Aldo´s commissioned work ” Oceans to Cross” to have its world premier in Arkansas next January 20th

Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA) Season Unveils Exciting Premieres and Timeless Classics

Prepare to be enchanted as the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA) embarks on an extraordinary musical journey with its 2023-24 MainStage Season. Showcasing a blend of premieres and timeless classics, this season promises to captivate audiences and elevate the cultural landscape of the region.

Kicking off the season on September 23rd at 7:30 p.m., the orchestra will be under the masterful baton of Music Director Paul Haas. The evening’s program opens with the spirited rhythm of Leonard Bernstein’s iconic “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.” The rich tapestry of melodies will take the audience on a compelling exploration of the human experience, showcasing the orchestra’s exceptional range and versatility.

Continuing the journey, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 will envelop listeners in lush harmonies and soaring melodies. Haas’s interpretation will breathe new life into this Romantic masterpiece, offering a profound connection between the music and the hearts of the audience.

However, the highlights of the season do not stop there. An event of unprecedented significance awaits on January 20th, 7:30 p.m., at Baum Walker Hall in Fayetteville’s Walton Arts Center. Pianist Lara Downes, a luminary in the world of classical music, will take center stage as the soloist for SoNA’s first-ever commissioned piano concerto.

Aldo López-Gavilán’s “Oceans to Cross” is a musical tapestry specially woven for Downes, and it will receive its world premiere during this breathtaking performance. This momentous occasion marks the convergence of artistic brilliance, as the synergy between composer and soloist unfolds through intricate melodies and masterful piano techniques.

The evening’s program gains further depth with Samuel Barber’s Symphony No. 1, a monumental work that showcases Barber’s prowess as a symphonist. The symphony’s emotional depth and melodic richness will resonate deeply with the audience, solidifying its place as an integral part of this remarkable performance.

Additionally, the “Negro Folk Symphony” by William Dawson adds a distinctive layer to the concert’s narrative. This symphony masterfully weaves together elements of African American musical heritage, creating a soundscape that celebrates cultural diversity and unity.

Under the guiding hand of Paul Haas, the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas continues to push the boundaries of artistic expression while honoring the traditions that have shaped the world of classical music. The 2023-24 MainStage Season promises to be a transformative experience, inviting audiences to immerse themselves in the power of music’s language and connect with the emotions it evokes.

As the orchestra prepares to enthrall music enthusiasts and newcomers alike, make sure to secure your tickets early and be part of these unforgettable musical moments. The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas is poised to redefine the cultural landscape of the region and inspire generations to come.


Tickets for the event can be purchased at:

Aldo invited to “Hollywood Concert”

The Marti Theater in Havana will proudly showcase an extraordinary musical spectacle next Sunday, May 28th. Prepare to be captivated as the timeless melodies of renowned composers such as John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Alan Anthony Silvestri, Alexandre Desplat, and more, fill the air. These masterpieces have left an indelible mark on the cinematic world, gracing the soundtracks of numerous beloved films.

Under the masterful direction of Daiana Garcia, the essence of classical music will intertwine seamlessly with the projection of enchanting film excerpts. Witness a harmonious fusion of sight and sound that will transport you to captivating cinematic realms.

Joining this exceptional ensemble, the virtuosic pianist Aldo Lopez-Gavilan, the accomplished clarinetist Alejandro Calzadilla, and the talented wind instrumentalists from the National Symphony Orchestra will grace the stage. Adding to the grandeur, the esteemed Entrevoces Choir, under the guidance of Maestra Digna Guerra, will lend their angelic voices to this extraordinary performance.

Enhancing the musical production and orchestrations, the Havana Chamber Orchestra proudly collaborates with the distinguished composer, pianist, and arranger, Jose Victor “Pepe” Gavilondo. Together, they will weave a tapestry of melodies that will leave you spellbound.

Be prepared for an unforgettable evening of musical brilliance, where the Marti Theater will come alive with the symphonic prowess of these remarkable artists.

Gavilán Brothers Gallivant

JULY 11, 2022
by Stephen Martorella

The Gavilán Brothers, violinist Ilmar with pianist and composer Aldo-López led a fascinating musical odyssey. PBS has just released a film about the brothers called Hermanos (Brothers) who were separated for decades because of the political situation in Cuba and only recently reunited to perform and record together for the first time, arrived in the Breakers on Saturday.

