Una Cenicienta napolitana danzó en La Alhambra

Pedro J Torres Cinderella Dance

Para dar inicio al Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada, el Teatro del Generalife, en el palacio-fortaleza de la Alhambra, en Granada, España, acogió el pasado 24 de junio al Ballet del Teatro di San Carlo de Nápoles con su puesta en escena de Cenicienta, un ballet clásico en tres actos, inspirado en el cuento de Charles Perrault, con música de Serguéi Prokófiev y libreto de Nicolai Volkov, bajo la dirección artística de Giuseppe Picone, comparte y comenta la Fundación Torres-Picón.

Esta pieza de gran belleza, magnífica ambientación escénica, de exquisita técnica clásica y fiel exponente de la mejor tradición de la escuela napolitana, contó con la escenografía de Nicola Rubertelli, la realización de vestuario de Giusi Giustino y la iluminación de Bruno Ciulli. La obra había sido previamente estrenada el pasado 5 de marzo en el Teatro di San Carlo, ubicado cerca del Palazzo Reale y uno de los teatros más grandes de Europa, de los más bellos del mundo y el más antiguo de Italia, construido en 1773.

La crítica especializada ha hecho grandes elogios de esta obra, otorgándole los calificativos de elegante, neoclásica, compleja y original; su estreno significó la consagración de Giuseppe Picone, director de la compañía desde 2016. Picone, nacido en Nápoles, dio sus primeros pasos en el arte del ballet en el mismo Teatro di San Carlo; posteriormente ha seguido una exitosa carrera que le ha dado triunfos en el English National Ballet, el American Ballet Theatre (compañía en la que fue el primer italiano que debutó como solista, precisamente con Cenicienta), el Ballet Nacional de Cuba y el Bolshoi de Moscú, y ahora ha regresado a su patria y al teatro de sus orígenes como gran estrella del ballet.

Como parte del Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada, en esa misma fecha se presentó la agrupación Schola Gregoriana Hispana, agrupación coral con más de treinta años de tradición artística, fundada y dirigida por Francisco Javier Lara, director especializado en canto gregoriano y mozárabe;  la Schola Gregoriana Hispana sirvió de guía al público en un viaje a través del tiempo, hasta los siglos XV y XVI, con el concierto Música en torno al Cardenal Cisneros: del canto hispánico a la polifonía en la época de Cisneros. En esta oportunidad se incluyó una destacada presentación de los cuatro cantorales que constituyen la base de este concierto, así como cantos hispánicos litúrgicos, y obras de polifonía de Juan de Anchieta y Francisco de Peñalosa.

Desde la Fundación Torres-Picón, saludamos y felicitamos esta valiosa iniciativa cultural, señaló Pedro J. Torres, su portavoz y presidente.

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La Orquesta de Cámara Rusa de San Petersburgo se presentó en Montevideo

Pedro J Torres in Montevideo

Como parte de su primera gira artística por América Latina, y en el marco de la celebración de los 160 años del establecimiento de las relaciones diplomáticas entre Rusia y Uruguay, el pasado 5 de julio la Orquesta de Cámara Rusa de San Petersburgo, una de las más reconocidas a nivel internacional, ofreció un concierto en el prestigioso Teatro Solís en Montevideo, el más antiguo de Sudamérica. Más que destacar el significado político o geopolítico de esa visita y presentación, lo que nos ocupa y motiva es celebrar la buena música, la música clásica, la música de cámara, precisa la Fundación Torres-Picón.

El repertorio seleccionado para esta gala incluyó grandes obras de compositores mundialmente conocidos, como Melodrama y Danza napolitana de Tchaikovski, el Quinteto para clarinete y el Cuarteto de cuerdas de Weber, y El violinista en el tejado de Bock, así como las piezas Oblivion y Adiós Nonino, del compositor argentino Astor Piazzolla.

El compositor y director artístico de la orquesta, Juri Gilbo, explicó que la interpretación de obras de Piazzola en este recital obedeció a que “Piazzolla es uno de los grandes compositores románticos, quizás el último compositor romántico. Es, además, uno de los representantes más brillantes y profundos de la fusión de diferentes culturas, como la música clásica y el tango. Y este fenómeno de interacción cultural es muy cercano a nosotros”.

