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Highlights include six World Premieres and three U.S. Premieres;

Collaborations with Ruth Page Center, Ravinia Festival, Old Town School of Folk Music and Ear Taxi Festival; a cultural exchange with Bogotá, Colombia made possible by the MacArthur Foundation; and multiple free concert programs




CHICAGO (August 11, 2016) – The 11th Chicago Latino Music Festival, a program of the International Latino Cultural Center (ILCC) and Chicago’s only Latino-focused classical music festival, proudly announces its complete lineup and performance schedule. The 11th Chicago Latino Music Festival will take place September 8 – December 1, 2016 at multiple venues throughout Chicago plus a special performance in Bogotá, Colombia. Showcasing programming from the Baroque to the 21st Century, the festival features international artists such as Spanish classical guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas, Dúo Belcorde (Manuel Briega, violin, and Adrián Fernández, Spanish guitar), internationally renowned Mexican pianist Mauricio Náder and Colombia’s Cuarteto Q-Arte plus Chicago’s Avalon String Quartet, Baroque Ensemble, Chicago Arts Orchestra and the University of Illinois Orchestra.


Produced by the ILCC with Artistic Directors and composers Gustavo Leone (Argentinian-born) and Elbio Barilari (Uruguay-born), the annual Chicago Latino Music Festival also serves to develop the careers of Latino composers by commissioning new pieces. This year’s commissions are from Colombian composer Blas Atehortúa and Leone. Both of the commissioned works will be premiered by the Chicago Latino Music Festival in Colombia, prior to being performed here, as part of a cultural exchange funded by the MacArthur Foundation.


The Chicago Latino Music Festival also sponsors an artist-in-residence program for Chicago-based musicians that focus on the dissemination of the Ibero-American repertoire. The KAIA String Quartet is the 2016 ensemble-in-residence, performing in the Festival on Thursday, October 6 at Harold Washington Library.


The 11th Chicago Latino Music Festival is funded by the Joyce Foundation with additional support from the MacArthur Foundation. For more information, including how to reserve or purchase concert tickets, please visit http://latinomusicfest.org.


Chicago Latino Music Festival 2016 Schedule



Dúo Belcorde

Instituto Cervantes of Chicago, 31 W. Ohio Street

Admission: Free with RSVP

Dúo Belcorde (Manuel Briega, violin, and Adrián Fernández, Spanish guitar) opens the 11th Chicago Latino Music Festival with a selection of works composed between the 17th and 20th centuries featuring a Cervantes Suite by Gaspar Sanz in recognition of Miguel de Cervantes and a tribute to Enrique Granados with two of his Spanish dances: “Oriental” and “Andalusian.” Program:

  • “Danzas Cervantinas” for guitar by Gaspar Sanz (1674)
  • “Danza del molinero” by Manuel de Falla (1919)
  • “Canciones populares españolas” by Federico García Lorca (1921-1924)
  • “Suspiros de España” by Antonio Álvarez Alonso (1902)
  • “Danzas españolas” by Enrique Granados (1890)
  • “María de la O” by Manuel Quiroga (1935)
  • “Música nocturna de Madrid: Pasacalle” by Luigi Boccherini (1780)
  • “Gallito” by Santiago López Gozalo
  • “España Cañí” by Pascual Marquina Narro (1923)


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2:00 p.m.

Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras (CMMAS) – 10th Anniversary Concert

Harold Washington Library, Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, 400 S. State Street

Admission: Free

Based in the city of Morelia, Michoacan, CMMAS formed in 2006 with the mission to promote the development of music and sound art in Mexico. This unique program is an intersection of composition and technology.


  • “Por los Andes” for violin and electronics by Francisco Colasanto (2014)
  • “Repas du Serpent & Retour a la Raison” for violoncello, video and tape by Javier Álvarez (2009)
  • “Curva ao Infinito” for piano and electroacoustic sounds by Edson Zampronha (2012)
  • “Tolerance” for cello and tape by Rodrigo Sigal (2002)
  • “Corson” for trumpet and tape by Gustavo Leone (2014)


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 7:30 p.m.

University of Illinois (UIC) Orchestra with Conductor Javier José Mendoza

Merit School of Music, Anne and Howard Gottlieb Hall, 38 S. Peoria Street

Admission: Free

The UIC Orchestra is comprised of both music majors and non-majors from across the campus community. The players share a love of music and a passion for playing great orchestral repertoire. UIC Orchestra Director Javier José Mendoza is actively performing pieces from archives in Mexico, Guatemala, and Spain in an effort to bring forgotten works from the 18th-century back into public awareness, including works by composers Ignacio Jerusalem and Santiago Billoni, both of whom worked in present-day Mexico in the 18th century.



