One of the objectives of the Cayambis Institute for Latin American Studies in Music (CILASiM) is to increase the awareness and appreciation of Latin American classical music. In support of this mission, the Institute operates a professional ensemble, the Cayambis Sinfonietta, which is made up of winds, strings, percussion and piano; in essence, the ensemble is like a miniature orchestra that can effectively perform a wide range of music of different styles and time periods.
Directed by John L. Walker, the group’s repertoire comprises many exclusive works written for the ensemble by leading composers from throughout Latin America as well as carefully prepared arrangements of some of the most important Latin American works from the mid 19th to early 20th century, such as the overture from the opera, Il Guarany, by the Brazilian composer Carlos Antônio Gomes and René Amengual’s Preludio sinfónico.
Elizabeth Lantz Crone, flute
Eileen Young, clarinet
Amber Ferenz Spuller, bassoon
Matt Cataldi, piano
Al Wojtera, percussion
Charley Shafer, violin
Lisa Liske-Doorandish, cello
John Spuller, string bass
The Sinfonietta’s program, unlike that of any other US-based performance ensemble, is an exciting journey through some of the best instrumental chamber music that Latin America has to offer. Across the more than ten pieces that make up the program, the Sinfonietta will demonstrate its versatility by performing a representative cross section of the most important styles over the past one hundred thirty-five years, including Italianate opera overtures, Ecuadorean indigenism, Chilean impressionism, Mexican folklorism, etc., and ending with a delightfully modern take on the tango by Argentine composer Federico Núñez. But having said all of this, one of our favorites is a piece from Venezuela, which was inspired by the unexpected beauty found along a path leading up to a mountain summit.
Juan Bautista Plaza, El Picacho Abrupto (The Unexpected Peak).
Your audience will not only enjoy a truly unique concert experience, but also, will gain a greater appreciation of the richness and diversity of Latin America’s classical music.
At times, the Sinfonietta has collaborated with vocalists in order to perform some of the most imaginative and innovative music from Latin America, such as in the case of Venezuelan composer Luis Pérez Valero’s 2014 work, Eremuk. In this setting of some of the traditional texts of the indigenous Pemon of Venezuela, the composer uses a number of vocal techniques in order to capture the mysticism of these texts, while at the same a colorful and constantly shifting instrumental environment is further enhancing the fundamental essence of their words.
Luis Pérez Valero, Eremuk.
Performed by the Cayambis Sinfonietta.
Adequate lighting; 20’ x 20’ stage; tuned piano, music stands and straight-back chairs without arms. For more specific information, please review our technical rider.
Because of the ensemble’s unique repertoire, fees may vary slightly, depending on the number of musicians involved.
Concert and Master Class $3000.00 (Travel costs may be additional).
The Sinfonietta has also developed an interactive school show built around an iconic Mexican orchestral work to demonstrate and explain the typical elements of Latin American classical music. (Please note: for the time being, we can only make this program available to middle and high schools in southwest Virginia, southern West Virginia and north-central North Carolina). Click here for more information!