La Orquesta de Cámara Rusa de San Petersburgo, considerada como una de las más importantes exponentes de la música de cámara de su país, fue fundada en 1990, integrada por músicos egresados del afamado Conservatorio Rimsky-Korsakov de San Petersburgo; en la actualidad, la orquesta tiene su sede en Frankfurt, Alemania, y es dirigida por Gilbo desde 1998.

Como lo expresó el director, “Rusia, si nos fijamos en el mapa, es un enorme cruce de culturas diferentes. Tenemos la oportunidad de tomar parte en esta fusión cultural entre Rusia y Europa Occidental. Y es muy importante, porque las tendencias políticas cambian todo el tiempo, pero la cultura y la música siguen siendo valores eternos, que unen a los pueblos de nuestro planeta”.

La orquesta es en sí misma una conjunción de diferentes culturas musicales, tanto de Rusia como de Europa Occidental, y según Gilbo, está “abierta” a recibir músicos talentosos de todos los países; en ella todos los músicos pueden “jugar en solitario” o ser “líderes” del conjunto. “No hay ninguna jerarquía, sino que hay la confianza mutua y respeto”, señaló.

Regularmente, la orquesta ofrece conciertos acompañando a solistas de prestigio mundial como Mstislav Rostropovich, Nigel Kennedy, Vadim Repin, Mikis Theodorakis, Igor Oistrach, Mischa Maisky, Mischa Maisky y Sergei Nakariakov, y se ha presentado en las salas más importantes de Europa, entre las cuales destacan el Teatro Real de Madrid, la Alte Oper Frankfurt y el Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. Igualmente ha participado en diversos festivales internacionales, como el Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, Izmir International Festival, Festival Musique en Vendée y el Music Summer Weggi.

Por su parte, su director ha tomado la batuta frente a orquestas de Europa, Rusia, Estados Unidos, Brasil, Costa Rica, Israel, Líbano, Turquía, Corea, China, Japón e Israel.

Para el presidente de la Fundación Torres-Picón, Pedro J. Torres, dedicada a labores preventivas de la obesidad infantil, entre otras tareas, incluida la promoción del arte y la cultura, “este es un magnífico ejemplo de cómo podemos cambiar al mundo, para bien”. La música une y suma, mientras otras circunstancias separan, dividen y generan fuertes antagonismos.

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Novena Sinfonía de Gustav Mahler en el Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada

Pedro J Torres Festival

En el marco del 66º Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada, y bajo la dirección del maestro Víctor Pablo Pérez, la Joven Orquesta Nacional de España ofreció en concierto la Novena Sinfonía de Gustav Mahler, obra emblemática de la música sinfónica del siglo XX. Informa y comenta la Fundación Torres-Picón.

El concierto tuvo lugar en el imponente escenario del Palacio de Carlos V de la Alhambra, y contó con la coproducción del Centro Nacional de Difusión Musical.

Esta magnífica sinfonía, considerada por muchos entendidos como su obra cumbre, fue la última que el autor austríaco compuso completa antes de su fallecimiento en 1911 y cuyo estreno se llevó a cabo después de su muerte; su décima sinfonía quedó inconclusa.

La Novena Sinfonía de Mahler corresponde a la época de madurez del autor y, a semejanza de la Patética de Tchaikovski, está llena de referencias a la muerte y a la tragedia que signó la vida personal del compositor y su tono produce una sensación de despedida. En efecto, para el momento de su composición, Mahler acababa de sufrir la pérdida de su hija, el desengaño por la traición de su esposa, su dimisión de la Ópera de Viena y el diagnóstico de la enfermedad cardiaca que terminaría con su vida al cabo de muy poco tiempo.

El Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada fue el contexto ideal para que el director Víctor Pablo Pérez presentara esta Novena Sinfonía, luego de haber dirigido el concierto “Nueve Novenas”, llevado a cabo el pasado día 24 en celebración del Día de la Música del 21 de junio, en el Auditorio Nacional de Madrid al frente de cinco orquestas diferentes, una de las cuales fue la Joven Orquesta Nacional, en un maratónico evento de más de trece horas de duración.

Previo al concierto de la Joven Orquesta Nacional, se presentó en el Festival Internacional de Música y Danza el recital de guitarras clásicas de “Pyrophorus Guitar Duo”, un proyecto llevado adelante por el guitarrista y compositor cubano Alí Arango, acompañado por el también cubano Josué Fonseca; en esta propuesta musical, formada por piezas de composición propia y arreglos de obras de otros autores, Arango funde géneros y estilos borrando las fronteras entre la música popular y la música clásica, al son de la guitarra.

Asimismo, el público tuvo la oportunidad de disfrutar de un concierto integrado por piezas clásicas de Lorca, Falla, Carlos Cano, Debussy y Agustín Lara, ofrecido por el dúo “La Hora Española”, de la soprano Laura Moyano y el pianista Santiago Alonso.

Paralelamente al Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada, el FEX (Festival Extensión), incluye en su programación el concierto solidario “Granada es como una rosa”, a beneficio de la Asociación de Bipolares de Granada (Granabip).

Pedro J. Torres, presidente y vocero de la Fundación Torres-Picón, comenta y recalca como algo muy positivo que, cada vez más se desarrolla una sinergia virtuosa entre las causas sociales, el arte y la cultura. Aquí, allá, en todos los lugares del mundo.

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BAM Presents the Harvey Fund

The Brooklyn Academy of Music is pleased to announce the Harvey Fund, a charitable fund aimed at remembering the life of Harvey Lichtenstein, the man behind BAM’s revitalization. The funds donated will ensure the continuation of the daring contemporary work that flourishes at the institution.

Lichtenstein passed away in February of 2017. He served as the President and Executive Producer of BAM for 32 years and sought out to bring a dying theatre back to life through his work of gathering talent from all over the world to perform at BAM. Many say that without Harvey, there would be no Brooklyn Academy of Music.

The Brooklyn Academy of Music was founded in 1861 and is hailed as the country’s oldest continuously operating performing arts center. BAM is now recognized around the world as a progressive cultural center. Annually, more than 775,000 people attend performances and festivals that take place at BAM throughout the year. Performances range from film and theatre to poetry recitations and dance performances.

Starting as a dancer in the 1950’s, Lichtenstein went on to become subscriptions manager for the New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera. He joined BAM in 1967 and continued his work until his retirement in 1999. Throughout his campaign as President, he revitalized the program from renovating the building itself to the range of performances. He oversaw the creation of the Next Wave Festival in 1983, which to this day is noted as creating a cultural landscape for BAM.

Harvey is most notably known for finding artists such as Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Alice in Chains, Peter Brook and Pina Bausch.

Upon his retirement in 1999, Lichtenstein was awarded for his hard ground-breaking work by having the BAM theatre named after him. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton, and the Handel Medallion, New York City’s highest award for achievement in the arts.

After his retirement, Lichtenstein did anything but fully retire. He served as BAM’s Local Development Corporation with his plans to revive the neighborhood of Fort Greene. His dream of reviving the neighborhood has been realized as the construction of the Mark Morris Dance Center, Theatre for a New Audience’s Polonsky Shakespeare Center and the BAM Fisher Building have all been built under his direction. Fort Greene is recognized as a vibrant, established arts destination.

For more information and if you would like to donate to the Harvey Fund please visit, http://www.bam.org/support/harvey.

The Life of Isaac Albéniz

Isaac Albéniz often referred to as one of the most famous composers to hail from Spain. Isaac was born in 1860 in Camprodon, a town apart of Girona. Only living a short life, Albéniz lived to the age of 49 and died in 1909. He is best known for his piano works that are based on folk music idioms. Many of his pieces are notable for the classical guitar transcriptions that were later made.