Avalon String Quartet & Cuarteto Q-Arte

Sala de conciertos de la Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango, Bogotá, Colombia

Admission: $6,000 Colombian Pesos

Funding for this international cultural exchange is provided by the MacArthur Foundation through an International Connections grant for 2016. Program:

  • Cuarteto de Cuerdas No. 6, op. 250 by Blas Atehortúa – World Premiere
  • String Quartet No. 4 by Gustavo Leone (2016) – World Premiere
  • String Quartet No.3 for Soprano and String Quartet, Op. 40 by Alberto Ginastera (1973)
  • “Last Round” for nonet by Osvaldo Golijov (1996)


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 6:30 p.m.

KAIA String Quartet

Harold Washington Library, Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, 400 S. State Street

Admission: Free

The Chicago Latino Music Festival’s Ensemble-in-Residence, KAIA String Quartet, consists of Victoria Moreira (violin), Naomi Culp (violin), Sixto Franco Chordá (viola) and Hope Shepherd DeCelle (cello). KAIA, derived from the Greek word “Gaia” for Earth/Goddess of the Earth, represents the ensemble’s mission to promote music of cultures from around the world in addition to being active performers of the traditional canon of quartet music. Currently, the quartet is focused on exploring the music of Latin American composers, both contemporary and traditional. Program:

  • String Quartet No. 2 Op. 26 by Alberto Ginastera (1958)
  • String Quartet No. 3 by Gustavo Leone (2015) – World Premiere
  • “Three Pieces” by Astor Piazzolla (1988)



Avalon String Quartet

Harris Theater, Cube Space, 205 E. Randolph Street

Admission: $15 General / $5 Students

Chicago’s Avalon String Quartet has performed in major venues including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd St Y, Merkin Hall, and Bargemusic in New York; the Library of Congress and National Gallery of Art in Washington DC; Wigmore Hall in London; and Herculessaal in Munich. Other performances include appearances at the Bath International Music Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Caramoor, La Jolla Chamber Music Society, NPR’s St. Paul Sunday, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Dame Myra Hess Concerts, Los Angeles Music Guild and the Ravinia Festival. The quartet performs an annual concert series in historic Fullerton Hall at the Art Institute of Chicago, where it has presented the complete quartet cycles of Beethoven, Bartok and Brahms in recent seasons. The Avalon is quartet-in- residence at the Northern Illinois University School of Music, a position formerly held by the Vermeer Quartet. Additionally, they have given numerous performances and presentations to young audiences in under-resourced schools and communities. Program:

  • “Bitcoin” by Enric Riu (2016) – World Premiere
  • “Musing on the Nature of Time” by Elbio Barilari (2011)
  • String Quartet No. 4 by Gustavo Leone (2016) – U.S. Premiere


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15, 7:30 p.m.

Chicago Arts Orchestra with Conductor Javier José Mendoza

Studebaker Theater, Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Avenue

Admission: $25 General / $35 Patron / $15 Students and Seniors

Reviving long-dormant 18th-century classical music of Latin America, the Chicago Arts Orchestra (CAO) was established to make early music more accessible – and affordable. CAO fulfills its mission under Artistic Director and Conductor Javier José Mendoza with innovative programming and by providing educational opportunities.



Pablo Sáinz Villegas, classical guitar – Embrace The Journey Here

Old Town School of Folk Music, Maurer Hall, 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue

Admission: Free with RSVP

Pablo Sáinz Villegas is hailed by critics as one of the world’s leading classical guitarists and celebrated as a natural ambassador of Spanish culture with performances in more than 30 countries since his auspicious debut with the New York Philharmonic under Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos at Avery Fisher Hall. He has since performed for both the Dalai Lama and the Spanish royal family, and it was he who gave the world premiere of “Rounds,” the first composition for guitar by five-time Academy Award-winner John Williams. Born and raised in La Rioja, Spain – the country uniquely and deeply linked to his chosen instrument – Villegas is praised for giving performances that are as charismatic as they are intimate. With his singing tone and consummate technique, Villegas offers interpretations that conjure the passion, playfulness and drama of his homeland’s rich musical heritage, routinely drawing comparisons with such legendary exponents of his instrument as Andrés Segovia.


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2:00 p.m.

