On April 10 – 11, the Florida International University School of Music is hosting a residency with GRAMMY®-nominated vocal ensemble, Seraphic Fire, that will culminate in a finale performance paying homage to Esteban Salas, Cuba’s first native-born composer of art music, with “Barocco: Latin American Baroque” on April 11, 2019 at 7:30pm at the Wertheim Performing Arts Center.
The Residency aims to further familiarize and prepare undergraduate and graduate voice and choral students about working in the growing industry of professional ensemble singing and to learn about life and employment as a vocal artist. FIU students will attend open rehearsals and will also participate in master classes and a lecture + panel discussion on “Becoming a Professional Vocal Artist” led by members of Seraphic Fire.
Miami-Dade County Public School choral high school students are invited to attend an Open Rehearsal/Workshop on Wednesday, April 10 from 6:00pm – 8:30pm, followed by a meet and greet with Seraphic Fire artists, sponsored by the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center US Department of Education Title VI Grant.
Karen Fuller, Interim Director of the School of Music, said that “this multi-faceted collaboration speaks to the School’s core values of making music accessible and using music to build community and opportunity.”
“Barroco” showcases the rediscovered sounds of Cuba, Bolivia, and Peru through ancient music that blends indigenous rhythms and instruments with European traditions. “Barroco” will also feature the world premiere performance of” “Tu, Paz Mia,” written for Seraphic Fire by Cuban-born composer Ileana Perez Velazquez. Praised by the New York Times for her music’s “imaginative strength,” Dr. Velazquez has written commissions for Continuum (NYC), Momenta String Quartet (NYC), Ensemble Dal Niente (Chicago), Flux Quartet (NYC), Amernet String Quartet, FIU Artists-in-Residence (Miami), among many others. Perez Velazquez is Professor of Music at Williams College.
When asked about the influence of Esteban Salas on her work, Dr. Perez Velazquez responded, “When I was growing up in Cuba, I, as many of the students of my generation, sang the music of Esteban Salas in choirs of the schools of music where we attended since we were children. Salas’ music is part of my identity, as it is the polyrhythmic and complex textures present both in afro Cuban and contemporary music.”
“Performing Esteban Salas’s music always feels like an incredible discovery,” says Seraphic Fire Artistic Director Patrick Dupré Quigley. “Salas is the founder of an entire school of composition, yet his music appears on concert programs so infrequently. It is an absolute joy to be able to perform his music with period instruments in South Florida.”
“Barocco” will take place on Thursday, April 11 at 7:30pm at Florida International University’s Wertheim Performing Arts Center, located at 10910 SW 17th St., Miami, FL 33199. The community is invited to a pre-concert conversation at 6:30pm.
Barroco and the commissioning of “Tu, Paz Mia” have been generously underwritten by William Jaume.