A child prodigy, Albéniz first learned to play the piano at the age of one by his sister. By the age of four he performed for the first time. A couple of years later at age seven, he passed the entrance examination for piano at the Conservatoire de Paris, but unfortunately he was refused admission for being too young.

A popular myth describes his childhood as a bit of an exaggeration. It is said that at the age of twelve, Albéniz ran away from home and stowed away in a ship headed towards Buenos Aires. Continuing his nomadic lifestyle he found himself in Cuba, and then to the United States performing in New York and San Francisco, eventually returning back to Europe to give performances in Liverpool, London, and in Germany.

While not an accurate account of what actually happened, historians have determined that the story is partly true. He did in fact give concert performances in these places at that age, but he was more likely accompanied  by his father who was a customs official who traveled a lot for business. Historians discovered this by comparing Isaac’s concert dates and his father’s travel itinerary.

Throughout the rest of his career he studied under many composers, Guillermo Morphy, Franz Liszt, and Felip Pedrell to name a few. Touring all throughout Europe, Isaac lived in London and Paris for an amount of time. During this time while he was not performing at concerts, he wrote and composed musical comedies.

In 1900, Isaac was diagnosed with Bright’s disease a classification of kidney disease that ultimately cause his death in 1909. For his work within Paris and his impact within the classical music industry, the French government awarded him its highest honor, the Grand-Croix de la Légion d’honneur a few weeks before his death.

His most notable pieces include: Asturias (Leyenda), Granada, Sevilla, Cadiz, Cordoba, Cataluna, and the Tango in D. All of his personal papers are preserved among many institutions.

The Big Sick to be Aired at BAMcinemaFest

On Wed. June 21, 2017, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) will be featuring a Sundance Film Festival standout, The Big Sick, as a part of their BAMcinemaFest. The best American independent film festival highlights the best up and coming artists from the New York City area by showcasing their independent films across a week-long series.

The film, produced by Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel, features the romantic comedy story of a Pakistani-born comedian, Kumail and a graduate student, Emily, played by Zoe Kaza. Loosely based off of the real-life love story of Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily V. Gordon, their romance is thwarted by Nanjiani’s traditional Pakistani parents who would prefer he marry a traditional Muslim woman.

In a surprising turn of events, the young couple’s relationship is tested when Emily faces a life-threatening illness. With the relationship in turmoil, young Kumail must do some growing up to show his support.

Pedro J Torres blog header

The Big Sick film poster recreated as a blog header by Pedro J Torres.

HBO’s Silicon Valley, Nanjiani takes his first lead role to new heights with this heartwarming comedy. Nanjiani has made guest appearances and supporting roles in many different venues throughout his career. He guest starred in HBO’s Veep as a supporting actor and has had a recurring role in Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time.

Nanjiani moved to the United States at the age of 18 and attended Grinnell College in Iowa. after graduating in 2001 with a double major in Computer Science and Philosophy, he wouldn’t land his first role on SNL until 2008.

Having been Married since 2007, Nanjiani’s wife, Emily V. Gordon is a former couple and family therapist turned author and comedy producer. After leaving the field of therapy, Gordon pursued a career of freelance writing, where she wrote articles for various publications such as; The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, The Atlantic, and GQ. Her first book came out in 2015 and outlines a self-improvement guide titles, SuperYou: Release Your Inner Superhero.

The film, The Big Sick, had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 20, 2017. Bought by Amazon Studios for $12 million, the film is set to be released on June 23, 2017, by Amazon Studios and Lionsgate.

BAM will host the film in the BAM Rose Cinemas room of the Peter Jay Sharp Building. The showing is currently sold out but open to standby ticketing, and all are welcome to stay for a question and answer session with Director Michael Showalter, and stars of the film, Kumail Nanjiani, Ray Romano, and Emily V. Gordon.

Erik Satie

Today Erik Satie is recognized as one of the best French composers. Historians believe that his work influenced various movements such as Surrealism and minimalism. Keep reading to learn more about this famous composer.