San Ignacio: Ópera de las Misiones Jesuíticas (edition by Fr. Piotr Nawrot) featuring Baroque Ensemble with Conductor Emanuele Andrizzi

Art Institute of Chicago, Fullerton Hall, 111 S. Michigan Avenue

Admission: $10 donation at the door

Father Piotr Nawrot, a Polish priest and musicologist, discovered hundreds of compositions — chants, masses, hymns, operas with texts in Indian languages, and more — dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries, while on a mission in Bolivia. Jesuit missionaries wrote such music as a means of conversion and, in turn, encouraged the Native Americans to create their own music, written in their own language and performed on their own handcrafted instruments, including violins. Compared to the solemn and contemplative “Spanish Cathedral” Baroque music of the time, the Moxo and Chiquitano compositions are bright and joyful. It is not simply Baroque; it is “Mission Baroque,” according to Fr. Nawrot. Note, this concert program is part of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Doctrine and Devotion: Art of the Religious Orders in the Spanish Andes. Program:

  • Ópera de las misiones jesuíticas (Opera from the Jesuit Missions)



Avalon String Quartet & Cuarteto Q-Arte

Art Institute of Chicago, Fullerton Hall, 111 S. Michigan Avenue

Admission: Free with paid entry into museum

Funding for this international cultural exchange is provided by the MacArthur Foundation through an International Connections grant for 2016. Program includes the World Premiere performances of Chicago Latino Music Festival commissions: Cuarteto de Cuerdas No. 6, op. 250 by Blas Atehortúa and String Quartet No. 4 by Gustavo Leone.


  • Cuarteto de Cuerdas No. 6, op. 250 by Blas Atehortúa – U.S. Premiere
  • String Quartet No. 4 by Gustavo Leone (2016)
  • “Last Round” for nonet by Osvaldo Golijov (1996)


THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 6:30 p.m.

Don Quixote’s Piano featuring Mauricio Nader (piano) and Welz Kauffman (narrator)

Harold Washington Library, Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, 400 S. State Street

Admission: Free

Celebrate the 400th Anniversary of Miguel Cervantes de Saavedra (1547-1616) with this special presentation from the Latino Music Festival, featuring the internationally renowned Mexican pianist Mauricio Náder and Ravinia Festival’s Welz Kauffman in the role of narrator. A pianist himself, Kauffman has been the President and CEO of Ravinia Festival since October 2000. Prior, he spent years in artistic leadership positions with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Program:

  • “Pensive Quixote” by Víctor Carbajo (1970)
  • “Quixote in Love” by Víctor Carbajo (1970)
  • Excerpts from Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s “Don Quixote” (1605, 1615)
  • Passages from the ballet “Don Quixote” composed by Ludwig Minkus (1869)
  • “Tres Quijotadas de un Hidalgo” by Marvin Camacho (1966)
  • “Vihuelas y guitarrones” by Domingo Lobato (1965)
  • “Castilla” (from “Suite Española”) by Isaac Albéniz (1886)
  • “Maese Pedro’s Puppet Show” by Manuel de Falla (1923)


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 8:30 p.m.

Don Quixote’s Piano featuring Mauricio Nader (piano) and Welz Kauffman (narrator)

Ravinia, Bennett Gordon Hall, 200 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park

Admission: $10 Reserved Seat / $45 Dinner & Concert

Repeat of November 17 program


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2:00 p.m.

Adam Levin, classical guitar

Art Institute of Chicago, Fullerton Hall, 111 S. Michigan Avenue

Admission: Free with paid entry into museum

North Shore native Adam Levin has been praised by renowned American guitarist Eliot Fisk as a “virtuoso guitarist and a true 21st century renaissance man with the élan, intelligence, charm, tenacity and conviction to change the world.” Levin has been further recognized by the Society of American Musicians, the Lake Forest Concerto Competition, Minnesota’s Schubert Competition, Boston GuitarFest, Concurso Internacional de les Corts para Jóvenes Intérpretes in Barcelona, Concurso Internazionale DiGargnano, and Certamen Internacional Luys Milan de Guitarra in Valencia. Levin was honored as a Fulbright Scholar as well as grant awards from the Program for Cultural Cooperation Fellowship (promoting cultural understanding between Spain and the United States) and the Kate Neal Kinley Fellowship to research contemporary Spanish guitar repertoire in Madrid, Spain. Levin’s three-year residency resulted in a collaboration with 30 Spanish composers spanning four generations who each wrote works commissioned by and dedicated to Levin. Program:

  • Two Sonatas, K. 53, K. 209 by Domenico Scarlatti
  • “Trimountain” by Anton Garcia-Abril (2015)
  • “Yemanjá Sonata” by Eduardo Morales-Caso (2015)
  • “Fandanguillo” by Joaquín Turina (1925)
  • “Junta de mi Corazon” by Agustín Barrios Mangoré (1929)


