Latin + Classical = Villa Music Series
This Sunday, April 22, Villa Victoria Center for the Arts will present a classical music concert, the fourth in its annual classical music series in cooperation with New England Conservatory of Music. The artists represent a variety of cultural and musical heritages from around Latin America, and will play Latin American folkloric and popular selections as well as classical pieces. The concert starts at 3:00 PM at the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, 85 West Newton Street, and is free and open to all ages.
The series is a departure from much of the programming at Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, which is better known for its concerts of contemporary Latin music styles from Salsa and Bolero to Reggaeton, and which co-produces the Tito Puente Latin Music Series concerts at O’Day Park every summer. The Classical Music series is very special to Performance and Production Manager Alex Alvear, a musician himself who is a native of Ecuador. "We started with a very poorly attended event; we actually had more performers than audience. However, with the years this event has grown in response and it has also included Latino classical musicians," Alvear said.
Sunday’s program will include performances by harpist Lizary Rodriguez Ríos, cellist Aristides Rivas and violinist/composer Rafael Rondeau. Rodriguez Ríos, who will perform solo, plans to incorporate both original compositions and transcriptions for pedal harp in her set. Her repertoire includes original compositions such as Fantasía las 13 de Lunas which was written for her by Puerto Rican composer Raúl Rodriguez;Concert Fantasy on Lara’s Granada, arranged by Carlos Salzedo; Preludio from the Pequeña Suite by Moisés Moleiro; Campanitas de Cristal by Rafael Hernández and Malagueña, composed by Ernesto Lecuona and arranged by Marcel Grandjany.
Violinist/composer Rafael Rondeau will perform tango innovator Astor Piazzolla’s Las Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas, or The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. Rondeau’s music was showcase earlier this year at La Galería at Villa Victoria in Eso Eres: Marea, an audio-visual installation featuring his music accompanying short films created by his sister, artist/architect Maria Rondeau. Rondeau expressed excitement at being involved in the Classical Music Series at Villa Victoria. "I’ve seen genuine dedication at Villa Victoria at working with the neighborhood to create a space where art and education can be the focus of conversation. Not only with [Eso Eres: Marea] but also the planning of this concert, we were given a lot of freedom to develop an idea that we felt brought out the message we were dedicated to," Rondeau explained.
Cellist Aristides Rivas, a native of Barinas, Venezuela who came to the U.S. in 2000 to study at Baylor University, has been in Boston since 2004, when he enrolled at New England Conservatory. His involvement in the classical concert grew out of his musical association with Alex Alvear, with whom he has recorded and performed. "He had invited me to participate in this concert in past years, but this is the first time that all of our schedules worked out. I am extremely happy to be part of this performance and share with our Boston audience a little more about our Latin American music heritage. As Latino musicians, we not only are responsible for sharing our talents, but we also become ambassadors of our culture and events like this one offer a perfect venue for this kind of interaction to happen," Rivas said via e-mail. Rivas will perform in a trio with Colombian musicians, Carmen Liliana Rojas on flute and Fabian Gallon on tiple, a small stringed instrument, with a program that reflects Colombian and Venezuelan musical traditions. Rivas’s set will also feature a vocalist. "Joining us will be soprano Meena Malik, who is a native of Japan, but beyond her classical training she has been exploring the singing of folk songs from around the globe. She will be performing two Venezuelan waltzes with us," Rivas explained.
For further information on Sunday’s concert at Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, please call 617/927-1717 or visit http://www.villavictoriaarts.org/performances_042212.html.