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."
A Treasure of Latin American Opera - Il Guarany: Brazilian composer Antônio Carlos Gomes was a "rock star" in nineteenth century Italy, making more money than anybody except for Verdi, his mentor and protector. For over a century his music has been almost forgotten outside of Brazil. Fiesta features a historical recording of Gomes' opera Il Guarany, with Plácido Domingo in the main role. The opera was praised by Liszt and premiered in that temple of Italian opera, La Scala.
Saudades do Brazil: "Saudade" is a Portuguese term connoting homesickness and nostalgia. Composers from different countries and eras have experienced this feeling after spending time in this magical nation.
More New New Music: Twenty-first century music has broken away from the cage imposed by the 100-year-old tradition of "experimental", "contemporary", "new music" and/or "avant-garde". Starting in the 1980s, some composers, many of them from Latin America, started bringing together different traditions, including the one of classical Western music with the music of the 20th century. The result is what Fiesta's host, Elbio Barilari, likes to call New New Music: music that is new and feels free to embrace musicality and beauty without complexes.
Orchestral Music from Mexico: Ever since the Colonial period, Mexican composers of the first rank have been contributing to music. Fiesta will look beyond the three titans of Mexican music (Miguel Ponce, Carlos Chávez and Silvestre Revueltas) and showcase composers from the present and the past that deserve to be better known.
The Best of the 2015 Latino Music Festival - Part 1: This year the Latino Music Festival celebrated its tenth anniversary with a spectacular program presented all across Chicago. Fiesta features a selection of these concerts.
Dear Maestro: Tributes from one composer to another have been a favorite practice since the Renaissance. In this program, Fiesta showcases delightful works dedicated to Heitor Villa-Lobos, Manuel de Falla and Claude Debussy, among others.
The Best of the 2015 Latino Music Festival - Part 2: This year the Latino Music Festival celebrated its tenth anniversary with a spectacular program presented all across Chicago. Fiesta features a selection of these concerts.
Voices of Mexico - Past and Present: The Chicago Panamerican Ensemble has built a solid reputation over the years. The group has a new CD featuring the music of fourteen Mexican composers. Fiesta's host Elbio Barilari will speak with the members of this exciting ensemble.
Fiesta Sessions: Guitar virtuoso Fareed Haque and the rising stars Kaia String Quartet are featured in exclusive recordings of works for guitar and string quartet by Leo Brouwer, Astor Piazzolla and Eduardo Angulo.
Latino Composers in the U.S.: There is a rich history and a brilliant present of Latino composers in the U.S. Fiesta continues presenting the most well-known as well as talented young Latino composers working in this country.