include Esencia para Cuarteto de Cuerdas, commissioned by the Fromm Foundation for the Del Sol String Quartet; Ácana premiered by Orpheus at Carnegie Hall and the Purchase College Orchestra; and Ancients for 2 sopranos and mixed ensemble commissioned by Carolina Performing Arts for the Festival on the Hill. Recent awards include a Pulitzer Prize nomination for Ácana, Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Fromm Music Foundation commission. She is on faculty at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York.

Arturo Márquez was born in Sonora, Mexico in 1950. He began his musical training in La Puente, California in 1966, later studying piano and music theory at the CNM and composition at the Taller de Composición of the Instituto de Bellas Artes de Mexico with Joaquín Gutiérrez Heras, Hector Quintanar, and Federico Ibarra. He also studied in Paris privately with Jacques Castérède, and at the California Institute of the Arts with Morton Subotnick, Stephen Mosko, Mel Powell, and James Newton. In recent years, Márquez has written a series of danzones, works based on an elegant Cuban dance that migrated to Veracruz. His Danzón No. 2 is among the most popular Latin American works to emerge since the 1950s. In February 2006, Arturo Márquez received the “Medalla de Oro de Bellas Artes,” the highest honor given to artists by Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes. Márquez has received commissions from the OAS, the Universidad Metropolitana de Mexico, the UNAM, Festival Cervantino, Festival del Caribe, Festival de la Ciudad de México, and the Rockefeller Foundation. He has received grants from the Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA), the French Government, and the Fulbright Foundation.

Pablo Mayor is a composer, arranger, and pianist from Colombia. His work with the Folklore Urbano Orchestra has produced three CDs and taken the band to international venues. He founded the annual “Encounter of Colombian Musicians in New York,” an event uniting Colombian musicians. Mayor was invited to speak on Colombian music at the Colombian Embassy on Capitol Hill during the 2008 celebration featuring Petrona Martínez. He has been active as educator of Colombian music leading an annual Colombian music residency at PS/IS 217 on Roosevelt Island through a partnership grant with Turtle Bay Music School. Mayor has been working as both pianist and arranger for Orquesta Broadway and his big band compositions were recorded by the Grammy Award winning One O’Clock Lab band and his music was performed in March 2009 by Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra at Symphony Space in NYC. He is a professor of Latin piano at the Harbor Conservatory and has taught jazz arranging at the Brooklyn-Queens Conservatory. He holds both a B.A. and an M.A. in Jazz Arranging from the University of North Texas.

Arturo O’Farrill, pianist, composer, educator, and winner of the Latin Jazz USA Outstanding Achievement Award for 2003, was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. In 2002, Mr. O’Farrill created the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra for Jazz at Lincoln Center due in part to a large and very demanding body of substantial music in the genre of Latin and Afro Cuban Jazz that deserves to be much more widely appreciated and experienced by the general jazz audience. His debut album with the Orchestra Una Noche Inolvidable earned a GRAMMY award nomination in 2006. Mr. O’Farrill played piano with the Carla Bley Big Band from 1979 through 1983. He then went on to develop as a solo performer with a wide spectrum of artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Turre, Freddy Cole, The Fort Apache Band, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte. A recognized composer, Mr. O’Farrill has received commissions from Meet the Composer, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Philadelphia Music Project, and The Big Apple Circus. He has also composed music for films including Hollywoodland and Salud.

Born in Argentina in 1921, Ástor Piazzolla spent much of his first 25 years in New York City, and also lived and studied in Paris. Besides being a noted composer, he was also a virtuoso performer on the bandoneón, a sought-after orchestra leader, chamber musician, and arranger. Over the span of his career he wrote more than 1000 works ranging from orchestral suites to an electric octet. He studied with famous musicians including Bartók, Boulanger, Ginastera, and Stravinsky, and was also heavily influenced by jazz musicians Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway. This interest in such wide variety of music is often cited as the reason for his distinctive style; he is particularly known for his tangos, which blend the dance form and the formal concert piece.

Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez was born in Mexico City in 1964 and now lives in the New York Tundra, where he teaches composition at the Eastman School of Music. He studied with Jacob Druckman, Martin Bresnick, Steven Mackey and Henri Dutilleux at Yale, Princeton and Tanglewood, respectively. He has received many of the standard awards in the field (e.g. Barlow, Guggenheim, Fulbright, Koussevitzky, Fromm, American Academy of Arts and Letters.) He likes machines with hiccups and spiders with missing legs, looks at Paul Klee’s Notebooks every day, hasn’t grown much since he reached adulthood at age 14, and tries to use the same set of ears to listen to Bach, Radiohead, or Ligeti.

Composer Roberto Sierra studied composition in Europe, notably with György Ligeti in Hamburg, Germany. He came to prominence in 1987 when his first major orchestral composition, Júbilo, was performed at Carnegie Hall by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Since then, his works have been performed by the orchestras of San Francisco, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Detroit, San Antonio, and Phoenix, by the American Composers Orchestra, Kronos Quartet, Continuum, England’s BBC Symphony, Wolf Trap, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Festival Casals of Puerto Rico, France’s Festival de Lille, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, and Germany’s Neue Musik Bonn. Sierra’s Missa Latina was premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., conducted by Leonard Slatkin to considerable acclaim. Sierra is a professor at Cornell University where he teaches composition.

Heitor Villa-Lobos, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was one of the foremost Latin American composers of the 20th century, whose music combines indigenous melodic and rhythmic elements with Western classical music. He learned to play cello and guitar and was inspired by music from J.S. Bach. While traveling with his family to various regions of the vast country, he also developed an interest in native Brazilian folk music. He left home at age 18 because his widowed mother opposed his “delinquent” friends and wanted him to become a doctor. Instead he became a musical vagabond, playing cello and guitar to support himself while traveling. He began a serious study of the works of Bach, Wagner, and Puccini, whose influence can be noted in his compositions. In 1919 he met the pianist Artur Rubinstein, who helped advance Villa-Lobos’s reputation by playing his music in concerts throughout the world.

