Spring equinox @ El Charco
By Jesús Ibarra
The natural reservoir and botanical garden of El Charco del Ingenio celebrated the spring equinox, last Sunday, March 18, at 5:30pm, with an open air piano concert performed in the beautiful natural setting of El Charco’s canyon. The concert was given by Dr. Michael Tsalka, with the support of the Baroque Music Festival. According to Mario Hernández, director of El Charco, about 900 people attended to the concert. The attendants listened to the music played by Tsalka, sitting among the rocks, all around the canyon.
Dr. Tsalka was born in Tel Aviv, Israel. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree from Tel Aviv University, he continued studies in Germany and Italy. He has obtained a master’s degree in chamber music/accompanying, a master’s degree in harpsichord performance, and a doctorate in piano performance. He has made several recordings and won numerous prizes, awards and fellowships and has performed throughout Europe, the US, Canada, Israel, Asia, and Latin America. A versatile musician, he performs solo and chamber music repertoire from the Baroque to the Contemporary periods on the modern piano, harpsichord, fortepiano, clavichord and positive organ. The concert at El Charco included Variations in F major by Mozart; three pieces for piano by Erick Satie; Impromptu in G-Flat by Schubert; Variations on a Jewish melody by Viktor Ullmann; Prelude selection Op.28 by Chopin; and Rhapsody No.6 by Franz Liszt.
Dr. Tsalka said for Atención that although this is not the first time he has performed an open air concert, it is the first occasion he has played in “such a place, full with nature, beauty and magic,” and added that he had found the San Miguel audience very warm and kind.
After the ceremony, a fire was lighted symbolizing purification of earth and the beginning of a new cycle expecting a good harvest. According to Director Hernández, the funds raised from the concert will be destined for conservation, environmental education and scientific research in El Charco.