Aldo opened with a World Premiere. Newport commissioned American composer Shawn e. Okpebholo for a piece that reflected some of the history surrounding historic Rhode Island, and that would speak to our time. The result, Okpebholo’s Crooked Shanks, develops a tune of the same name composed in the mid 1700’s by a former slave, Newport Gardner, who resided in Newport. Gardner was born Occramer Marycoo, possibly from Sierra Leone, and at age 14 transported and sold as a slave to Newport ship captain Caleb Gardner, who gave the young Occramer the name Newport, and legally adapted the family name as his own. Gardner was trained in English, French, and music. He purchased his freedom in 1791 and obtain a home in Newport, where he became a music instructor. He composed several tunes, of which Crooked Shanks appeared in books of English dancing-tunes as early as 1768. For more on Newport Gardner click here.

Okpebholo’s free adaptation of Gardner’s tune produced a tone-poem of immense beauty infused with Afro-Cuban flavorings. It was written specifically for Aldo López Gavilán, who performed it with sensitivity and dynamic energy. The Crooked Shanks tune was not easily identified, as its original conception as a dancing tune in 6/8 time was never present. Only the notes of the theme were hinted at, gradually rising out of an impressionistic mist, perhaps reminiscent of a heavy fog out at sea, gradually emerging in the dawn. After a long dramatic pause, the second section began with a primal, rhythmic coursing, evoking in spirit something like Bartok’s Allegro Barbaro but using Afro-American and Cuban infused rhythms, some associated with ‘rag-time’ music, and building in speed and intensity. Some of the phrases took on an improvisatory character, while others became more and more chromatic, until all settled back into the dreamy mists of the opening.

Aldo’s compositions performed by his brother Ilmar on violin and himself on piano formed the balance of the concert. Many of the romantic and nostalgic,  themes recalled bygone and heady days of Havana, at times the writing becoming expansive and sweeping, at other times energetic and virtuosic, infused with the timeless rhythms of African inspired Cuban dances and folk music. Aldo is completely at home in both jazz and classical idioms, and a skilled jazz improviser with an impressive technique, all of which fused into the compositions, while Ilmar’s soaring violin rose above the fray with memorable melodies, and at times the brothers executed very rapid passages in unison with exacting precision.

A few songs deserve special mention, Caipiriñame brought us not only the rhythm of Cuba but also of Brazil and the Bossa Nova, with an extended and brilliant piano solo, while Eclypse was an intimate slow jazz ballade incorporating improvisatory elements interwoven within its poignant themes, an expression of the separation the brothers had to endure for a significant part of their lives. Related to that was the song Hermanos, which is also the title of the PBS film about the brothers and the title of their debut album as a duet. Ilmar described this piece as “intimate and soulful.”

Quick Tune contained rhumba rhythms underlying virtuosic violin writing and an exciting toccata-like piano solo, culminating in a unison tour de force finish. This earned one of many standing ovations the brothers received throughout the evening. Several of the works told stories. Momo’s Tale was inspired by a little girl who brought stolen time back, from a children’s novel by German writer Michael Ende, while Viernes de Cuidad depicted a day in London, starting in a Middle Eastern district at dawn, with themes and sounds reflecting the sounds of Persian instruments, which included strumming the fingers across the bass strings with an open pedal to create the sound of a santur (the Middle Eastern equivalent of the hammered dulcimer). Suddenly we find us at midday dancing in the streets of an Irish quarter, and the day concludes with all the bustle of a cosmopolitan city, ending in the pubs of London to the sounds of tunes recalling the Beatles.

The closer, Pan con Timba (Bread with Whatever), offes a humorous look at Cuba today, with remembrances of Old Havana and the unique, complex, and iconic rhythm of Cuban son and salsa music called tumbao. All combined to create an evening of unforgettable memories and melodies.

Original Article appears on:

Gavilán Brothers Gallivant

Aldo’s new work “90 miles” debuts in Carnegie Hall
Review: Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Troy Chromatics
Feb. 19th, 2022

TROY — The revered Orpheus Chamber Orchestra made a return appearance with the Troy Chromatics on Friday night and brought along a different kind of soloist – Arturo Sandoval, the legendary jazz trumpeter, band leader and composer. He seemed more than at home in this classical setting and was onstage most of the night playing his own compositions.