Mexican-born composer Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon received his undergraduate degree in guitar and composition from the University of California at San Diego, and both a Master’s degree and PhD in composition from the University of Pennsylvania, where his principal teacher was George Crumb. Zohn-Muldoon’s honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Tanglewood Music Center, Camargo Foundation, Endowment for Culture and the Arts of Mexico, a Mozart Medal from the Embassy of Austria in México, and commissions from the Fromm Foundation and U.S./Mexico Fund for Culture. His works have been performed by the Sirius Ensemble, eighth blackbird, Chicago Contemporary Chamber Players, Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, Earplay, Neue Ensemble Hannover, and San Francisco Contemporary Players. Zohn-Muldoon joined the faculty of the Eastman School of Music in 2002.

 

About the Performers

More than an ensemble, the Afro-Cuban Jazz Saxtet is a forum for these 5 composers and multi-instrumentalists to give wind to theirpersonal explorations in roots music. Steeped in history as old as the saxophone and modern woodwinds and from around the time the drum and its sacred African rhythms were banned in Cuba, New Orleans, and the rest of the diaspora, this group works in past, present, future.

Pianist and composer Arturo O’Farrill founded the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO) in 2002 to perform compositions of masters such as Machito, Tito Puente, Chico O’Farrill, and others, and to keep this culturally rich tradition alive by continuing to commission new works. From 2002 to 2007, the ALJO was a resident orchestra of Jazz at Lincoln Center, performing an extensive concert schedule at Lincoln Center, touring nationally and internationally, and earning a GRAMMY nomination for its first album, Una Noche Inolvidable. In 2007 the ALJO left Lincoln Center and established a residency at Symphony Space, where it is currently in its fourth season. The Orchestra earned a GRAMMY for Best Latin Jazz Album in 2009 for its second album, Song for Chico. The ALJO released its newest album, 40 Acres and a Burro, in February 2011.

Founded by Latin music historian, composer and musician Aurora Flores and her husband, musical director and arranger David Fernandez, Aurora & Zon del Barrio is a play on the words “Son” the musical genre found throughout the Caribbean and L.A. and “Zone” where Latinos live, work and struggle to find their balance in the “zone.” An intergenerational group whose members span several ages, its young percussion section is already being called “los monstruitos” as these “little monsters” of rhythm are making a name for themselves alongside the ladies of ZDB that provide the PANTY POWER of this ensemble’s swing. Combined with the power of jazz and dance rhythms from our built in arranger and multi-instrumentalist the music monster himself, David Fernandez, Zon del Barrio brings their classic mix of covers and original tunes from the streets of Latin N.Y. to stages from the South Bronx to the South of France.

A sophisticated jazz and contemporary world singer from Peru, Corina Bartra was the first vocalist to blend Afro Peruvian, criolla music, and jazz. She also pioneered subtle and exciting instrumental textures in her compositions and her arrangements. She writes extensive intros, interludes, and solos filled with inventive rhythms and beautiful harmonies. Corina was the recipient of the prestigious Queens Council on the Arts award in 2008. She has pioneered a ground-breaking fusion of jazz and Afro Latin music with her releases: Corina Bartra Quartet, Son Zumbon, and Travelog, where for the first time one could hear the incorporation of the cajón and the festejo groove blended with jazz.

Internationally renowned composer, arranger, and master of the bandoneón, Argentine Daniel Binelli tours extensively in concert and recital. He is widely acclaimed as the foremost exponent and torchbearer of the music of Ástor Piazzolla. In 1989 Daniel Binelli joined Ástor Piazzolla´s New Tango Sextet, touring internationally. Binelli has appeared as guest soloist with the Symphony Orchestras of Philadelphia, Atlanta, Virginia, Sydney, Tonhalle in Zurich, Montreal, Ottawa, and St. Petersburg. Binelli conducted Piazzolla´s operita: María de Buenos Aires in Sicily with Italian singer Milva. Binelli’s collaborations incude duo performances with pianist Polly Ferman and guitarist Eduardo Isaac, as well as the Binelli- Ferman- Isaac Trio. Daniel Binelli is the Musical Director of Tango Metropolis Company and was featured in a PBS Documentary Tango the Spirit of Argentina and on a BBC documentary on Piazzolla’s life.

Grammy-winning pianist, arranger, and conductor Octavio Brunetti studied piano in his hometown of Rosario, Argentina. Before graduating, he was already performing a variety of music styles. But his love for the tango prevailed and soon he was playing with many of Argentina’s most important tango musicians and singers, such as Alberto Castillo, Eladia Blazquez, Ruben Juarez, Domingo Federico, Rodolfo Mederos, Osvaldo Piro and Atilio Stampone. He moved in 2004 to the United States where his participation in New York’s International Tango Competition won him two first prizes: Best Solo Pianist and Best Duo. He now successfully tours with his own band, the Octavio Brunetti Quintet, and is one of the most sought-after tango pianists of our times. His recordings include Soledad by Ástor Piazzolla with world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma (Appassionato by Sony BMGClassical), and Grammy Award-winning CD Te amo Tango with Raul Jaurena.

Calpulli Danza Mexicana was founded in 2003 by a group of artists working and living in New York City. Its mission is to teach and produce dance-based programming incorporating live music and theatre to promote the rich diversity of Mexican cultural heritage. Calpulli is a word of the Nahuatl language referring to the groups or clans categorized by trade, which contributed to the whole of the Aztec civilization. This young, energetic group is a calpulli of artists. Calpulli produces professional performances via its touring company, arts in education programming, and award-winning community outreach activities most notably its Youth Dance program.

Chilcano was formed at New York University’s Jazz Department, where we studied Peruvian music with trumpeter Gabriel Alegria and percussionist Freddie “Huevito” Lobatón. The potential of the band was spotted immediately by Dr. Alegria, who helped to quickly elevate Chilcano to professional status. Since October of 2010 the group has performed weekly at Tutuma Social Club, at St. Peter’s “Jazz Church,” and the Blue Note. The group received a generous grant from the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation to support a CD recording and a concert Tour in Peru in May 2011. According to the wishes of Ella herself, the members of Chilcano will travel to schools in New York City to share the experience of Afro-Peruvian music with young people.

