Wednesday, August 21, 2002

New World Symphony Music of the Americas Festival

The New World Symphony, based in Miami Florida, bills itself as "America's Orchestral Academy." The NWS "trains the most gifted graduates of distinguished music programs for leadership positions in orchestras and ensembles around the world."

The New World Symphony is best known to Villa-Lobos lovers, of course, through their very successful 1997 CD Alma Brasileira, with NWS Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas. My review of that CD is here. I still enjoy this CD very much - especially Choros no. 10, which does credit to the capabilities of the orchestra and its conductor, to the producers and engineers at BMG for its amazing sound, and of course to Villa-Lobos - it's an amazing work!

In mid-September, the New World Symphony is presenting a free four-concert festival of North and Latin American works entitled "Music of the Americas." Two Villa-Lobos works will be included. The modernist Quintet em Forme de Choros, written in Paris in 1928, will be performed on September 13, in a Woodwind, Brass and Wind Ensembles Concert conducted by David Amado.

The following night, September 14, conductor Gisele Ben-Dor, best known in the VL world for her very well-reviewed recording of VL's Symphony no. 10 "Amerindia", will conduct the Bachianas Brasileiras no. 9.

Besides these two VL works, the four concerts include masterworks by Revueltas and Ginastera, and a really nice mix of works by such composers as VL's close friend Edgard Varèse, Samuel Barber, Michael Tilson Thomas and Joan Tower. Sounds like a really interesting festival, and the price is certainly right!

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