Dancing into the weekend at Steamboat Orchestra’s Latin Fiesta
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Get ready to dance. The Steamboat Symphony Orchestra opens this weekend with its Latin Fiesta event Saturday, Sept. 21, and Sunday, Sept. 22, at Strings Music Pavilion.
The weekend will feature two lively evenings of South American music, showcasing the works of Alberto Ginastera, an Argentinian composer of classical music, Arturo Márquez, a Mexican composer of orchestral music, and José Pablo Moncayo, a Mexican pianist, percussionist, music teacher, composer and conductor.
It will be a vibrant opening weekend for the local orchestra. The organization has come a long way since it was founded in the 1990s, originally as a volunteer community orchestra. When the current music director Ernest Richardson came on the scene, it was just starting to transition to a professional orchestra.
Richardson was tapped to develop a more balanced orchestra that included a greater variety of instruments — previously, it was predominantly strings, especially violins. He began recruiting out-of-town musicians to join the local players for seasonal concerts, and that effort has attracted many talented musicians from across the country to play several times a year in Steamboat Springs.
The Steamboat Symphony Orchestra performs three concerts per season: their opening show in the fall, a holiday concert and a spring concert. They chose a Latin Fiesta for this year’s theme because the music of South and Central America and Mexico is lively and engaging but often underplayed in the U.S.
What: Steamboat Symphony Orchestra’s Latin Fiesta performances
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 and 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22
Where: Strings Music Pavilion, 900 Strings Road
Tickets: $10 to $65; visit steamboatorchestra.org for more information.
“Many members of our orchestra are of Latin descent,” said Jennifer Robinson, the orchestra’s executive director, “and so are our soloists. We thought that a program of Latin American music would be the perfect kickoff to our new season.”
“The music of Central and South America is driven by dance rhythms,” Richardson said. “It’s visceral, earthy, powerful and compelling.”
The weekend highlights two musicians, Eduardo Cassapia and Manuel Ramos.
Cassapia, who has played with the symphony before, returns to Steamboat this time to wow audiences with oboe, guitar and vocals. The musician, originally from Bolivia, grew up playing and singing the native music from his country as well as surrounding regions.
“His unique ability to transcend labels and styles will be featured on our concerts this weekend when he moves from the principal oboe chair to the front of the orchestra as our soloist,” Richardson said.
And Manuel Ramos, a violinist, will perform Paganini’s “Concerto No. 1,” thought to be the hardest concerto ever written.
In addition to music, the fiesta will continue from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, at La Fiesta Grill for a family party with food, face painting, dancing and live music.
“This is a chance for the community to come together and celebrate before the final opening concert,” Robinson said.
The Latin Fiesta is perfect for anyone who loves music, wants a fun night out or has never heard the orchestra before.
“And,” Richardson said, “as the song says: the rhythm is going to get you.”
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