The Colorado Quartet was catapulted onto the scene by back-to-back wins at the Banff International String Quartet and Naumburg competitions and was the first all-women quartet to attain international stature. The Colorado Quartet has taught at Yale University, and held residencies at the Oberlin College-Conservatory, the Banff and Orford Centres, Amherst, Swarthmore, and Skidmore Colleges, and the New School of Music in Philadelphia. Their recording of works by Henry Cowell was named a “best of 1999” by Gramophone Magazine, and a CD of Schubert and Mendelssohn received the Chamber Music America/WQXR recording award in 2001. The Colorado Quartet is Artistic Director of the Soundfest Chamber Music Festival and Quartet Institute on Cape Cod.

The Damocles Trio has performed throughout the USA, appearing numerous times at Alice Tully Hall, and completed highly successful tours of Switzerland. The trio has been featured frequently on “Young Artists Showcase” on WQXR radio. Recent performances have included recitals at BargeMusic, University of Maryland, Amarillo Chamber Music Society, Third Street Music School Settlement, Merkin Concert Hall, and the North River Music series. The trio also produced “Música por doquier” (“Hispanic Music Everywhere”) in 2004, a year-long festival in New York City including master classes, concerts, and premieres of newly commissioned works.

A concert violinist since the age of four, Elmira Darvarova performs worldwide to great acclaim, having won prizes at international competitions, including the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. She studied with music legends Henryk Szeryng and Joseph Gingold. Herbert von Karajan chose her for one of his film projects. She caused a sensation becoming the first ever female concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera. She has also led, as concertmaster, the Rochester Philharmonic, Columbus Symphony, and Grant Park Symphony. She has appeared in recitals and as soloist on four continents, and has performed concertos with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra and numerous other European orchestras. She is president and artistic director of the New York Chamber Music Festival.

Formed at the Eastman School of Music—one of the world’s leading musical institutions—by composers Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon and Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, the Eastman BroadBand is a flexible group whose aim is to explore the many facets of contemporary music-making. Its programs focus on the music of our time, placing a special emphasis on the music of living Mexican composers. Among the Eastman BroadBand’s appearances are those at the Joyce Theatre with the Garth Fagan Dance Company on the New York premiere of Fagan’s Edge/Joy, the SpazioMusica Festival in Cagliari, Italy, the Festival Internacional in Chihuahua, and the Festival Internacional Cervantino in Guanajuato, Mexico.

One of the leading interpreters of the music of the Americas, New York-based pianist Polly Ferman’s extensive tours as a soloist have included performances with the Symphonies of San Francisco, Colorado, Vancouver, and Indianapolis, as well as the Tokyo Philharmonic, Kharkov Philharmonic Orchestra, Philippines Philharmonic, Sâo Paulo State Symphony, National Symphony of Argentina, and Camerata Romeu in Cuba, in addition to recitals at Carnegie Hall, Tokyo’s Suntory and Takemitsu Halls, Virginia’s Wolf Trap, London’s St. Martin in the Fields, Koncert Halle of Munich, and the Buenos Aires Teatro Colón. Her performances were featured in the Brazilian movie A Viuva da Rua Siria. She is the creator, Music Director, and pianist of GlamourTango, a multimedia music and dance show, celebrating Women in Tango with an all female cast.

Damian Fernandez (Ph.D., University of Miami) is a specialist on Cuban and Latin American politics. Dr. Fernandez currently serves as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Purchase College, State University of New York. He is the former director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University and served as lead investigator of a National Science Foundation-funded research initiative focusing on political culture, social capital and community among Latinos in the U.S. A widely published scholar, he is a leading expert on culture and politics in Cuba. His book, Cuba and the Politics of Passion has been adopted for undergraduate and graduate courses at Princeton, University of Michigan, Tulane, Georgetown, and Amherst, among other universities. Dr. Fernandez has been recently selected to be Head of School of Ethical Culture Fieldston, a position that he will assume on July 1st.

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana is a thriving Spanish dance company known for its exceptional arts education programming, innovative dance performances, domestic touring, and community-based initiatives. Since its founding in 1983, the company has been committed to using flamenco as a bridge between cultures. The company’s core values include introducing Spanish dance to a broad spectrum of audiences, preserving the traditions of flamenco and Spanish dance, and guiding the art form’s modern evolution. Flamenco Vivo has performed at the Joyce Theater for the past nine years and across New York’s five boroughs during our “Flamenco in the Boros” Tour. Flamenco Vivo’s education programs reach approximately 28,000 students annually, in New York and throughout the United States.

The Harlem Quartet, praised for its “panache” by The New York Times, is currently the resident ensemble in the New England Conservatory of Music’s Professional String Quartet Program. The quartet opened its 2009-10 season returning as featured soloists on the national Sphinx Chamber Orchestra Tour, making stops coast-to-coast including Carnegie Hall, Eastman School of Music, Oberlin College, and Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. In December it played two performances at the White House for guests of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, and made an appearance Christmas morning on NBC’s Today Show. In 2009 the quartet also performed by invitation with Itzhak Perlman at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and made its London debut performing at the residence of the US ambassador to the UK.

La Catrina String Quartet’s unique blend of Latin-American and standard repertoire has proved enormously entertaining for its diverse audiences. Currently Faculty Quartet-in-Residence at New Mexico State University, La Catrina Quartet tours regularly throughout the US and Mexico, and has received Western Michigan University’s All University Research and Creative Scholar Award, Bascom Little Fund Grant, and the North Carolina Arts Council cARTwheels 2009 and 2010 touring program. They have premiered works by composers Thomas Janson, John Ferrito, and Zae Munn and served as Quartet-in-Residence of the Western Piedmont Symphony. They were also in residence at the Chamber Music Festival of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where they collaborated with the Brentano Quartet, Poulenc Trio, and the Miami Quartet.

