Female Eroica Duo Debut in San Miguel

By Mittie Roger

Bosom buddies since the tender of age of 12, when pianist Erika Nickrenz came to study piano with cellist Sara Sant’Ambrogio’s grandmother, the two had no idea what a prestigious future would lie ahead of them. The female cello/piano duo burst through the gender barrier of classical chamber music, performing thousands of concerts on the world’s greatest stages over six continents, and recording 10 CDs together, resulting in multiple Grammy Award nominations. The Eroica Duo will grace St Paul’s Church for two performances on January 23 and 24.

Pro Musica Concert Series
Eroica Duo
Sat, Jan 23 and Sun, 24, 5pm
St. Paul’s Church
Cardo 6
120/250/350 pesos
promusicasma@aol.com

After attending the Juilliard School together, Sara and Erika decided to form their musical partnership, and it was not long before they were recognized as great artists when Carnegie Hall chose them to represent America in the inaugural Rising Stars series. They then went on to perform in many of the great concert halls of the world and have maintained this peak ever since. Highly regarded in the world of classical music for pushing boundaries through collaboration, Sara has performed with Sting and Rufus Wainwright, featured in an HBO documentary and several soundtracks for feature films, while Erika has performed at the opening bell of The New York Stock Exchange and Backstage at Lincoln Center on PBS.

Two of the composers that Eroica will explore in their concerts in San Miguel are Gershwin and Chopin. These geniuses had many similarities although they lived a century apart. Both were pianists who died at age 39 while actively composing, and their music was deeply associated with their countries. However, their innovations were quite individual. Gershwin incorporated folk music into his musical style, but used advanced composition techniques. Gershwin prolifically composed music for orchestra, piano, opera, movies, and 13 hit Broadway shows in 13 years. Chopin, on the other hand, created a new expressive rhythmic style enhanced by use of the new piano pedal, by breaking standard rules about length, and composing brilliant short works instead of traditional longer ones.

Saturday’s concert will include Gershwin, Granados, Samuel Barber, and the ever popular Mexican composer Manuel Ponce, among others. One notable work to be played is Granados’ 1911 piano suite, Goyescas, inspired by Francisco Goya’s paintings and later expanded into an opera and regularly transcribed for other instruments.

Sunday’s concert will feature Schumann, Chopin, Brahms, and more, including Schubert’s exquisite Fantasy Pieces, which are marked with musical rather than speed indications, such as: tender and with expression; lively, light; and rash and with fire. Originally for clarinet and piano, they have been adapted for the cello.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s Church are 120/250/350 pesos donation each and are on sale at La Tienda in La Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión, only at Aldama 3; the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22; and at the concert half an hour before performance time.

Details of all Pro Musica’s concerts and Patron Membership are on our web site, www.promusicasma.org, or contact us at promusicasma@aol.com.

 

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