Trumpeters don’t tease and Sandoval’s first note was as powerful as anything else in the program. Fast and brilliant flourishes and that all-encompassing sound launched his Trumpet Concerto No. 2, in its American premiere. Across its three movements Sandoval delivered vibrant highs and gracious melodies. Bits of the tunes and the character of the orchestrations brought to mind Hollywood soundtracks as diverse as “Gone with the Wind”, ”E.T.” and “Jurassic Park.” Nothing wrong with that.

Sandoval was more subdued, seductive even, in the Johnny Mandel song “A Time for Love.” In one of numerous asides to the audience, he described the just finished performance as “feeling like a fish in nice warm water.” After that came“ Every Day I Think of You,” Sandoval’s tribute to his mentor Dizzy Gillespie, which had him singing more than playing. It’s a tender and sincere ballad with lyrics that boarder on the romantic.

Gershwin’s Cuban Overture opened the program and showcased the 25-piece Orpheus playing with characteristic ease and elegance plus some Latin style. The same goes for Ernesto Lecuona’s “Andalucia,” during the concert’s second half. Yet the charm and dark flavor of the suite of six dances wore off about halfway through.

As a finale, contemporary Cuban composer Aldo Lopez-Gavilan’s “90 Miles” was a fresh and lively take on the mambo, that included sighs and shouts from the players. It had lots of tight and knotty solos tailor-made for Sandoval, who spent the orchestral passages swaying about. The piece was commissioned for the program, which plays at Carnegie Hall on Saturday.

For the encore, Sandoval joined the percussion section in the rollicking good fun of “El Cumanchero,” a staple of Latin music. Bassist Gregg August, who grew up in Schenectady and teaches at Williams College, arranged the encore, concerto and songs.

Joseph Dalton is a freelance writer based in Troy.
Concert review
Arturo Sandoval, trumpet
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Presented by Troy Chromatics Concert
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
Length: Two hours; one intermission


Original article on:

Aldo López-Gavilán returns to Carnegie Hall with resounding success.

New York, NY, February 20 2022.

The talented Cuban pianist and composer Aldo López-Gavilán had his second debut last night at Carnegie Hall, the legendary New York concert hall.

The first had been as a pianist and composer, when he performed at the Zanke Hall in 2012, as part of the Voices from Latin America festival where, accompanied by his band, he performed several of his own works.

His return, now as a composer and in the majestic Stern Auditorium of this theater, has been no less notable.

With his work “90 miles”, an afro-mambo that was commissioned by the prestigious Orpheus Orchestra for its opening concert with the renowned Cuban trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, López-Gavilán, seduced both the musicians who performed it and the audience present, who rewarded him with a standing ovation and heartfelt applause.

Aldo, who traveled to New York a few days before his next concerts in the US to be able to participate in this very special night, was requested on stage at the end of the recital and from there he thanked maestro Sandoval and the musicians of the orchestra for an impeccable interpretation of his work and of the others that were part of the program.

The Cuban musician’s upcoming performances include concerts with the Harlem Quartet at the Saint Thomas and Saint Johns in the Virgin Islands, Akron, OH, Lincoln, NE, and with renowned US orchestras in various cities such as Pasadena, CA, North Bethesda, MD, Shreveport, LA, among others.

Aldo López-Gavilán’s Personal Fusion of Classical and Jazz Comes to Napa

Aldo López-Gavilán

Jeff Kaliss on July 20, 2021

When we connected with Cuban pianist-composer Aldo López-Gavilán last week, he was being driven by his local host, arts patron Rick Swig, to a rehearsal for Festival Napa Valley’s Novack Concert for Kids, at an amphitheater at the Culinary Institute of America’s Copia site in downtown Napa. López-Gavilán, featured at the festival over several years and in more of this year’s events, would be performing three winning compositions by Napa Valley public school teens and would also accompany the young audience’s experience of composer-vocalist Nia Imani Franklin, a former Miss America, singing Puccini’s “Quando m’en vo.”

The 41-year-old Havana resident is well acquainted with the delights of youthful exposure to music. Raised in Cuba by esteemed conductor Guido López-Gavilán and the late concert pianist Teresita Junco, alongside his 6-year-older brother and violinist Ilmar, young Aldo started chording on the family piano at age 4 and began studying music in school, as is the case with many Cubans, at 7. A Danny Kaye International Children’s Award, created by UNICEF, had him performing an original composition in Holland when he was 11, and the next year he made his professional debut on piano with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Matanzas.