David Leisner has a multi-faceted career as an electrifying performing artist, distinguished composer, and master teacher. One of the world’s leading classical guitarists, his superb musicianship and provocative programming have been applauded by critics and audiences around the globe. He has recorded CDs for the Azica, Naxos, Telarc, Koch, and Etcetera labels, and a solo concert DVD on the Mel Bay label. David Leisner’s recent seasons have taken him around the US, including his solo debut with the Atlanta Symphony, a major tour of Australia and New Zealand, and debuts and reappearances in Japan, the Philippines, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, the U.K., Italy, Czech Republic, Greece, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. His own compositions, noted for their emotional and dramatic power, have been performed, recorded and published worldwide. Leisner is also co-chairman of the guitar department at the Manhattan School of Music.

Praised by The New York Times for its “beautifully blended readings,” Meridionalis is Americas Society’s vocal ensemble, dedicated to the performance of early choral music from Latin America. They have appeared at the MetLife Foundation Music of the Americas Concert Series and at the Look and Listen and the Look and Listen Festival.

Pianist John Novacek regularly tours the Americas, Europe, and Asia as solo recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist. Novacek’s major American performances have been heard in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Kennedy Center, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Chicago’s Symphony Center, and the Hollywood Bowl while international venues include Paris’ Theatre des Champs-Elysées, London’s Wigmore Hall, and most of the major concert halls of Japan. He is also frequently seen and heard on television, including The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Entertainment Tonight, and CNN International. Novacek is a much sought-after collaborative artist and has performed with Joshua Bell, Matt Haimovitz, Leila Josefowicz, Cho-Liang Lin, Yo-Yo Ma, Truls Mork, Elmar Oliveira, Emmanuel Pahud, and the Colorado, Harrington, Jupiter, New Hollywood, St. Lawrence, SuperNova, and Ying string quartets. He also tours widely as a member of Intersection, a piano trio.

Flutist Tara Helen O’Connor is a charismatic performer sought after for her unusual artistic depth, brilliant technique, and colorful tone in music of every era. Tara is a member of the innovative woodwind quintet Windscape, a founding member of the Naumburg Award winning New Millennium Ensemble, and the flute soloist of the world renowned Bach Aria Group. A 2001 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, she also received two Grammy nominations in January of 2003 for Osvaldo Golijov’s recording entitled Yiddishbbuk. She was the first wind player to be chosen to participate in the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Centers Chamber Music Society Two program for emerging artists. Tara now performs regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Orpheus, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Spoleto USA, Chamber Music Northwest, Music from Angel Fire, and the Brandenburg Ensemble.

Adam O’Farrill and Zack O’Farrill started the O’Farrill Brothers Band in September 2009. They made their start playing at Puppet’s Jazz Bar in Brooklyn and released their first album in 2011 on ZOHO Music, entitled Giant Peach, which contains 7 original compositions by the band members and 1 cover. The Wall Street Journal said that the album “bristles with confidence and creativity.” They have performed in many prominent venues in NYC, including The Jazz Gallery, Symphony Space, and Cornelia Street Café. The members have individually performed with a variety of music luminaries as Stefon Harris, Arturo O’Farrill, Bob Mintzer, Bobby Watson, Imani Winds, Esperanza Spalding, and DJ Logic, and have performed at the 2011 GRAMMY Awards, Mount Fuji Jazz Festival, Birdland Jazz Club, Chicago Jazz Showcase, the White House, and the Carefusion Newport Jazz Festival.

Argentine composer and pianist Fernando Otero found his voice as writer, musician, and bandleader when, at the urging of one of his music teachers, he began to incorporate the indigenous sounds of his native Buenos Aires into his work. Otero had already begun to experiment with rudimentary home recordings and was eager to start writing on his own, though he gravitated more to a jazz idiom than a classical one. As he recalls, a guitar and composition instructor, Marcelo Braga Saralegui “showed me the possibility of developing something with the roots of tango, the sound of tango. Not necessarily tango itself, but the music I heard as a child, the sound in the streets. I started working with a bandoneon player and tried my first project, which I called X Tango.” Twenty years have passed since Otero opened his ears to this wealth of ideas, and ever since he has pursued his vision of X Tango. He has collaborated with one-time Bill Evans sideman Eddie Gomez, flautist Dave Valentin, pianist/film composer Dave Grusin, Chico O’Farrill’s Jazz Orchestra at Jazz @Lincoln Center, and clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera.

Cristina Pato has already opened historical new paths for the Gaita (Galician bagpipe) and has collaborated with world music, jazz, classical, and experimental artists (including Chicago Symphony, Yo-Yo Ma, The Chieftains, and the Royal Pipe Band). Pato fuses the influences of Latin music, jazz, pop and contemporary music, and uses her artistry and unprecedented virtuosic skill to bring her musical vision to life. Pato is a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. Her career has led to performances throughout major stages throughout the world in the U.S., India, Jerusalem, Portugal, Brazil, the U.K., France, Italy, Germany, Mexico, and her native Spain. Pato produced and composed the soundtrack of the Spanish film El Hombre de Arena. Ms. Pato served as artistic director of the Chamber Series for the 40th anniversary of Fundacion Barrie de la Maza.

The Poulenc Trio is the most active touring piano-wind chamber music ensemble in the world. In a recent review, the Washington Post said the trio “does its namesake proud” in “an intriguing and beautifully played program” with “convincing elegance, near effortless lightness and grace.” The Trio has garnered positive attention in recent full-length profiles by Chamber Music Magazine, and by the Double Reed Journal. Since its founding in 2003, the Poulenc Trio has effectively doubled the repertoire available for the oboe, bassoon, and piano ensemble, with 20 new works written for and premiered by the group. The Trio has also made a commitment to explore and promote musics that reflect its members’ African, Pan-American, Eastern European, and Jewish roots. Recent concerts have featured works by Afro-Cuban jazz great Paquito D’Rivera, Mexican-American composer Carlos Medina, and Russian-American composer Natalyia Medvedovskaya.

