Houston Music Highlight – Imágenes de Cuba

Apollo Chamber Players perform a piece inspired by, and recorded in, Cuba – from their new CD

Nov 17, by Catherine Lu, Houston Public Media/University of Houston

HPM’s “Houston Music Highlight” Series features performances with local connections – whether spotlighting music by Houston composers, commercial recordings by Houston musicians, or performances by local or visiting artists recorded at Houston Public Media.

In January 2017, Houston string quartet, Apollo Chamber Players, became the first American chamber music ensemble to perform and record in Cuba. Coordinated by Parma Recordings and the Ministry of Culture of Cuba, Apollo’s eight-day tripallowed them the opportunity to present a public concert and outreach programs, appear on Cuba TV, collaborate with acclaimed Cuban musicians, and record at Abdala Studios in Havana.

“It was an honor to take part in this cross-cultural collaboration, and we are pleased to include our Havana studio recording of Imágenes de Cuba on [our new album] Ancestral Voices,” said violinist, Artistic Director, and Co-Founder Matthew Detrick.

Ancestral Voices is Apollo’s third CD, released on November 10th, which features Imágenes de Cuba (Images of Cuba) – a work they commissioned as part of their 20X2020 Project from Houston composer Arthur Gottschalk, who was inspired by his frequent visits to Cuba over the past ten years.

Here is Apollo’s recording of the third movement (Timba), an exploration of salsa and pachanga dances, featuring Cuban percussion virtuoso Adel González.

Apollo Chamber Players’ new CD is Ancestral Voices, with music by Gilad Cohen, Arthur Gottschalk, Malek Jandali, and Javier Farias. The four works are 20X2020 commissions, collectively inspired by Jewish, Andean, Cuban, and Syrian folk music. Apollo is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary season.

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