Osvaldo Golijov
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Mostly Mozart Festival names Osvaldo Golijov Composer-in-Residence for 2007
From Lincoln Center/Mostly Mozart

Osvaldo Golijov: Mostly Mozart Festival's First Composer-in-Residence

Expanding upon Mostly Mozart's recent explorations of contemporary and world music juxtaposed with the repertoire of Mozart and his contemporaries, Lincoln Center names the celebrated Argentine-American composer Osvaldo Golijov the Festival's first composer-in-residence for the 2007 season. Golijov will work closely with Artistic Director Jane Moss, Music Director Louis Langrée, and their team to curate a series of concerts that will examine new paths of understanding and points of comparison between Mozart's world and today.

Golijov's music is to be featured on opening night and during the closing week of the Festival. The opening night program on July 31 and August 1 in Avery Fisher Hall features the New York premiere of his work for cello and orchestra, Azul, in a new arrangement written specifically for the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, conducted by Langrée and featuring soloist Alisa Weilerstein, who recently earned glowing reviews in her New York Philharmonic debut. In composing Azul, Golijov was inspired by the ability of Baroque composers such as Couperin to suspend time without stopping the forward motion of their music, and he has described the work as a meditative 21st-century Baroque Adagio. In addition to the solo cellist, the piece utilizes a modern version of the Baroque continuo by featuring prominent sections for percussion and hyperaccordion.

On August 18 and 19, conductor Robert Spano leads two performances of Golijov's La Pasión según San Marcos ("The Passion According to St. Mark") in the Rose Theater at Frederick P. Rose Hall. For his contemporary oratorio Golijov turned to Gospel texts, Kaddish (the Jewish prayer for the dead), and Galician poems as sources for the large-scale, 90-minute work. Using indigenous Latin rhythms, of Bahia and Cuba in particular, Golijov created an updated Passion, transposed to modern-day Latin America. He describes it as "a ritual based on action, not meditation; a story of violence and faith. For me the parallel with my own country lay in the way low-rank priests who worked in the slums were being 'disappeared' and killed." These performances feature the Venezuelan chorus Schola Cantorum de Caracas under the direction of Maria Guinand, vocalist Luciana Souza, soprano Jessica Rivera, capoeira and berimbau player Deraldo Ferreira, vocalist and dancer Reynaldo González Fernández, and the Orquesta La Pasión.

Following the second performance of the Pasíon on August 19, Golijov curates a late-night Latin jam session in the Allen Room at Frederick P. Rose Hall with artists he has handpicked, as part of Mostly Mozart's late-night concert series "A Little Night Music." Artists include bagpiper Cristina Pato—who has previously collaborated with the Silk Road Ensemble at Golijov's invitation—and musicians from the Pasión. Additional artists and repertoire are to be announced.

In addition to programs featuring Golijov's own music, Mostly Mozart presents two concerts in the Rose Theater showcasing composers and works of deep personal meaning to him. On August 20, period-instrument ensemble I Barocchisti and the Swiss Radio Chorus of Lugano, make their U.S. debuts performing Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine (Vespers of 1610) under the direction of conductor Diego Fasolis. On August 23, the Orchestra of the 18th Century and conductor Frans Brüggen perform Schubert's Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D.759 ("Unfinished") and Symphony No. 9 in C major, D.944 ("Great").

Schola Cantorum de Caracas and director Maria Guinand return for the Festival's closing program on August 24 and 25. On the first half of these programs, the chorus will perform 20th-century and contemporary South American a cappella choral music—mixing sacred and profane themes—from such composers as Alberto Grau, Angel Sauce, Beatriz Bilbao, Federico Ruiz (all Venezuela), Alberto Ginastera (Argentina), Carlos Alberto Pinto Fonseca (Brazil), and Cálixto Alvarez (Cuba). The chorus then joins Langrée and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra for a performance of Mozart's Requiem, K.626. Further details on the South American works are to be announced.