María Paz Santibáñez debuts with the symphony in tribute to Enrique Soro

It is a story about self improvement known. In 1987, the then piano student María Paz Santibáñez (1968) received a bullet in her head for the Municipal Theater when she participated in demonstrations of the already historic "Parc de Federici", in which students from the University of Chile asked for the head of the rector appointed by the military regime. Without knowing if she could play again at the beginning, María Paz Santibáñez turned her hand to fate and became an acclaimed performer, perfected in Paris, where she lives to this day.

With just 50, four albums, presentations in the municipal, and dozens of other locations in the country, Santibáñez will perform for the first time as a soloist with the national symphony of Chile. "It is a very exciting moment," he says. "Imagine, I have been trained in the U, and I am completely blue," he adds with a smile, referring to the fact that the state ensemble is managed by Casa de Bello through the CEAC.

His debut in the orchestra season fits the two axes that have led his career as a pianist: the promotion of Chilean music on the one hand and contemporary creation in general. The pianist will perform the Gran Concert in D major by Enrique Soro (1884-1954), a composer whose claim continues to rise, manifested in recordings, rescues of works and various homages.

The director will be in charge of José Luis Domínguez, and also the symphonic poem Beyond the death by Luigi Stefano Giarda (1868-1952), an Italian composer who died in our country, and a commissioned work for this concert, Aire para Soro de Andrián Pertout (1963).

European level

Soro & # 39; s concert, one of the first for piano and orchestra written in Chile, is 100 years old (it was written in 1918 and premiered the following year). His presence completes in one way or another what was initiated three years ago by the Symphony, when he made a monographic program about his music.

Dominguez was also director at the time: "It is the work that I still had to do," he says. Anyone who has included Soro's works for Naxos confirms that "it is a great honor to have a clearly romantic Chilean composition that is so well made, just like any European author". And he describes it as "intelligently orchestrated, very symphonic, in which the orchestra is not merely an accompaniment".

The soloist sees it as "a really great work", and points to the balance between piano and orchestra: "It has enough piano tools, while the orchestra can get along very well, the part of which contains a lot of information". He adds that "although there is no really slow movement, it starts with an Andante, maybe Soro wanted to innovate."
The score is dedicated to Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924), an important Italian composer and theoretician, a sign of the close ties of the Chilean artist with the European scene of that time.

Symphonic cueca

"I have allowed myself to suggest to the CEAC that there will be a new work in this tribute," says Santibáñez. The chosen one for the creation was Andrián Pertout, the Chilean composer settled in Melbourne, Australia decades ago. This year there is a finalist at the Art Awards, for a work that was released in Russia last year. "Andrián is doing a very important race," says Domínguez. "His works are played all over the world, and his language is striking because it varies from one piece to another," he adds.

The chameleon Pertout, who traveled for the occasion, explains it this way: "I was not interested in following a thread, repeating myself or always going through a style that bored me". When he accepted the order, he did not know the honoree's music. "To Soro, what is called", he says, "so I started listening to the Romantic Symphony, the Chilean Airs and the Concert". The first concept, he says, was "to be inspired by the music of Soro, a composer with a great sense of melody".

He gave shape to a piece that qualifies as "modern but accessible, with a lot of rhythmic intensity", and with a nod to the Chilean cueca. "I started studying the cueca and I use the basic rhythm, with eight variations and 64 possible permutations." And he adds: "Until the palms of the cueca appear, the public will notice it." Domínguez defines it as a "masterclass of how a symphonic cueca can be".

This program is supplemented with what Domínguez describes as "a real patrimonial salvation". Luigi Stefano Giarda settled after his name in his native Italy in Chile and worked with Soro at the time of the national conservatory. Released in 1923, Beyond Death Op.131 occupies a choir without text, in the hands of the Vocal Camerata. "It is greatly influenced by Strauss & death and transfiguration," Domínguez remarks. "It is simple, direct, rather dark, and it incorporates a tonal language with certain liberties, and you will undoubtedly love it," he concludes.

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