Accordionist Victor Prieto is a native of Galicia, Spain and studied at the Orense Conservatory, Estudio Escola de Musica, and Berklee College of Music. Today Prieto is revolutionizing the way that the accordion is played by creating new sounds and techniques for this instrument. His music embraces jazz, tango, classical and Celtic roots enriched with new rhythms and colors. He is the creator of a new technique for the accordion called “chord approach on both hands,” which creates rich and elaborate harmonies. As a leader Prieto has performed at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Blue Note NY, New Jersey Performance Art Center, Three Rivers Musical Festival, Williamsburg Jazz Festival, and Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. Prieto has performed and recorded with Yo-Yo Ma, Billy Hart, Jeff Ballard, Chris Cheek, Paquito D’Rivera, Matt Wilson, Donny McCaslin, and Lionel Louke, and is involved in projects such as The Maria Schneider Orchestra and Emilio Solla’s Jazz Tango Conspiracy.

The Quintet of the Americas is one of the Western Hemisphere’s finest chamber ensembles. The Washington Post has called their performances, “Musical dialogue at the highest level” and Japan’s InTune Magazine has written about them, “Their virtuosity, balances, articulation and intonation mark them as one of the world’s top wind quintets. I have never heard finer playing.” Long recognized as leading interpreters of folk and contemporary wind quintet music of North and South America, the group’s mission is to broaden the knowledge and appreciation of woodwind chamber music from the Western Hemisphere by performing contemporary, classical, and folk-derived music from the diverse cultural traditions of the Americas, and the performance, commissioning, and recording of woodwind quintets and related chamber music. The Quintet is in residence at New York University.

Sonia Rubinsky, born in Brazil of Slavic origin, has lived in Israel where she studied piano at the Jerusalem Academy of Music, and most of her adult life in New York and Paris. She holds a DMA and MMA from The Juilliard School. Singled out by Arthur Rubinstein, Rubinky is a worldwide acclaimed soloist. She has recorded the complete piano works of Villa-Lobos in eight volumes for Naxos. The 8th volume won the Latin GRAMMY Award in 2009 as Best Recording of the Year, while the first volume was one of the five best releases of 1999, and the fifth was Editor’s Choice of October 2006, both for Gramophone Magazine. Rubinsky also recorded for Albany Records (Liderman), Clássicos (Mozart), Algol (Scarlatti, Mendelssohn), and Daghlian label (Debussy, Villa-Lobos, Messiaen). Sonia Rubinsky was recently nominated Artist in Residence by Murray Perahia at the Edward Aldwell International Center in Jerusalem, Israel.

James Nyoraku Schlefer is a leading performer and teacher of shakuhachi in New York City. Called “A Master of the Shakuhachi” by The New York Times, he received the Dai-Shi-Han (Grand Master) certificate in 2001, one of only a handful of non-Japanese to receive this high level award. In 2008, he received his second Shi-Han certificate from Mujuan Dojo, in Kyoto. In Japan, Schlefer has worked with Reibo Aoki, Katsuya Yokoyama, Yoshio Kurahashi, Yoshinobu Taniguchi, and Kifu Mitsuhashi. He holds a Master’s degree in Western flute and musicology from Queens College and currently teaches music history courses at the City University of New York. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall, BAM, the Metropolitan Museum, and at colleges and universities throughout the US. Schlefer has been a soloist in several orchestral settings including the New York City Opera, Karl Jenkins’ Requiem, and others, and is a member of the Japanese music group Ensemble East, which performs traditional and modern music for Japanese instruments. Nyoraku Sensei is head of the Kyo-Shin-An teaching studio in New York City. As a composer, Schlefer has written many pieces for Japanese instruments including a shakuhachi concerto and a quintet for shakuhachi and string quartet.

Chris Vasquez has been recognized internationally for his passionate interpretations of tango. The NY Argentine Consulate awarded Mr. Vasquez the honored prize of “Best Singer” at their International Tango Competition, and he was a finalist in the Medellín International Tango Festival. He has performed at many reputable places in the US including the Museo del Barrio and The Spanish Institute in NY and has been a soloist with the Long Island Symphony, the Americas Vocal Ensemble, and pleased to be performing again with Quintet of the Americas. He has written and produced several tango shows including the celebrated The Son of Tango: A Tribute to Carlos Gardel. As an actor, he has been seen in theater, film, and TV in the USA and Spain and has toured in concert in Rumania, Bulgaria, and China. Mr. Vasquez holds degrees from Tufts University and from New England Conservatory of Music.

In its 16 years of existence, XPlau has been mixing electronic beats and synthesizer with classical music and Brazilian rhythms synchronized with images. It all began with Greek composer Iannis Xenakis and images of the work by Catalan architect Gaudi. It was with this project that we created our “mosaic” technique which is the same that we used with Villa Lobos Remix. “It’s an honor to represent Brazil and our greatest composer, Heitor Villa-Lobos. We can’t wait to hear what our electronic beats will sound like with Sonia Rubinsky´s piano and the Colorado String Quartet.” -Antonio Sartori, Producer, XPlau

Violinist Airi Yoshioka has concertized throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Canada as a recitalist, soloist, and chamber musician. Deeply committed to chamber music, she is the founding member of the Damocles Trio and Modigliani Quartet and has performed and recorded with the members of the Emerson, Brentano, and Arditti Quartets. Her orchestral credits include performances with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Sinfonietta, Manhattan Virtuosi, and Aspen Music Festival. An enthusiastic performer of new music, she was one of the original members of the New Juilliard Ensemble and had performed annually in Juilliard’s FOCUS! Festival and is currently a member of Continuum, ModernWorks!, RUCKUS, Son Sonora, and Azure Ensemble. She has premiered dozens of works and her latest recording project of works for violin and electronics includes commissions from such prominent women composers as Tania León, Linda Dusman, Alice Shields, and Milica Paranosic. Currently, she is Assistant Professor of Violin at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

+ About the Music

Fanfarria, aria y movimiento perpetuo, Roberto Sierra

The opening sounds of Fanfarria, aria y movimiento perpetuo are based on the kind of open intervals and triads reminiscent of sonorities that Aaron Copland favored in his music (the work was commissioned by the Library of Congress as part of the Copland centennial celebrations). The fanfare was written to sound almost like an improvisation in which rhythmic elements of salsa can be heard. The aria is a slow section that explores the expressive qualities and singing tone of the violin. As a reminder of the open intervals used at the beginning, and to serve as a bridge to the perpetual motion, we again hear fanfare-like material. The work closes with running sixteenth notes movimiento perpetuo—a rhythmic evocation of salsa music.