Early Life

Erik Satie was born on May 17, 1866, in Honfleur, France. Satie’s family moved to Paris when he was four years old; however, he returned to Honfleur after his mother died when he was six. He and his brother, Conrad, lived with their grandparents. During this time Satie began his first music lessons. After Satie’s grandmother died he and his brother returned to their father in Paris. At this point, Satie was 12 years old. Satie’s father eventually remarried a piano teacher. A year after returning to Paris, Satie gained admission to the Paris Conservatory. However, his teachers were unimpressed with his piano playing, so he had to leave the conservatory. He returned to the conservatory when he was 19, but still, he didn’t have any success. Although Satie’s teachers dismissed his playing ability, they did acknowledge that he had a talent for composition.

Publishing Career

In 1887 Satie moved to Montmartre and shortly after published his first compositions. While living in Montmartre, he met Claude Debussy. Later in Satie’s life, Debussy would take his Gymnopédies and transform them into orchestral works to help earn Satie recognition and money.

Cabaret and School

Satie began to work as a cabaret pianist in 1899. He didn’t particularly enjoy the music he played, but it was a steady source of income. Satie returned to school in 1905 to study counterpoint. The move surprised many of Satie’s friends, but he continued his studies for five years.

Recognition

Over time many of Satie’s older pieces became popular. However, people tended to not pay as much attention to his newer work. As a result, Satie sought out younger artists who would appreciate his newer pieces. One such artist, Jean Cocteau, brought him into contact with artists like Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Starting in 1919, Satie associated with the founder of Dada, Tristan Tzara and André Breton, the founder of Surrealism.

Final Years

Satie drank heavily throughout his life. This habit contributed to his death on July 1, 1925, at the age of 59. While alive Satie supposedly never had any of his friends visit his apartment. After he died his friends discovered numerous unpublished compositions as well as compositions that Satie thought he had lost.

Beethoven’s Most Famous Works

One of the most recognized names, perhaps the most popular, in western classical music is that of Ludwig van Beethoven’s. The German composer was active during the late 18th and early 19th century.

His music is extremely famous and has consistently inspired composers over the last two centuries.

One of the most interesting facts about Beethoven was that he was deaf since his late 20’s. During his life Beethoven composed many symphonies, string quartets, piano concertos, and piano sonatas. However, some of his works are better known than the others.

Beethoven’s Famous Fifth Symphony

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is possibly his most well-known piece of music. The piece, which is in C minor, is also known as Symphony No. 5. He began developing the composition in 1804 but only completed it in 1808. The first performance was at Theater an der Wien on December 22, 1808.

It has been repeatedly featured in movies and other media including Saturday Night Fever (1977), Doctor Who (2015), and Wolfgang’s 5th Symphony.

The Most Melodious Work

Another one of Beethoven’s most popular pieces, Fur Elise, is believed to have been composed in 1810. However, it wasn’t published until 1867. Here are some interesting facts:

  • It falls under the ‘Bagatelle music’ category.
  • The name literally means ‘for Elise.’
  • There is an uncertainty in the music world when it comes to the identity of ‘Elise.’
  • The popular version of today was first recorded by Ludwig Nohl.
  • Barry Cooper transcribed another version later with drastic changes.

Of Rhythm And Harmony

Another lovely composition is the Piano Sonata No.8 in C minor, Op. 13, which is also called Pathetique Sonata. It includes 3 movements: quick with vigor, slow, and quick on the piano.

The Final Symphony

The Choral or Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in D-minor is considered Beethoven’s best composition. It is not the final symphony per se, but is the last symphony that was completely written. It premiered in Vienna, and the concert was a big success. When Beethoven composed this piece between 1822 and 1824, he was completely deaf. The piece is also famous for being the tune behind ‘A Song of Joy by Miguel Rios.

Don’t Forget To Listen To

All music compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven are extremely beautiful. However, there are certain ones that no one should miss. Among those are Septet Op. 20, Moonlight Sonata No. 14, Op. 27, Eroica Symphony (third) Op. 55 and Grand Fugue, Op. 133.