López-Gavilán matured his improvisational skills alongside his classical studies and appeared at the Havana International Jazz Festival; he was declared “simply a genius, a star” by Cuban jazz titan Chucho Valdés. López-Gavilán has recorded a half-dozen albums covering his multi-genre repertoire and has toured globally, sometimes in the company of the Harlem String Quartet, where his brother Ilmar is principal violinist. His infectious exuberance and romanticism are showcased in both his compositions and in performances of his and others’ works.

The longed-for reunion of Aldo with Ilmar, who has long lived in New York, is celebrated in the documentary film Los Hermanos, directed by Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider and screened as part of Festival Napa Valley, as well as earlier this year by San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club. It will be seen on PBS stations in September. López-Gavilán is fluent in English, some accent and idiosyncratic usage extant.

I understand you’ll be doing a Q&A with the kids following the music today. They might be a bit curious about, and envious of, your early start in Cuba.

I guess that’s true, though I know you have music schools for kids.

When Rick and I were kids, we had more in the way of music education in our public schools. Now we have the wonderful Crowden School in Berkeley and the pre-college program at the San Francisco Conservatory, but they’re both private. Is it public in Cuba?

Absolutely. In Cuba, there are zero private schools.

Some Cuban musicians I’ve interviewed told me that though Western classical music was maintained after the communists took control in 1959, that other genres, like American jazz and pop, were repressed or discouraged in your country.

Those musicians were probably referring to the time before I was born. I’ve been able to be surrounded by all kinds of music, including hip-hop. But in Cuba, jazz is way more popular than many other genres of American music, especially because of the [Havana Jazz] Festival running every year [inaugurated in 1978]. And there are fusions with Cuban dance forms, and other styles.

You appeared at that festival with Chucho Valdés. Wow! Were you onstage with him?

I was 14, and we actually had a two-piano duet, with members of the legendary band Irakere [founded by Valdés in 1973]. And I performed, together with Chucho, one of my earlier compositions, called “Black Magic.”

Early on, did you find yourself composing in classical forms or jazz or some kind of fusion?

It was a combination. In general, my way of composing has a lot to do with improvisation, with jazz techniques and phrasing, harmonies. But the structure is somewhat close to concert music, meaning it has solid classic structure. It’s all written down, and it should be played as written. But when I’m performing, there are substantial parts with improvisation. [He’s also improvised during Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.]

Can we talk about your piece Emporium, which you’re performing later here, with Festival Orchestra Napa? Tell me about the piece and how it sits within the genres.

Let’s start by saying that this is a piano concerto, with full orchestra and piano solo and the classic structure: three movements. But of course, it’s very influenced by jazz and by Cuban and African culture. The whole thing is based on a theme that I dedicated to my daughters [Adriana and Andrea, with his wife, conductor Daiana Garcia] for their birthday, when they were 9. I improvised this theme [formed on an alluring rippling ninth chord] in the middle of the night, just to give them a surprise. [Adriana and Andrea both won the top award last year in the Pequeño Pianista category of the inaugural Concurso Latinoamericano de Piano.] Later, I started to play what would be the first movement with my jazz trio. It was more like a jazz-structured piece, where I could play the theme, then improvise around that. Later on, I decided to orchestrate it [as a concerto], because I was invited by the late great conductor Joel Revzen to perform at Classical Tahoe [in 2017, where López-Gavilán also appeared with Joshua Bell and in jazz settings]. You find that main theme from the first movement throughout the whole entire work, but with variations. I didn’t tell you that my daughters are twins, so they are always told that they’re so alike, but in a lot of details they are very personalized, and I tried to achieve that in my work.

Do tell us more. Will this piece be recorded?

We are planning to record it properly next year. The second movement is more lyrical, it tries to blend two different styles that I think are connected. One is the Black church music, like spirituals, the other is what we call in Cuba the vieja trova tradicional, beautiful romantic songs with amazing poetic lyrics, always describing love and beauty. I tried to embrace the idea of uniting the cultures. The final movement has more dramatic, unsettling rhythms, changing keys, more jazz elements [and reggaeton]. It’s very exciting but also carries the beautiful things from the first movement.

Any place for Cuban percussion in the orchestra?

There is not. I try hard to make it more universal. That’s one of the goals of my career: to not try to impose my culture over the true message you want to send, which is the beauty and deepness of emotional and spiritual language.

And the love of family seems a standard for you. Last night, the Festival presented the movie about you and your brother Ilmar, Los Hermanos. For those of us who haven’t seen it yet, tell us a bit about it and your take on it.

First of all, I’m very happy that the film was shown here, in the Cameo Cinema [in St. Helena]. I want to especially give thanks to my friend Rick Swig, who was the mind behind this. It’s hard for me to describe, because it’s about me and my family, but it’s basically about love to the family, love to music. And it describes many events of our lives, and how we got to reunite in the U.S., to tour and perform in different cities of this country, with my brother and the Harlem Quartet.

Were you two separated for a long time?

He went to study his violin in Russia when he was 14 years old and I was only 8, so he left home. Then he studied in Madrid, then came to California, and he finished his studies at the Manhattan School of Music. He basically stayed here, made a life and a family. He would go to Cuba to visit our family every year, but he was only visiting, we were not living together.

Does the documentary talk about the lifestyle differences between the two countries?

A little bit. In a very nice way, though. It’s all covered in love.

What’s been your reaction to the news over the past couple of weeks about protests in Cuba? Are American media looking for another way to make communism look bad?

First of all, I will say that I am very sad to see my people suffering so much violence between them. The people of Cuba have suffered scarcity for a long time. And, of course, there are different interests from the Cuban government and the U.S. government, especially in the Florida community, which I don’t want to talk about, because I don’t have full knowledge of that thing. What I can say is that I wish this leads to a better solution for our country.

A solution from the Cuban government?

I’m not sure that they can or are willing to. But I am not a politician, and I don’t know many of the laws that make the government do what it does. What I do know is that the people need to be heard, though there are some who just want to take advantage and make chaos. And I’m against any brutal response of the military and the police.

Is there anything in Cuba that’s like Napa?

Oh, I don’t think so! [laughs]

You’ve become a regular in Napa, and you also played the San Francisco Jazz Festival in 2014.

It was a beautiful set of concerts, in the Joe Henderson Lab, a piano solo recital, and I really enjoyed the response of that wonderful audience.

What did you play for them?

Many of my own solo piano compositions. I knew I was in a jazz venue, so there was a lot of improvisation, but you will always find in my compositions this fusion of concert and jazz and Cuban music; it doesn’t matter where I do it or how I do it. [For an example, a musical quote from the venerable Cuban son “El manisero” is audible in López-Gavilán’s performance of his Pan con Timba, with the Harlem Quartet.]

Anywhere we should be looking for you, later?

Oh, yes! I’ll be touring with the Quartet and my brother, and you’ll find that information on my website, [The Harlem Quartet, with Aldo López-Gavilán, will perform at Kohl Mansion on Oct. 31, and the brothers will appear as a duo for Cal Performances at Zellerbach Hall on Jan. 23, 2022.]

The Brothers / Los Hermanos gets released and immediately captures the media’s attention

The multi-awarded documentary The Brothers / Los Hermanos about the two talented Cuban musicians Ilmar and Aldo López-Gavilán Junco had its national release in the US on May 14th and immediately captured the attention of the media with positive reviews in major outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Miami Herald among many others.

The film is also available online for streaming on-demand and has been invited to premiere in Canada at the very prestigious Ted Rogers Hot Docs Cinema on Thursday, June 3.

“A moving documentary with generous amounts of music…
Electrifying musical collaborations!”

-Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times

“This endearing documentary is an Oscar-caliber film
for the family and one not to be missed!”
-Jeffrey Lyons, WCBS News Radio

“A joyful U.S. tour featuring Aldo’s blood-pumping compositions that meld jazz, classical and Latin music.” -KQED, San Francisco Public Media

“Exquisite – so much poetry, heart, and exemplary craft.
The editing is just sublime.”
-Rob Epstein, Two-time Oscar Winner

“Expertly and beautifully paced, like a great piece of music.”
-Joshua Bell, Celebrated American Violinist



Los Hermanos / The Brothers film to be released in theaters and on-demand streaming in the US and Canada on May 14th

“This is an Oscar-caliber film for the family and one not to be missed.”

-Jeffrey Lyons, WCBS Radio

 “Expertly crafted and beautifully paced, like a great piece of music.”

 –Joshua Bell, violinist

The compelling tale of a family disrupted by geopolitics.”
–Peter Keough, The Boston Globe

Virtuoso Afro-Cuban-born brothers—American violinist Ilmar and Cuban pianist Aldo— live on opposite sides of a geopolitical chasm a half century wide. LOS HERMANOS/THE BROTHERS tracks their parallel lives, poignant reunion, and electrifying first performances across the U.S., in a nuanced, often startling view of estranged nations through the lens of music and family.

Featuring a genre-bending score composed by Cuban Aldo Lopez-Gavilan performed with his American brother, Ilmar, and with guest appearances by maestro Joshua Bell and the Grammy-winning Harlem Quartet.


Watch the Trailer

Long-separated Cuban brothers, both virtuoso musicians, to reunite for concert in Pontiac

Duante Beddingfield for Detroit Free Press

Ilmar Gavilán and Aldo López-Gavilán during their 2016 reunion in the United States.

The music of Cuba will be front and center at Pontiac’s Flagstar Strand Theatre Saturday when the Chamber Music Society of Detroit presents the Gavilán Brothers live in concert.

The Cuban-born virtuoso musicians, violinist Ilmar Gavilán and pianist Aldo López-Gavilán, will perform an evening of tunes composed by López-Gavilán and culled from their 2019 album “Brothers,” a flowing, genre-melding project that pulls in elements of classical, Latin jazz, and Afro-Cuban styles.

Both brothers displayed musical talent from the beginning, and by age 14, Ilmar had outgrown his teachers in Cuba and was sent to the Soviet Union for advanced study. He eventually found chamber work in the United States, where he has lived for 20 years while teaching and playing with the Grammy-winning Harlem Quartet. Strained U.S.-Cuban relations meant that the siblings did not see each other for decades, even as Aldo became renowned as one of the island’s finest pianists.

When President Barack Obama relaxed travel restrictions to and from Cuba in late 2014, the brothers believed they might be able to achieve their dream of recording together. Ilmar and his family visited Havana for the first time in many years, and Aldo traveled to the United States to tour and record with Ilmar.

These trips were filmed by documentarians Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider, including an October 2016 Detroit residency by the brothers and the Harlem Quartet that was hosted by the Chamber Music Society. These scenes form the spine of “Los Hermanos – The Brothers,” an emotional, feature-length documentary that will be released nationwide on May 14.

Soon after their Detroit visit, things changed for the brothers. President Donald Trump revived strict rules on travel between the U.S. and Cuba, and relations between the countries grew tense again. “Los Hermanos” keeps the viewer aware of where things are on the timeline of history through onscreen graphics and audio from presidential speeches.

Jarmel, the film’s co-director, said during a call from San Francisco: “When you film real life, you’re only moving forward in linear motion. You can trackback later on, but as doc makers, we can never compete with the news cycle because every issue is constantly changing. Even during the 18 months we were filming, our relations with Cuba changed significantly. Two times.”

Ilmar Gavilán, speaking by phone from New York about U.S.-Cuba relations, said: “I have been in this situation on and off for over 25 years. I do think the only real change is when Congress passes something lifting the embargo, so that it is not depending on who is in power. I’m very optimistic by nature, but when it comes to this, I think I’m slightly more cautious.”

He’s more cheerful, however, when he returns to the topic of playing music with his brother.

“It makes me feel very complete spiritually to be able to do this. … When you take the feelings that are associated with this, the history and the family and the hope — you know, that kind of satisfaction is very rare. It makes everything else in life feel like minutiae.”

On Thursday, two days before the Pontiac concert, the Freep Film Festival and Chamber Music Society of Detroit will partner to present a virtual premiere for “Los Hermanos.” It will be available at no extra charge to concert ticket holders beginning at 7:30 p.m. and will be accessible on demand through midnight Sunday.

Immediately after the Thursday screening, a free and publicly available talk session will stream live on the Detroit Free Press Facebook page. It will feature the brothers, the filmmakers, Chamber Music Society President Steve Wogamon, regional arts and music critic Mark Stryker, and festival representatives.

Saturday night’s duo concert can also be viewed virtually by ticket holders who prefer streaming to attending the Flagstar Strand’s socially distanced performance.

Wogamon said the Chamber Music Society and venue staff got excellent practical experience with social distancing protocols during a live performance last weekend.

“Everyone has to wear a mask, whether they’re vaccinated or not,” he said, “and the mask has to stay on for the whole concert. We do a temperature check at the door, and we’re seating in every other row, with each party separated by three empty seats. We leave the first three rows empty so the artists can take their masks off, so there’s a good 30 feet of separation between the artists and the first audience members.”

As for Gavilán Brothers, Wogamon expresses nothing but awe.

“The thing about Aldo,” he said, “is he’s known as a jazz pianist and composer and is really, really respected in the Cuban jazz genre, but he is every bit at home as a classical pianist. In the film, it shows him playing Rachmaninoff’s third piano concerto, which is one of the half-dozen most difficult pieces in the world for the instrument. … And the Harlem Quartet became Chick Corea’s go-to whenever he needed a string quartet, so you can’t ask for better than Ilmar on the violin.

“There’s the electricity of not just their abilities on the instruments and their passion for the music,” Wogamon said, “but the electricity of these two brothers being able, finally, after so many, many years, to play together independently at the height of their powers.”

Original Article Here

Album “Brothers” by Aldo and Ilmar López-Gavilán nominated for Cubadisco 2021.

Havana, April 24, 2021.

“Brothers”, the first album of the duo integrated by talented Cuban musicians Aldo and Ilmar López-Gavilán, has been nominated in the Instrumental Music category for the 2020 – 2021 Cubadisco Awards. This XXIV edition of the International Fair of Cuban Discography will be held online from May 15 to 23 and will have Spain as a guest country.

Even though each of the López-Gavilán brothers has a solid and fruitful musical career, this is the first time that they have collaborated together on a recording project. Ilmar left Cuba at a very young age to study the violin in the former USSR and later won other scholarships to do higher studies in Spain and the United States, where he has lived for several years. His ascending career includes, in addition to getting a Doctorate in Music, numerous presentations in hundreds of the most prestigious auditoriums in the world, and in 2001 he was the winner of the Sphinx Competition, which earned him performing as a soloist in front of a score of US symphony orchestras. He is the founder and director of the renowned string quartet “Harlem Quartet”, with which he has recorded alongside prominent figures such as John Pattituci, Winton Marsalis and Chick Corea, with the latter the quartet obtained a GRAMMY in 2012.

Aldo, for his part, has been developing his career as a pianist and composer from a very young age, obtaining numerous awards inside and outside of Cuba. He had just finished his higher studies at the prestigious Trinity College in London and was already performing with important orchestras such as the Cuban National Symphony, the New England Conservatory Youth Symphony, the Bogota Philharmonic, the Sao Paulo Jazz + Orchestra and the Orchestra Simón Bolívar Youth Symphony of Venezuela, the latter under the direction of Maestro Claudio Abbado. To date, he has performed as a soloist with more than ten prestigious orchestras in the US, and his discography includes 13 albums, of which 5 have received nominations and awards in previous editions of Cubadisco, including “El Ocaso De La Hormiga y El Elefante.”, which was the winner of the Cubadisco Grand Prize in 2000.

During the opening to the cultural exchange that the administration of President Barack Obama led, the brothers were able for the first time to make an extensive musical tour throughout the United States, and Aldo also made other important collaborations with American musicians such as Dave Matthews, Jackson Browne, Byron Stripling , among others. One of these collaborations resulted in a live television concert (Live at Lincoln Center: Seasons of Cuba), led by the famous violinist Joshua Bell, and broadcast and produced by the PBS network, which was nominated for the EMMY Awards in 2017.

The album “Brothers”, a family project dreamed of for decades, finally found its moment of gestation in New York in July 2019, after several months of touring, and was recorded at Oktaven Studios. This phonogram includes 10 songs, all authored by Aldo, and with masterful arrangements for piano and violin by both brothers.

This album musically crystallizes the family, artistic and spiritual union of Ilmar and Aldo, and was in turn the culmination of a documentary entitled “Los Hermanos / The Brothers”, made by American producers and directors Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider, which has been presented to date in twelve festivals in the US, recently broadcast by PBS with a global reach in the North American country and presented by the prestigious Carnegie Hall in April. The feature film emphasizes through music that, despite the separation and geopolitical differences of the countries where the two brothers reside, the art and feelings that unite them do not have and will never have borders.

After a long pause imposed by the global health crisis, Aldo and Ilmar met again this week in the US to continue promoting their CD “Brothers”, which will soon be available on digital platforms. The tour will include concerts (virtually or with a small audience) in cities such as Detroit, Michigan, Napa, Chicago, Minnesota, New York, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, among others.

Buy the album Brothers here now