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Tribute will be paid to Cuban composer Harold Gramatges and a lecture will be given on the rich musical heritage of Santiago de Cuba. The lecture will be illustrated with performances by the Orfeón de Santiago and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Oriente. Although the focus of the festival is naturally chamber music, the event also includes debates, talks, film showings, exhibitions and book, CD and launchings.
From September 28 to October 13, the festival will be back in Havana. Its organizers have announced the participation of musicians from ten different countries plus over forty world and national premieres. Two exhibitions, Memorias de un Festival (Memories of a Festival), with photographs by Gabriel Guerra Bianchini, Iván Soca and Silvio Rodríguez, and En Viaje con Calvino (Traveling with Calvino) by Marco Marini, will open at Sala de la Diversidad on September 30, 5:30 pm. The exhibitions are a tribute to the renowned Italian author Italo Calvino, born in Santiago de las Vegas, Cuba, on the 90th anniversary of his birth. Later that same day, at 7:00 pm, Iglesia de Paula has been chosen for the concert Órgano Plus with organist Vincent Bernhardt and double bassist Victor Soto, along with musicians from Il Delirio Fantástico and the Ars Longa Early Music Ensemble, who will play pieces by Arnolt Schlick, Michelangelo Rossi, Louis Couperin, Dietrich Buxtehude, Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi and from the Robertsbridge Codex. The Centro Hispano-Americano de Cultura will show a series of videos on opera from September 25, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 3:00 pm
A special highlight in this year’s festival will be the participation of guitarist and composer Paco de Lucía. It has been 26 years since his last performance in Cuba and Brouwer explained that although De Lucía had always longed to return to Cuba, his tight schedule had always kept him from doing so. At 65, Paco de Lucía is considered one of the best guitarists worldwide and has received many awards in his career, including the 2004 Prince of Asturias Award. The much acclaimed Spanish musician will receive the 2013 Cubadisco, the most important music award in Cuba.
The Cuban composer Leo Brouwer, who has been acknowledged as one of the living geniuses of classical music in the international arena, has been, since its inception, the heart and soul of the festival through his supervision and total devotion. With regard to the festival, Brouwer has said: “Our policy is not figure-oriented, but rather repertoire-oriented…We have the privilege of having excellent Cuban musicians and first-rate young artists performing the best versions that exist in this regard, perhaps not the only ones, but certainly the best.” Leo Brouwer (Havana, 1939) has created more than 300 musical pieces and is currently the composer of classical music whose scores are most performed in the world, according to the SGAE (General Association of Authors and Publishers).