Wind Ensemble presents Chilean folk music

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Tonight at 7:30 p.m., the U’s Wind Ensemble will offer a symphonic journey to Chile at the Libby Gardner Hall. Free to the public, the Wind Ensemble will welcome renowned Chilean guest conductor Eduardo Browne.
Miguel Chuaqui, professor of composition in the School of Music, is responsible for bringing Browne to Utah.
“Well, I’m originally from Chile. One thing I’ve been doing is creating an exchange agreement between the universities here and there with faculty and students. That’s the motivation for bringing Browne here,” Chuaqui said. “He’s a very excellent conductor. He was assistant principal conductor of the Fort Worth symphony for many years, so he’s a natural person to bring. I’ve known him since we were teenagers in Chile competing in piano competitions.”
Chuaqui believes Browne’s appearance will bolster opportunities for the exchange program with Chile.
“This is an opportunity for the students in the band, and he’s conducting master classes at the university on Chilean folk music and tales as well. He’ll be in contact with a lot of students this way. He’s very good for us,” Chuaqui said.
The School of Music’s associate professor Scott Hagen said the wind ensemble has a preparation process when it stages guest conductors. Before the artist arrives, he or she selects compositions. Afterward, the Wind Ensemble works to learn the sheet music.
“Basically what you do is prepare the right tempos and notes, but inform the ensemble that things might change,” Hagen said. “But it’s up to Browne to decide what he wants to change. I don’t want to say we present a generic translation of the piece to the students beforehand, but in doing so we prepare them enough to allow Browne to deviate as he sees fit.”
Besides conducting “Celebrations and Equus” by Eric Whitacre, “Colonial Song” by Percy Grainger and Gustav Holst’s “2nd Suite for Military Band,” Browne will present a special piece of music. Wanting to focus on Chilean folklore, Browne will conduct and explain Pablo Delano’s “Violeteando,” which is a tribute to the great Chilean folk musician Violeta Parra. Hagen is especially looking forward to this meditation on Chilean folk stories.
“I’m very interested to see his interpretation of that. He knows the folk songs well. I don’t, and the students don’t either. With him, we get the background on those songs, what they’re from and when they are traditionally sung. Any information like that will be really fascinating.” Hagen said.
Chuaqui mirrors Hagen’s sentiments. In addition, he understands the history and significance of the piece.
“Pablo Delano wrote the piece based on folk music by Violeta Parra, who was very famous and known all over Latin America … This piece uses themes that probably won’t be very recognizable for people in the U.S. It’s a fantasy on Parra’s music, by using those traditional themes, but it interweaves them with modern influences,” Chuaqui said.
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