Celebrating the rich musical heritage of Latin America and Spain, the 11th installment of Chicago’s Latino Music Festival kicks off with the violin and guitar Duo Belcorde performing music from their Spanish homeland on Thursday, September 8, at 6:00 pm. Duo Belcorde’s concert, which is free with an RSVP, takes place at the Instituto Cervantes of Chicago, 31 W. Ohio Street. It is the first of 14 classical concerts at many venues around Chicago and, for one evening, Bogotá, Colombia. The festival is hosted by the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago.
The festival’s programs, many of which are free, include classical music through the ages. However, modern and contemporary music predominates, with world premieres of several new works, some commissioned by the festival itself. The festival’s ensemble in residence, the KAIA String Quartet will give a free concert featuring music by Ginastera and Piazolla, as well as the world premiere of Leone’s String Quartet No. 3, on Thursday, October 6, 6:30 pm, at the Harold Washington Library, Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, 400 S. State Street.
The Avalon String Quartet will be very busy during the festival. On Wednesday, October 5, they will be joining the Q-Arte Quartet at a special performance in Bogotá, Colombia, for the world premieres of two string quartets: No. 6, op. 250 by Atehortúa and No. 4 by Leone. Two days later, the Avalon will be back in Chicago at the more accessible Harris Theater to repeat the Leone and offer another world premiere, this of Bitcoin by Barlilari—a concert taking place in association with the Ear Taxi Festival. The Avalon and Q-Arte Quartets will join forces a second time, this time in Chicago on Sunday, November 13, 2:00 pm, at the Art Institute’s Fullerton Hall, free with museum admission.
Latin American works from the 18th century will be featured in two orchestral performances conducted by Javier José Mendoza. The University of Chicago Orchestra will give a free concert on Friday, September 30, 7:30 pm, at the Merit School of Music, 38 S. Peoria Street; the Chicago Arts Orchestra will perform on Saturday, October 15, 7:30 pm, at the Studebaker Theater, 410 S. Michigan Avenue.
Guitarists feature prominently during the festival. In a free concert only requiring an RSVP, Spanish guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas will be exploring music of his homeland on Wednesday, November 2, 8:30 pm, at the Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. Guitarist and north shore native Adam Levin also plays Spanish music from the 18th, 20th, and 21st centuries on Sunday, November 20, 2:00 pm, at the Art Institute’s Fullerton Hall, free with museum admission.
More information about the 11th Chicago Latino Music Festival can be found at http://latinomusicfest.org.