A&M-Commerce to present concert highlighting Latin American composers

Sept. 19—There’s a good chance that many people, when they hear about a piano concert featuring the work of great composers, might think of the likes of Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms and Rachmaninoff.

However, while all of these composers produced works that have stood the test of time and have deservedly earned places in the “standard repertoire” for pianists across the world, there are many composers from countries outside of Europe who have for centuries written extensively for the instrument.

It is in this spirit that the music department at Texas A&M University-Commerce will present its Latin American Music Festival concerts this week on Wednesday and Thursday. The concerts will feature pianists Alejandro Cremaschi from Argentina, Andres Jaramillo from Colombia, and Alessandra Feris from Brazil – who will each be performing a broad range of works, spanning many styles, by Latin American composers.

Although Cremaschi originally hails from Argentina, he is currently professor of piano at the University of Colorado Boulder. Holding a doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Minnesota, his research areas include the concert repertoire of Spanish and Latin American composers.

At his concert, scheduled for 7:30 pm Wednesday, Cremaschi will perform selections by Brazilian composers Oscar Lorenzo Fernandez, Inah Machado Sandoval and Astor Piazzolla, and Argentine composers Luis Jorge Gonzalez, Luis Gianneo and Carlos Guastavino.

After Cremaschi kicks off the concert on Wednesday, both Jaramillo and Feris will perform on Thursday.

Jaramillo, who is originally from Colombia, is a member of the music faculty at California Baptist University, where he teaches courses in applied piano, chamber music, music theory, senior recital class, musicianship, and music in global cultures. In addition to teaching, Jaramillo keeps a busy performance schedule, often playing the works of contemporary and Latin American composers as well as standard classical piano repertoire. He holds a doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from the USC Thornton School of Music, with minor fields of study in music theory, instrumental conducting and keyboard collaborative arts.

At his concert, scheduled for 5 pm Thursday, Jaramillo will perform music by eight different Colombian composers. The performance will begin with works by Luis A. Calvo, Adolfo Mejía and Jorge H. Pinzón — all of whom borrow extensively from the European classical tradition. Following those pieces, Jaramillo will play selections that are influenced by Colombian traditional music and dance rhythms by composers Carlos Vieco Ortiz, Aurelio Vásquez Pedrero, Jorge A. Salazar, Luis E. Nieto and Germán Darío Pérez.

The final performance of the festival will be by Alessandra Feris, who will begin her concert at 7:30 pm Thursday.

Feris, who is originally from Brazil, is an associate professor of piano at the University of South Dakota. Holding a doctoral degree in piano performance from Florida State University, Feris also studied at the prestigious Hochschule für Musik (University of Music) Franz Liszt in Weimar, Germany. In addition to teaching, Feris is devoted to the diffusion of Latin-American music and is often requested to premiere works by contemporary Brazilian composers.

Feris is also well known as a collaborative pianist, regularly performing in Duo Weimar with cellist Pedro Bielschowsky and in Duo Paul-Feris with oboist Jeffrey Paul.

At her concert Thursday, Feris will mostly play selections by Brazilian women composers such as Eunice Katunda, Catarina Domenici, Marisa Rezende, Alda de Oliveira and Chiquinha Gonzaga. However, she will also perform pieces by male Brazilian composers Heitor Villa-Lobos and Marlos Nobre, as well as Uruguayan-born American composer Miguel del Águila and Venezuelan female composer Teresa Carreño.

All three performances will be in the A&M-Commerce music building inside Finney Concert Hall.

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