on Monday, September 16, 2019
I am so looking forward to our season-opening concert on September 21st at Gallagher-Bluedorn with our guest pianist Nachito Herrera. I hope you are, too! This will be one of most electrifying evenings of music all season in the Great Hall.
This is my first encounter with the opening piece on the concert, Florence Price’s Concert Overture No. 1. I find it to be a very interesting combination of moving references to African American spirituals (it is based on the spiritual Sinner, Please Don’t Let This Harvest Pass) and uplifting passages that are a bit impressionistic. Florence Price’s story of achieving success despite being a black female composer in Jim Crow America in the first half of the 1900’s is quite inspirational. You can read more about her at florenceprice.org.
I first met Nachito Herrera in 2004. Oddly enough, at that time I was working as a financial advisor for musicians and Nachito was a stunning newcomer to the Minneapolis-St. Paul music scene. I quickly progressed past the mundane topic of money to being enthralled with his playing and the story of his family in Cuba. Having settled in the U.S. shortly before 9/11, it took almost three years for him to be reunited in Minnesota with his wife, Aurora and their two children (now grown.) Nachito’s passion has always been to blend Afro-Cuban jazz and traditional classical music. As you listen to his playing of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, you will hear the influence of his training in both genres and, I believe, the passion of the musical scene in Havana on a hot summer evening.
When I listen to Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, I almost always keep my eyes closed. From the opening violin solo through the entire work, it is a magical and mysterious tour (with due respect to the Fab Four) of music traditionally associated with the Middle East. I find that all kinds of images come to my mind’s eye, not all necessarily connected with the Arabian Nights. Let yourself have an imaginary adventure throughout this masterpiece.
If you haven’t been to a wcfsymphony concert for awhile, or ever, September 21st is an ideal night to join us. Come as you are, join the pre-concert chat at 6:00 p.m. in Jebe Hall off of the lobby with Jason Weinberger and Nachito Herrera, enjoy pre-show entertainment from 6:15 to 6:45 in the lobby by Waterloo’s Hip Hop Literacy Group and then enjoy the concert at 7:00. It will be a fun-filled night!
For ticket information, visit https://wcfsymphony.org/tickets-events/
Written by Richard Frevert, Executive Director
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony