Leo Brouwer Festival, a 24 hours countdown

Just one day away from the opening of the 6th Leo Brouwer Chamber Music Festival, we can appreciate the Master, baton always in hand, unquiet, deep breath every artist needs before beginning his work, perhaps the most immense and encompassing of all. This time dedicated to the 75th anniversary. This time it has been reported, hopefully not, it will be the last.

Choco, Cuban plastic artist, has publicly ordered Brouwer, with all the Cuban idiosyncrasy and confidence of an old friend: “You cannot stop this. I do not know what you’re going to do, but you have to take it forward “. Choco is also in charge of providing the start of the event with his exhibition Painting in action on September 26, at six pm, in Cuban Art Factory (FAC by its Spanish acronym). This will be the prelude to ¨Dónde está la vida¨ (Where is life?), concert by Pancho Céspedes at Karl Marx theater, where the Festival will be officially opened.

The biggest celebration to be done to Brouwer is the possibility of gathering talents from around the world in what he calls “a perfect marriage of intelligent music”, which has become the Festival slogan. Some artist have already landed on the island for this occasion such as the Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud, Italian accordionist Marco Russo, Argentinean directors of the indigenous instruments workshop Alejandro Iglesias Rossi and Susana Ferreres. It is also expected for next week the arrivals of Argentinean cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the also cellist Spanish Jordi Savall , and Czech guitarist Pavel Steidil.

In a meeting with reporters, Brouwer presented one by one all the concerts included in the program.

The Master, this time assuming the role of reporter, asked Cuban artist Augusto Enriquez about the preparation of ¨Las cartas de Julieta¨ concert, along with the Cuarteto Latinoamericano from Mexico and Niurka González (Cuba). “It’s a performance of contemporary opera written for a string quartet and tenor voice, but the magnitude of the work is such that only four instruments play, but it seems like eighteen,” Enriquez told. He then added something that provoked an undisguised excitement on Brouwer: “It has been many years since I studied a work for four months. That’s the quintessence of this Festival. “

The event will also be attended by the Orchestra of Indigenous Instruments and New Technologies, a unique Argentine group that has traveled from the pampas with 600 kilos of Pre-Columbian masks and instruments lost in the Americas. Rituals and meanings of life, nature and death will be present on September 30th, at 8:30 pm, in Mella Theatre, for Cuban people to meet face to face a part of Latin American folk culture.

For the Jazz White Night, the second of the six planned by the Festival (Rumba, Jazz, Flamenco, Trova, Humor and Son), Brouwer has reserved anecdotes he experienced with his friend Julio Cortázar, whom the night is dedicated to on the occasion of his centennial, and perhaps also to Silvio Rodriguez. A unique team of jazz musicians: Chucho Valdes, Ernán and Ruy Lopez-Nussa, Rolando Luna, Roberto Fonseca, Gastón Joya, Yassek Manzano, Giraldo Piloto, a ccompanied by Cuban- Mexican Pancho Céspedes; an apocalyptic jam session.

Sounds like murmurs, cries, sighs, touches … Trova, rumba, son and flamenco coming from everywhere but Spain will invade Havana today. Since this afternoon, Leo Brouwer will become the master owning the air the Festival breathes.

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