Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
490 Riverside Drive, 11th floor
New York, NY 10027-5788
(212) 896 1700
“Getting a chance to work with Arturo Sandoval is a dream come true. He is incredibly gifted and can really do anything—not only on the trumpet, but he also sings, and plays piano and timbales. I know that whatever I write, he can play.”
- Gregg August, Orpheus associate member bassist and arranger
On February 19, 2022, Orpheus returns to Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall with “Cuban Rhythms,” a joyful program comprising world premieres and world premiere arrangements. In addition to Sandoval’s own Concerto for Trumpet No. 2 and Every Day I Think of You (a tribute to Sandoval’s mentor, Dizzy Gillespie) arranged by Orpheus Associate Member Gregg August, Orpheus and Sandoval perform the world premiere (Orpheus commission) of a new work for trumpet and chamber orchestra, 90 Miles: Afro Mambo by Aldo López-Galiván, as well as Gershwin’s Cuban Overture (arr. Javier Diaz) and Lecuona’s Andalucia Suite (arr. Jannina Norpoth).
Growing up in a village in the countryside far from Havana, Arturo Sandoval got his start playing trumpet with traditional Cuban bands, which earned him a slot at the National School of Art. He went on to join the Cuban supergroup Irakere, and on his first day ever in the United States in 1978, the band flew from Havana to LaGuardia Airport, drove straight to Carnegie Hall, and closed a program featuring pianists Bill Evans and Mary Lou Williams with an act that, according to The New York Times, “came across as a flamboyant show band, pouring out tumultuous rhythms, sudden eruptions of massive ensemble sound and dazzling high trumpet notes by Arturo Sandoval, its most virtuosic soloist.” As Sandoval grew to be an international star, the trumpet legend Dizzy Gillespie became a mentor and eventually a dear friend, and it was on a tour together in 1989 that, thanks to Gillespie’s efforts at the American Embassy in Athens, Sandoval was able to defect. He has been a U.S. citizen since 1998.
Sandoval has played the standard repertoire of trumpet concertos throughout his career, and at one point in the 1990s he wrote an etude meant to help prepare classical trumpeters for the demands of a typical slow movement. It was his wife who saw the sketch for what it was: the nucleus of an original concerto. Sandoval soon added outer movements, and he recorded that Trumpet Concerto No. 1 on The Classical Album in 1994 with the London Symphony Orchestra. In the virtuosic and lyrical Trumpet Concerto No. 2 that Sandoval wrote in 2015, it’s not until the third movement that the slightest hint of a Cuban rhythm enters. For the original version, Sandoval turned it over to an orchestrator who fleshed out an accompaniment for full orchestra, and now Orpheus associate member Gregg August is re-working the orchestration for a streamlined complement of six winds and brass. But Sandoval is really not concerned with any details that might divide music into one lane or another, like the notion that his concerto’s opening passage resembles the cadenzas that begin Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto, or August’s artful translation of guitar-like harp patterns into figurations for the string sections. “For me,” Sandoval says, “music is only one—whatever sounds good.”
With a composer/conductor for a father and a concert pianist mother, Aldo López-Gavilán was born in Cuba into an extraordinarily musical family. While his older brother Ilmar gravitated to the violin (and is now the first violinist of the Harlem Quartet), López-Gavilán followed his mother into playing piano and has stayed close to his roots in Havana. His fluid ability to shift from classical to jazz to traditional styles has made López-Gavilán one of his generation’s strongest ambassadors of new Cuban music, and his compositions for orchestras, chamber ensembles and film projects continue to defy any expectations that might try to box him into one musical identity. When Orpheus commissioned López-Gavilán to write a work featuring Arturo Sandoval, he was inspired by the thought of “how incredibly close our two countries are,” a sentiment he captured in this “joyful celebration of our shared love of music” he titled 90 Miles (Afro-Mambo).
The formation of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in 1972 was facilitated by the zeitgeist: the anti-establishment values of the protests against the American war in Vietnam, as well as the cooperative spirit fostered by the rising ideal of collective artistic leadership. Dov Scheindlin, violist with Orpheus, explains: “[Orpheus] helped to demolish the Maestro myth, that leadership must be assigned to one firm hand, and brought a spirit of participation and equality to the fore.” The orchestra’s philosophy of collective and democratic leadership – from repertoire selection to rehearsal to its community outreach – extends from its foundation through to today.
Saturday, February 19, 2022 at 7:00PM (ET)
Carnegie Hall - Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Arturo Sandoval, trumpet
GERSHWIN: Cuban Overture (arr. Javier Diaz)
ARTURO SANDOVAL: Concerto for Trumpet No. 2 (arr. Gregg August)
LECUONA: Andalucia Suite (arr. Jannina Norpoth)
ARTURO SANDOVAL: Every Day I Think Of You (arr. Gregg August)
ALDO LÓPEZ-GAVILÁN: 90 Miles (Afro-Mambo) (World Premiere, commissioned by Orpheus)
ADDITIONAL PERFORMANCES OF THIS PROGRAM
Friday, February 18, 2022 at 7:30PM (ET)
Troy Savings Bank Music Hall - Troy, NY
Tuesday, February 22, 2022 at 8:00PM (ET)
Williams Center for the Arts - Easton, PA
+1 (517) 648-2339