National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba to play Daytona Beach

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The Daytona Beach News-Journal – March 1, 2018

Enrique Pérez Mesa believes art breaks any frontier.

“Cultural exchange is vital in the culture of the countries,” he said of the United States and Cuba.

The music director of the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba will conduct the orchestra Sunday afternoon at Peabody Auditorium for the final show of the Daytona Beach Symphony Society’s season. The orchestra performed before in Daytona Beach in 2012.

Mesa, who is a native of Matanzas, Cuba, described himself as a director “formed entirely in Cuba where there is a program for symphonic music.” He said the temperaments of the Cuban musicians are delivered in each presentation.

“The passion for music that is inherent in the Cuban lifestyle — the Cuban culture — that’s what this orchestra brings to bear on anything they play,” said Tracy Marino, the society’s director of marketing and development.

The show will include a solo by Russian pianist Pavel Nersessian. He is set to perform Edvard Grieg’s “Piano Concerto in A minor.”

Nersessian graduated from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in 1987 and now teaches there in addition to teaching at Boston University.

He said large-scale pieces weren’t a regular thing for Grieg, who lived from 1843 to 1907.

“He wrote some wonderful piano pieces usually on a smaller scale,” he said. “Maybe this one is the biggest, one of the biggest of his work.”

Nersessian noted the “immediate beauty, the immediate charm” of the piece made it popular.

“It is immediately understood beauty,” he said. “It implants in your brain and stays there.”

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