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Lawrence Spotlights Latin American Music, Art, Culture in Week-Long Festival

An artist-in-residency by award-winning Puerto Rican-born composer Roberto Sierra and the Arcos Trio highlight a week-long celebration of Latin American music, art and culture Nov. 4-12 at Lawrence University.  All festival events are free and open to the public.

The Latin American Chamber Music Festival will feature more than a half dozen performances by the Arcos Trio during the week, including the world premiere performance of Sierra’s piano trio composition “Trio IV ‘La noche’” Thursday, Nov. 10 in Harper Hall of the Music-Drama Center. Sierra will discuss his works in the context of Latin American music in a pre-concert address at 6:30 p.m.

The concert also will feature works by Brazilian composer Oscar Lorenzo Fernandez, Uruguayan composer Miguel del Aguila and arrangements of the popular tangos by Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla. A reception with Latin American cuisine provided by Appleton restaurant Antojitos Mexicanos follows the concert.

Roberto Sierra

Sierra’s works have been part of the repertoire of many of the leading orchestras, ensembles and festivals in the United States and Europe for more than 30 years. His “Fandangos” was performed at the inaugural concert of the 2002 world renowned Proms in London by the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a concert that was broadcast by both the BBC Radio and Television throughout the United Kingdom and Europe.

His music has been performed by many of the leading orchestras in the country as well as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich, the Spanish orchestras of Madrid, Galicia, Castilla y León and Barcelona, among others.

“Roberto Sierra is representative of a dynamic cultural phenomenon created by one of the fastest growing demographic groups in the United States,” said Professor of Music Anthony Padilla, who has organized the festival. “His compositions are characterized by the cross-fertilization of American and Latin American music. Trio IV ‘La noche’ creates a fantastic tone picture of a tropical night in Puerto Rico, evoking the mysterious atmosphere of dusk, the sounds of creatures of the night and Caribbean dance rhythms. It will help fill an increasing demand in America for concert works that reflect and celebrate the contributions of Latin American culture.”

In addition to performing the premiere of “Trio IV ‘La noche’” the Arcos Trio will conduct a master class and perform several “preview” concerts in the community.

Arcos Trio — Seunghee Lee, Carl Donakowski and Anthony Padilla

Arcos Trio — pianist Padilla, violinist Seunghee Lee and cellist Carl Donakowski — was formed in 2005 with a mission to present an expanded canon of standard piano trio repertoire.  The Latin American Chamber Music Festival is the trio’s current project and will be reprized with performances in Michigan and Virginia.

The complete schedule includes:

• Friday Nov. 4 — Steinway and a Sandwich Series: Arcos Trio preview performance: Heid Music, Appleton, 12 noon.

Saturday, Sunday Nov. 5-6 — Arcos Trio preview performances, St. Therese and St. Pius X Catholic Churches weekend masses, Appleton.

• Sunday, Nov. 6 — Arcos Trio preview performance, Neenah Public Library, 2 p.m.,

• Monday–Friday, Nov. 7–11 —Mexican print collection display: Quirk Print Study Room, Wriston Art Center Galleries, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Digital reproductions of this collection will be shown in Harper Hall lobby, Music-Drama Center.

• Monday Nov. 7 — Arcos Trio community outreach preview performances: Appleton East High School, 8:45 a.m. and 9:40 a.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 8 — Arcos Trio community outreach preview performance: Appleton Classical School, 12:50 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 8 — Master Class: Arcos Trio, Harper Hall, Music-Drama Center, 4:30 p.m.

• Wednesday, Nov. 9 — Preview Performance: Arcos Trio and Lawrence Conservatory students play works by Latin American composers, Harmony Café, downtown Appleton, 7 p.m.

• Thursday, Nov. 10 —Pre-concert lecture: Guest composer Roberto Sierra discusses his works in the context of Latin American music, Harper Hall, Music-Drama Center, 7 p.m.

• Thursday, Nov. 10 —Arcos Trio Concert: Premiere performance of “Trio No. 4 ‘La noche’” (2011), by Roberto Sierra, Harper Hall, Music-Drama Center, 8 p.m. Reception with Latin American cuisine from Antojitos Mexicanos follows.

• Friday, Nov. 11 —Question-and-answer session with guest composer Roberto Sierra, Harper Hall, Music-Drama Center, 4:30–5:30 p.m.

• Saturday, Nov. 12 — Spanish department and Latin American studies program presentations:  Gustavo Fares, professor of Spanish, “Tango! And nation building”; Jake Frederick, assistant professor of history, “The ‘New World’ of Latin America”; and Javier Guerrero, postdoctoral fellow in Spanish, “Sangrita Mexicana: Blood Weddings in Contemporary Mexico,” Harper Hall, Music-Drama Center, 1 p.m. A reception with Latin American cuisine from Antojitos Mexicanos follows.

Saturday, Nov. 12 —Student recitals: Lawrence students perform works by Latin American composers, Harper Hall, Music-Drama Center, 3 p.m.

The Latin American Chamber Music Festival received collaborative financial support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fox Valley Community Arts Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.