Artists featured on the playlist (from top left): tenor Juan Diego Flórez, violinist María Dueñas, guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas, pianist-composer Chucho Valdés, instrumentalist Danilo Pérez and pianist Maria João Pires.
Let’s celebrate 2022 Hispanic Heritage Month! Within the following playlist run Latin American popular songs, African rhythms, Arabic melodies and other rich cultural elements always deeply present in the Hispanic music universe.
The CSO Latino Alliance will be joyfully celebrating its ninth season with a first-ever series appropriately called “Nuestras Noches,” honoring the artistic contributions of Chucho Valdés, Juan Diego Flórez and Pablo Sáinz-Villegas, all appearing on this season’s Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Center Presents lineups. The Latino Alliance series ends June 23 with an “Hasta pronto” (“See you again soon”) to Maestro Muti, whose last concerts as music director will be Beethoven’s Missa solemnis on June 23-25.
Starting off the playlist is Francisco Tárrega’s Gran Jota de Concierto by guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas, who brought down the house at his CSO debut in 2019. It’s followed by Tárrega’s Capricho Árabe and Recuerdos del Alhambra. For CSO concerts March 30 to April 4, Sáinz-Villegas will be the soloist in Boccherini’s Fandango from Guitar Quintet No. 4 in D Major, and this playlist features a selection from that work.
The vocal virtuosity of tenor Juan Diego Flórez shows not only in arias by Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti, but also in a selection of popular Latin songs with symphonic arrangements. He appears in an SCP Special Concert on Jan. 31 with pianist Vincenzo Scalera.
The Latino Alliance will be celebrating the six-decade career of Cuban pianist, composer and bandleader Jesús “Chucho” Valdés with a reception before his SCP Jazz concert Oct. 18. The playlist showcases Chucho’s many contributions to music, including his take on Chopin’s Prelude in E Minor.
Closing out the playlist is a track with John Williams, Yo-Yo Ma and Pablo Sáinz-Villegas as they join artistic forces on “A Prayer for Peace from Munich,” included on the album “A Gathering of Friends (Sony), released in May. Happy listening and enjoy the Latino Alliance’s Hispanic Heritage Month 2022 playlist!