Fiesta! is devoted to Latino concert music and presents artistically significant compositions from Latin America, Spain and Portugal to listeners. The creative force behind this series is Elbio Barilari, an acclaimed composer, musician, performer and professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The Uruguayan-born Barilari says, "Fiesta! features the hottest Latin-American music from the 16th to the 21st centuries."
New Music from the Past: Musical memory is a strange thing. What is remembered and what is not is often decided by chance or by the particular taste of one era. Hidden treasures from the past are being discovered every day.
Exiles and Émigrés: Displacement due to political causes has been sadly common throughout history. By force or by choice composers and other artists have abandoned their homelands to become exiles or migrants in a different country. Fiesta examines the cases of Manuel de Falla, Paul Bowles and Conlon Nancarrow.
New New Music Series: Fiesta continues featuring what we call New New Music by living composers who declared themselves free from the hundred year old academic chains of contemporary or avant-garde music.
The Greatest Melodies: Some of the most popular melodies in history have a Latin American origin, such as Villa-Lobos' famous "Bachiana," "Estrellita" and "The Girl from Ipanema."
Music from Galicia: There are many ways of being a Spaniard. One of them is being a gallego (or Galician, in English). That area of Northern Spain has its own language, the gallego, and embraces firmly its ancestral Celtic traditions. After visiting Andalusia, Catalonia and the Basque Country, Fiesta heads toward Galicia.
Baroque Influences: The music written and performed in Latin America during the Colonial period (the sixteenth to early nineteenth centuries) has become more popular in recent years. However, even before those treasures were rediscovered, several composers from the region showed their interest in exploring the strong connections between Spanish (and European) music from the past and Latin American music, expressed also in the multiple similarities with early and baroque music one can find in Latin American folk music.