--Roberto Sierra

 

Sueños de Chambi: Snapshots for an Andean Album Gabriela Lena Frank 

is inspired by the work of Martín Chambi (1891-1973), the first Amerindian photographer to achieve international acclaim, albeit posthumously. In a career spanning half a century, he recorded as much of Peruvian life, architecture, and landscape as possible. In his documentation of both the Quechua-speaking descendants of the Incas and the mestizo (mixed-race) elite, Chambi produced more than 18,000 glass negatives depicting the customs and festivals, the working lives and public celebrations of twentieth-century Peruvians. Chambi’s desire to integrate his Indian heritage with his artistic talent, his unassuming nature and ease in meeting people regardless of class, caste, or race, and his natural curiosity meant that he avoided exoticizing the inhabitants of the high altiplano of Peru. Sueños de Chambi is my musical interpretation of seven photos from Chambi’s vast collection of pictures. It was with great difficulty that I picked just seven to muse on in this duo for violin and piano! They are:

I. Harawi de Quispe: Based on the photo, “Portrait of Miguel Quispe, Cuzco, Peru, c. 1926,” this opening movement frames a Cusqueño religious tune in a harawi, a melancholy and emotional song played by a solo quena flute, the quintessential wind instrument of the Andes. Nicknamed “El Inca” for hiking these mountains barefoot, Miguel Quispe was famous for his nonviolent organizations against the deplorable economic conditions of Indians. Here, he is photographed in profile, the lines of his face and Inca outfit quietly brilliant.

II. Diablicos Puneños: This picture (“Danzarin de la Diablada, 1925”) features a single dancer dressed as a devil from the southern Peruvian region of Puno. The piano flows attacca into this second movement from the first, setting the scene for a dance number with a singing melody on repeated notes. Black note clusters imitate shacapa percussion (seed rattles strapped to the dancers’ thighs) while the violin plays in legato and connected parallel fourths to imitate the tayqa, an extremely large and breathy panpipe.

III. Responsorio Lauramarqueño: In this picture (“Shepherds Piping in their Flocks, Lauramarca, Peru, 1929-33”), two shepherds, presumably father and son, are portrayed with their flutes against the backdrop of the Peruvian highlands, calling in their sheep. The music is structured as antiphonal responses between short solo piano interludes and the serrana cantilena melody sung by the violin. The cantilena melody is set against a swinging piano backdrop meant to convey the sound of the wind in the regional trees.

IV. P’asña Marcha: This picture (“The P’asña Marcha, Cuzco, Peru, 1940”) features women, known as bastoneras de Quiquijana, who dance for one another. In a game testing their skill, they balance large poles on their hands while performing intricate dance steps. After a capricious opening evoking the tremolo and pizzicato sounds of charangos (instruments similar to the mandolin) and guitars, a karnavalito rhythm persists throughout as an ostinato ground in the piano.

V. Adoración para Angelitos: As a piano solo, this movement sets a Peruvian nursery rhyme to reflect “Dead Child Displayed for the Mourners, Cuzco, Peru, 1920s,” a photograph of a deceased child laid out among flowers and candles on a bed, ready for burial.

VI. Harawi de Chambi: The sixth photo is a self-portait of Chambi which caught my eye for its similarity to the first portrait of Miguel Quispe. Both photos are in profile, in tranquil repose of quiet strength, and bathed in a halo of intertwining light and dark. Consequently, the same harawi melody from the introduction is set in the finale. I also pay tribute to the folk-influenced music of Bela Bartók by alluding to his second sonata for violin and piano.

VII. Marinera: “Folkloric Musicians, Cuzco, Peru, 1934” is the inspiration for this finale in an enlivened marinera style, a coastal dance popular among folk musicians throughout Peru.

--Gabriela Lena Frank

 

El Choclo, Ángel Villoldo

(Spanish for “The Corn Cob”) was written in 1989 by Ángel Villoldo, who was an Argentine musician and one of the pioneers of the tango style. El Choclo is one of the most popular tangos in the world. It is arranged by Daniel Binelli with contemporary harmonies.

 

Verano Porteño, Ástor Piazzolla

is one of the four Estaciones Porteñas. This version starts with a very contemporary improvised introduction followed by the theme with different rhythms and moods.

 

Oblivion, Ástor Piazzolla

was composed in 1982 for a chamber ensemble. This piece was one of Piazzolla’s most famous tangos, and it became mostly popular when it was released on the soundtrack of Marco Bellochio’s film Henry IV, the Mad King.

 

Corales de Hawai, Daniel Binelli

This piece was inspired by a picture of Hawaiian corals. An imaginary trip to the bottom of the ocean, where sounds and colours take a different dimension. For piano and wind quintet.

 

New York Tango, Daniel Binelli

This piece was commissioned by the Quintet of the Americas with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts.

