Cuban orchestra to make first U.S. tour

Cuban orchestra to make first U.S. tour

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts continues its superb 32nd season with an exclusive NYC appearance by the 75-member National Symphony Orchestra Of Cuba, as part of its premiere, 21-city tour of the United States from Oct. 16 to Nov. 11. Lehman Center proudly presents this Cuban national treasure on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. The orchestra’s Music Director is Enrique Pérez Mesa.

The concert will feature guest conductor Guido López-Gavilán leading the Orchestra in George Gershwin’s “Cuban Overture” and “Rhapsody in Blue,” with piano soloist Ignacio “Nachito” Herrera. The Orchestra will also perform such internationally known works as Ernesto Lecuona’s “Malagueña.” The program will conclude with Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5.”

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College/CUNY at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, N.Y. Tickets for the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718.960.8833 (Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. and beginning at 12 noon on the day of the concert), or through 24-hour online access at Lehman Center is accessible by #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd. and is off the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway. Low-cost on-site parking is available.

Special discounts are built into Lehman’s concert series. “Create your own Series” offers a 10 percent discount on a minimum of three shows, or a 20 percent discount for six or more shows. Plus special $10 tickets for any seat are available for selected shows for children 12 and under. Senior discounts also apply. Becoming a 32nd Season’s Friend of Lehman Center by making a tax-deductible donation will help the Center bring in major artists at affordable ticket prices. Visit for more information.

The National Orchestra of Cuba, which began in 1960 as the Havana Symphony, has been instrumental in developing and introducing Cuban and Latin American music to the international classical music community. In addition, the orchestra performs a vast symphonic and chamber repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary music. International tours have taken the orchestra to Russia, Poland, Yugoslavia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Spain, Peru and Argentina.

Among the more than 100 guest conductors who have led the orchestra include Sir Thomas Beecham, Sergiu Celibidache, Pierre Monteaux, Charles Munch, Eugene Ormandy, Wilhelm Steinberg, Leopold Stokowski, Igor Stravinsky, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Bruno Walter. Acclaimed international soloists have included Marian Anderson, Claudio Arrau, Jorge Bolet, Jose Carreras, Jascha Heifetz, Nathan Milstein, Ruggiero Ricci, Mstislav Rostropovich Arthur Rubinstein, Andres Segovia and Isaac Stern.

Ignacio “Nachito” Herrera, piano soloist, stunned Cuban audiences at the age of twelve, performing Rachmaninoff’s “Concerto No. 2” with the Havana Symphony Orchestra. In the late 1990s, Nachito joined the famed ¡Cubanismo! as its lead pianist, arranger, and musical director, performing at many of the world’s finest concert halls and prestigious festivals. In 2009, Herrera toured as a member of the Afro Cuban All Stars. His love of classical music quickly combined with traditional Cuban rhythms under the instruction of the Cuban masters-Rubén González, Jorge Gomez Labraña, and Frank Fernández. In his twenties, Nachito became the musical director at the famous Tropicana in Cuba, where he continued to deepen his repertoire.

The National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba’s schedule for its first U.S. tour includes the following cities: Kansas City, MO; Urbana, IL; Ames, IA; Rockville, MD; Buffalo, NY; Worcester, MA; Williamsport, PA; Schenectady, NY; Bronx, N.Y.; Union, NJ; Danville, VA; Newport News, VA; Opelika, AL; Aiken, SC; Daytona Beach, FL; Augustine, FL; Naples, FL; Tampa, FL; St. Petersburg, FL; Fort Pierce, FL and West Palm Beach, FL.