Havana-Chicago Connections featuring Choreographer Victor Alexander

Studebaker Theater, Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Avenue

Admission: $30 General / $25 Students, Seniors and ILCC Members

Known for his riveting stage presence, Victor Alexander mixes formidable technique, gained in the rigorous training ground of Cuban Dance Academies, with facility at theatrical interpretation. Spare, yet forceful, Alexander’s dance has been likened to a bass in a musical quartet that adds a rhythmic and melodic foundation to dance compositions. A native to Pinar del Rio, Cuba, Victor Alexander was trained at the prestigious Escuela Nacional de Arte (ENA) in Havana, graduating with a degree in Modern and Cuban Folkloric dance. As a student, Alexander’s exceptional talents were recognized when he won first place for dance in the Fourth National Union of Writers and Artists in Havana. After graduation, Alexander went on to be a principal dancer for the prominent Contemporanea de Cuba where both his technical knowhow and expressive dance style gained national prominence. Since relocating from Cuba to Chicago, Alexander has danced with Hedwig Dances under the direction of Jan Bartoszek, Concert Dance Inc., Lyric Opera of Chicago, as a guest artist with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Houston Grand Opera and with Luna Negra Dance Theater. Program:

  • “Ritmos Cubanos” (traditional Cuban music)
  • “Sinuosa Fuga del Cambio” by Gustavo Leone – World Premiere
  • “Cuban Canvas” by Elbio Barilari – World Premiere
  • “Black Decameron” by Leo Brouwer (1972)



The 11th Chicago Latino Music Festival is funded by the Joyce Foundation with additional support from the MacArthur Foundation, the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council. Festival partners include WFMT-FM, La Raza, Columbia Collage Chicago, The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), The Ruth Page Center for the Arts School of Dance, Ravinia Festival, Ear Taxi Festival, CMMAS, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Public Library, Instituto Cervantes, Old Town School of Folk Music and Pianoforte Foundation.


FESTIVAL ARTISTIC DIRECTORS: Elbio Barilari & Gustavo Leone

Elbio Barilari has collaborated annually with the Grant Park Music Festival since helping to organize a tribute concert to Astor Piazzolla in 2002, for which he was also commissioned to write his Bandoneón Concerto. In June 2006, the Grant Park Orchestra, conducted by Carlos Kalmar, premiered his “Canyengue” at Millennium Park; that same season at Grant Park he also recruited and prepared the orchestra of native South American instruments for the performance of Ariel Ramírez’s “Misa Criolla.” Barilari is also one of the founders of Volcano Radar, a Chicago ensemble devoted to the exploration of various cultural traditions. As a composer, Barilari has received commissions from the Grant Park Music Festival, Concertante di Chicago, Chicago Park District, Chicago Composer Forums, Orquesta Filarmonica de Montevideo, pianists Maria João Pires and Marcel Worms and guitarist Eduardo Fernández, and a grant from the Sara Lee Foundation. In addition to works for orchestra, chamber ensembles and solo instruments, he has provided scores for more than forty plays in the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. In 2007, his “Los Cantos for Soprano, Choir and Orchestra” was premiered at Lyric Opera of Chicago to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Chicago Children’s Choir. His “Lincolniana,” incorporating texts by Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman and featuring jazz trumpeter Orbert Davis, Goodman Theatre actor/director Henry Godinez and the Ondas Ensemble, was first heard at the Ravinia Festival in September 2008.


Gustavo Leone is a Professor of Music in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Loyola University Chicago. He has also served on the faculty at the Music Department of Columbia College Chicago. He holds a Ph.D. in composition from the University of Chicago. Leone is a recipient of a Walter Hinrichsen Award given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His music is included in the catalogs of C.F. Peters, New York, and Lyon and Healy, Chicago. Ensembles and organizations such as Grant Park Festival Orchestra, the Symphonic Orchestra of Michoacán, México, the Chicago Sinfonietta, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra have played, commissioned, and recorded Leone’s works. His work for the theater includes composing music for productions at companies such as the Lookingglass Theatre, Goodman Theatre, and Yale Repertory Theatre. He was a Fellow at the Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage where he has been studying the music of the Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos, Bolivia.



The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago (ILCC) is a Pan-Latino, nonprofit, multidisciplinary arts organization dedicated to developing, promoting and increasing awareness of Latino cultures among Latinos and other communities by presenting a wide variety of art forms and education including film, music, dance, visual arts, comedy and theater. The Center prides itself for its outstanding multidisciplinary local and international cultural programming which spans Latin America, Spain, Portugal, and the United States.


Born out of the Chicago Latino Film Festival, The ILCC also produces other programs, such as Film in the Parks, also in its 11th season; the monthly Reel Film Club, already in its 6th year; and many others.


All in all, the audience has grown from 500 people in 1985 for the first Chicago Latino Film Festival to more than 70,000 (Latinos and non-Latinos), who enjoy the year-round multidisciplinary cross-cultural exchanges offered by the Center. For more information on the International Latino Cultural Center, please visit http://latinoculturalcenter.org.

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