 

Histoire du Tango, Ástor Piazzolla

The Argentine composer, Ástor Piazzolla was the great popularizer and master of the tango, both as performer and composer. His instrument was the bandonéon, a warmer-sounding brother of the accordion, made of mostly of wood, instead of metal. About his piece, Histoire du Tango, he wrote:

“Bordel 1900: The tango was born in Buenos Aires in 1882. The first instruments to play it were the guitar and the flute. Later, the piano was added, and then the bandonéon. This is music full of grace and liveliness. It gives the impression of the good humor and talkativeness of the French, Italian and Spanish women who lived in these brothels, seducing the policemen, thieves, sailors and bad boys who visited them. The tango is happy.

Café 1930: This is another era of the tango. One stopped dancing to it, as in 1900, and now instead was content to listen to it. It became more musical, and more romantic as well. This was a radical transformation: a slower tempo, new harmonies, much melancholy. Tango orchestras were composed of two violins, two bandonéons, a piano and a double bass. Sometimes, a singer was added.”

--David Leisner

 

Fish Tale, Osvaldo Golijov

had a meteoric rise to fame around the turn of this century with his works for string quartet and the monumental La Pasión según San Marcos for orchestra, chorus, and soloists. One of today’s busiest and most acclaimed composers, he has collaborated with Dawn Upshaw, Robert Spano, Francis Ford Coppola, and the St. Lawrence Quartet, among many others, and his music has been celebrated worldwide. Fish Tale, dubbed by the composer a “watercolor” for flute and guitar, was commissioned by 20th Century Unlimited at the suggestion of David Leisner and written for Leisner and Eugenia Zukerman. It is dedicated “to the love between Saville Ryan and Charles Marsh.” The composer writes, “I was an hallucinated fish before. Or, perhaps, that’s just a wish. And if it never happened or never will, I want to imagine in this music how that would be. How I would leave a silver wake in my travels through the substance of the marine night. How I would hear translucid filaments of melody emanating from the stars, rocks and weeds lying at the bottom of the sea’s mirrored sky, and how some of those filaments would wrap me in slow harmonies, while others would just quickly dissolve. How I would stop for an instant to look at the floating remains of a fisherman’s promise and hear the eroded farewell song that his beloved is still singing through her flute, a song that Dorival Caymmi captured with the net of his guitar and then, fearful of the Goddess, returned to the Brazilian ocean. And how all this really happened or never will, and how all this would continue to be after you and I are not here.”

--David Leisner

 

Adiós Nonino (Farewell, Nonino), Ástor Piazzolla

was written in New York in October 1959 in memory of Ástor’s father, Vicente “Nonino” Piazzolla, a few days after his death. This piece is one of Piazzolla’s most iconic and beloved compositions, and has been recorded many times in many various arrangements and instrumentations.

 

Michelangelo ’70, Ástor Piazzolla

which references the name of a Buenos Aires cafe where the composer’s quintet performed in the 70s, is an intriguing piece that is centered on a repeated three-note theme, composed as a sort of musical exercise.

 

Revirado (Twisted), Ástor Piazzolla

composed in 1963 for Piazzolla’s Quinteto Nuevo Tango, exhibits the counterpoint with which Piazzolla was enriching the traditional dance form during those years. It is a piece evoking the memory of Edith Piaf.

 

Escualo (Shark), Ástor Piazzolla

composed in 1979 for the famous tango violinist Fernando Suarez Paz, refers to shark-fishing, Piazzolla’s favorite pastime while vacationing in Punta del Este, Uruguay. This work is one of the most rhythmically challenging among Piazzolla’s compositions.

--Elmira Darvarova

 

Suite de Gargantúa, Mario Lavista

was written in 2009 on a commission from the Quintet of the Americas, to whom it is dedicated, with funds provided by the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust. Suite de Gargantúa is based on a piece I wrote in 2002 for narrator, children’s choir, and orchestra that tells the story of the giant Gargantúa as it appears in the second of the five books that make up the magna novel La vie de Gargantúa et de Pantagruel by 16th century French writer, François Rabelais. I have always been attracted to the art of transcription. I am interested in seeing how one of my pieces or a fragment of a piece behaves in a sound world different from the original without losing its initial identity, but reflecting its new instrumental language. And it is during this process that the piece undergoes modifications that affects its original register and also its contrapuntal fabric.

--Mario Lavista

 

Here, Again, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez

A Kyo-Shin-An Arts and Colorado String Quartet commission with funds provided through the Meet the Composer’s Commissioning Music/USA program. It is dedicated to James Nyoraku Schlefer.

When James Nyoraku Schlefer asked me to write a piece for shakuhachi, I surprised myself by how natural the idea seemed to me. I remember saying something like “of course—every time I write for flute I am really thinking of the shakuhachi!” The unmistakable qualities of the shakuhachi represent a sort of musical expression I have always treasured: a poetic marriage between the sounds and organic structures of the natural world and a passionate, angular and intense delivery that can only be identified as “human.”

A komuso, or ”priest of nothingness” renders himself ego-less in order to honor the higher purposes of Zen Buddhism. Similarly, to me, the western string quartet tradition is the noblest and most sophisticated form of chamber music-making. It inexorably seeks to create a unified voice that nonetheless speaks transparently about the complexity of human nature. Like the komuso, the string quartet musician contributes a distinct voice but ultimately surrenders his ego to the music.

I am not interested in—or feel capable of—“blending” Japanese and western classical music. Like other composers—notably Toru Takemitsu—I prefer to honor both traditions by inviting them to converse in the context of my work, and with means specific to each tradition. Like many engrossing conversations I have had with people whose spoken language I do not fully understand, I expect sensibility and intuition—poetry—to become the surface on which a quartet and a bamboo flute can write the story of their encounter—here, again.

--Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez

 

Páramo, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon

was written at the request of the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players and eighth blackbird, Páramo is part of a cycle of works based on the novel Pedro Páramo, by the great Mexican writer Juan Rulfo. The sound world of the piece is closely inspired on the narrative unfolding of the novel, in which the orderly flux of time has been derailed, thus dissolving the borders between past, present, life, and afterlife. The piece frenziedly ticks, tolls, and even cuckoos, like a deranged musical clock.

