Celebrating the rich musical heritage of Latin America and Spain, the 12th annual Chicago Latino Music Festival opens this Thursday with a free concert by Peruvian guitarist Luis Rafael Vivanco. His solo performance will feature works from the late 19th Century to the present day by Joaquin Rodrigo, Isaac Albéniz, Gerónimo Giménez, and others at the Instituto Cervantes Chicago, 31 W. Ohio Street, 7:00 pm.
Hosted by the International Latino Cultural Center, this year’s festival has 11 concerts in several venues around Chicago. Many of the concerts are free. Spanish and Latino artists perform orchestral, chamber, electronic, and vocal music. While several musical periods are represented, modern and contemporary music predominates, with two world premieres.
The festival will join forces with Fulcrum Point New Music Project, directed by Stephen Burns, for a concert featuring electronic and neo classical music. Included on the program are works by Argentine-born Gustavo Leone, who is a Professor of Music at Loyola University and Uruguay-born Elbio Barilari, who is on the faculty at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Leone and Barilari also serve as the festival’s co-Directors. Wednesday, October 18, Merit School of Music, Gottlieb Hall, 38 S. Peoria, 7:00 pm, $15 general admission, $10 students.
The music of Leone and Barilari also appear in an orchestral concert with the Chicago Composers Orchestra. A program highlight is composer, pianist, and scat vocalist Clarice Assad performing her own composition Scattered. Assad was born in Rio de Janeiro, and her father and uncle form the wonderful Assad Brothers guitar duo. She appeared with them in a concert in Hyde Park last April. Sunday October 22, Constellation, 3111 N. Western, 8:00 pm. $15-$20.
WFMT’s ensemble in residence, the KAIA String Quartet will be performing on two adjacent evenings. On Thursday, October 19, is a concert of music by Miguel Berbal, Oswaldo Golijov, and José Bragato Ginastera. Harold Washington Library, Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, 400 S. State Street, 6:30 pm, free. On the following day, Friday, October 20, the KAIA Quartet will be joined by guitarist Fareed Haque and pianist Susan Merdinger to celebrate the 5th anniversary of WFMT’s Fiesta, the only radio program in the United States to feature classical music from Latin America. Music Center at Columbia College, 1040 S. Michigan Ave, 7:00 pm, free.
Music from colonial Latin America will be performed by Ensemble Lipzodes, a vocal and wind group from Indiana University. Highlighting the program will be several pieces from Música del Manuscrito de Ibarra, a recently discovered manuscript from Ecuador that, originally written between 1680-1730, Lipzodes is transcribing. Thursday, November 9, Harold Washington Public Library, Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, 6:30 pm, free.
Spanish pianist Daniel del Pino will perform music by composers from his homeland dating from the turn of the 20th Century. This includes the Second Book of Suite Iberia by Isaac Albéniz and three pieces from the moving Goyescas by Enrique Granados. Wednesday, November 15, PianoForte Studios, 1335 S Michigan Ave, 7:00 pm, $10-$20.
More information about the 12th Chicago Latino Music Festival can be found at Chicago Latino Music Festival.