7 Most Famous Classical Music Pieces

Many people say they don’t know anything about classical music or don’t enjoy it, but they also do not realize how often classical music is used in their everyday lives. Whether you realize it or not, when you watch a movie, see a commercial, or are walking around a public space, it’s likely that classical music is playing at some point. Nearly everyone recognizes some iconic classical music pieces that are continuously used in new forms of media, showing they never go out of style.

“Nutcracker Suite” by Pyotr Tchaikovsky

This song is so well known because it’s used in the the ballet The Nutcracker and often featured in Christmas movies or commercials. The song was used in Disney’s Fantasia and remains one of the most well-known classical songs ever.

“Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

This incredible piece lasts a total of around 15 minutes and has four movements. Mozart apparently wrote this piece when he was sick and had been commissioned to write “happy music.” The piece wasn’t released publicly until long after his death.

“In the Hall of the Mountain King” by Edvard Grieg

This song was originally written for the Norwegian play, Peer Gynt. It has since become a classic and is used frequently in movies to show disorder (one example is in The Social Network).

“Love Theme” from Romeo and Juliet by Pyotr Tchaikovsky

“Love Theme” has been used time and time again in nearly every movie that deals with love. An interesting fact is that the flutes and horns that play throughout the song are actually supposed to symbolize Juliet and Romeo.

“Canon in D major” by Johann Pachelbel

A truly impressive (and challenging) song to play on the organ, “Canon in D major” is a delight to listen to. This song is also known as “Pachelbel’s Canon.” This piece of classical music wasn’t published until many years after Pachelbel’s death.

“Ride of the Valkyries” by Richard Wagner

Used in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, “Ride of the Valkyries” is a widely known classical piece. It took Wagner about 26 years to write this piece and it’s only part of a four section opera. It’s a favorite of professional orchestras for performing even today.

“Symphony #9” by Ludwig van Beethoven

More commonly known as “Ode to Joy” (originally a poem), this Beethoven song is one of the first children will learn to play on piano, though they only learn a small, simplified version of it. This symphony has remained popular throughout the years and likely will for a long time to come.

Paris Opéra Ballet Star Yvette Chauviré, Dies at 99

Having published two separate autobiographies in her life including Je Suis Ballerine and later Yvette Chauviré – Autobiographie, Yvette Chauvire has always been an extremely talented dancer who was many times favored by Serge Lifar, the choreographer of The Paris Ballet where she made her first en pointe steps into her phenomenally impressive career as a fantastical ballerina who not only took the stage, but demanded it.

Born on the 22nd of April back in the year 1917, Yvette took quickly to both the artistry and athleticism of ballet when she joined in on the Paris Opera Ballet at the age of thirteen after showcasing an extravagant performance in the L’Eventail de Jeanne at the age of twelve. Accepting the invitation that the Paris Opera Ballet extended to her at the extremely young age of thirteen after having seen the young Yvette in her element, she was soon the favorite dancer of many teachers and peers.

Moving up in her skill at an exceptional speed, Yvette Adrienne Chauvire soon became an outstanding principal dancer in the year 1937, before later on accomplishing the greatest feat in the ballet world of becoming an étoile not long after in 1941.
Studying with some of the best choreographers of her time including Victor Gsovsky and Boris Kniaseff, she has always been a fireball of incredible skill, bringing a sensational level of vibrancy and life to each and every single performance up until her heartbreaking death in OYvette Chauviréctober 19th of 2016 at the ripe old age of 99.

Leaving millions of loyal fans to cry and mourn in her absence, Yvette Chauvire changed the lives of countless people with her beautiful dancing. Described fondly as a “legend” by her common dance partner Rudolf Nureyev, Yvette has always shown tremendous attitude and ability and has managed to inspire perhaps billions of aspiring dancers through out her entirely vivacious career.

Today she rests peacefully after having engaged in one of the most exceptional ballet careers of the 20th century that has ever been documented. Yvette Chauvire remains a highly esteemed individual in the world of dance and will forever in her wake leave people of all backgrounds and ages who love the baller fondly remembering all which she has done to bring life and spirit into every flick and flare of the wonderful artistry and athleticism that makes up the soul of an incredible prima ballerina.