 

Five Memos, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez

(Commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University for the Look and Listen Festival and eighth blackbird)

The five movements of this piece, “Esattezza”, “Gli Uccelini del Signor Tic-Tac,” “Legerezza,” “Rapiditá,” and “Molteplicitá,” were written— more or less consciously— in response to the “values” proposed by Italo Calvino in his well-known “Six Memos for the Next Millennium”. Lightness, speed, visibility, exactness, and multiplicity are qualities that have pulled me to appreciate art for as long as I can remember. They are the values that make me listen to Mozart and Donatoni, look at Morandi and Klee, or read Murakami and Potocki. Like Calvino, I prefer art that raises above the weight of the world. I also favor direct, clear, visible gestures that, while mysterious, speak to me with precision and assertiveness. I like the precarious line that separates drama from comedy, and celebrate the fact that an author can make a hat become the main protagonist of a funeral with the magic touch of a sudden gush of wind.

I am a somewhat chaotic thinker, and my impatience (which I would hardly describe as a value) makes me gravitate around a narrative that is fast, direct, terse, and to the point, and whose intensity is multifaceted, like the ecstatic anguish felt by a soccer fan before the execution of a penalty kick...

—Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez

 

Guitar Etudes, Heitor Villa-Lobos

The young Brazilian composer, Heitor Villa-Lobos, spent several years in Paris in the mid-1920’s, taking in the dazzling array of activity in the world’s musical center of that era. Amongst the many great musicians he encountered was his contemporary, the guitarist Andrès Segovia, whom Villa-Lobos heard in concert. Soon afterwards in 1928, the composer wrote a set of 12 Etudes for solo guitar, with the virtuosity of the great performer in mind. These great works, comparable in many ways to the piano Preludes of Chopin, were a breakthrough set in the guitar’s literature. Though they are now standard repertoire, few guitarists of the time would have dared to perform them in public. They were also entrenched in a Modernist aesthetic, one for which Segovia had little affinity. And so, throughout their entwined careers, Segovia and Villa-Lobos had a hot-and-cold relationship, with Segovia finally admitting the importance of the Etudes in the published edition 25 years later and toward the end of Villa-Lobos’ life. Included on this program are a sampler set of four etudes. I use the controversial 1928 manuscript, which differs in many details from the published version, but which I believe to be generally superior.

--David Leisner

 

Cuarteto para cuerdas No. 2, Roberto Sierra

was commissioned by Symphony Space for La Catrina Quartet with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State’s 62 counties.

Rhythmic and melodic gestures that breathe the air of my native Puerto Rico punctuate the first movement of this quartet—the tempo indication, “salseado,” provides a stylistic clue for the players. High virtuosity and strong dynamic contrasts are some of the expressive devices that surface in a musical structure tightly constructed and organized within the frame of simple melodic scales. A dance-like base line and a melody evocative of the slow Latin ballads, known as “boleros,” frame the second movement, which is followed by a wild scherzo. Instead of the traditional triple meter, I use an uneven pattern of 3+2. The quartet ends in a “perpetuum mobile,” where a constant pulsation of eight notes is heard throughout, and where the metaphor of continuity is extended to its contrapuntal structure, i.e., a canon that also stretches from the beginning to the end.

 

Cuarteto No. 2, Tania León

Influenced by the Son Cubano, a style of music that originated in the 1930’s (a combined structure of African and Iberian derived cultures), each movement encompasses a myriad of reflective sonic gestures woven with perceptive and imperceptive claves that inhabit its fractured melodic discourse.

 

A Still Small Voice, Arturo O’Farrill

is based on a concept found in many religions and philosophies, the idea of a conscience, a voice inside of us that knows right from wrong. The idea is most identified with the text found in 1 Kings 19:12 and has to do with the prophet Elijah who has stood up to false idolaters and runs in fear for his life. He is called to Mount Horeb where the Lord speaks to him in the stillness after a terrifying series of earthquakes, tornadoes, and fires. The first movement is taken directly from this story and is a vivid retelling of it. The movement begins with a series of percussive episodes and Babel-like recitation of several sacred texts that refer to this concordant theme. The music is atonal and cyclical with

a building of textures. The transition to the narrative part is through composed and based on polytonality. This gives way to a 6/8 Afro Cuban religious rhythm that becomes the foundation for the choral narrative.

The next short a cappella section is based on the writings on philosophy and yoga of Sri Aurobindo. The choral writing is traditional with an open airy feel that utilizes jazz-like harmony and a series of changing meters. Again the idea of God’s presence and the inner peace it creates is often revealed in the “midst of the fire and whirlwind.” The third movement is instrumental and is a musical recreation of the cacophony and tremendous noise natural disasters generate. It is also a depiction of the tremendous confusion mankind generates for itself as we unilaterally ignore the inner voice of wisdom. We are our worst enemy. Greed, strife, and fear control our thoughts and actions if we allow them to. The music is fast, loud, and furious as it depicts the self- generated terrorism we subject ourselves to. The fourth movement is based on the Buddhist concept of the three pure precepts: cease from evil, do only good, and do good unto others. The text is based on the writings of Buddha Master Eihei Dogen and on the commentary by the Reverend Master Jiyu- Kennett. Here the setting is both modern and traditional, jazzy and Latin. There are elements of antiphonal, fugal, and classic choral writing on top of a hybrid, bolero, Afro-Cuban funk with a gospel inflection.

Without a doubt, the majority of my inspiration for this piece comes from my absolute horror at the socio-economic terrorism of the world today. The unbridled government sanctioned greed on Wall Street, the wars we are waging in three sovereign nations, whilst teachers are being laid off, hospitals are being closed, and unemployment is still unacceptably high, seems unconscionable. We have lost our way and need desperately to stop, be still and wait, in the midst of all the hatred, meanness, and violence (earthquake, tornado and fire) to reacquaint ourselves with the still small voice of conscience, sanity, logic order, and (for whatever it means to you and your religion or philosophy) the divine.

--Arturo O’Farrill

 

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