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Acclaimed Trio Nova Mundi and a Enrique Prado Join Forces

By Fredric Dannen

San Miguel’s best classical pianist, Enrique Prado, is something of an enigma. A native of Morelia who moved to San Miguel as a boy, Prado studied piano in Cuba, and at age eighteen played a solo concert at Mexico City’s Sala Manuel M. Ponce, dubbed “the Mexican Carnegie Hall.” Living up to his early promise, he continued to give virtuoso recitals in Mexico and the United States, tossing off finger-twisting Moszkowski etudes with cool insouciance. Then, a number of years ago, Prado, who is not yet forty, simply stopped performing in public altogether. He made one exception in December 2015, at my earnest request, when the accompanist for a countertenor whose concert I was producing dropped out at the last minute. His playing was flawless. Since then, I have been importuning the reluctant virtuoso to give another concert.

Concert
Trio Nova Mundi and Enrique Prado
Fri, May 19, 7pm
Miguel Malo Auditorium, Bellas Artes
250 pesos advance
300 pesos at the door
USD$13.50 online

 

At long last, Prado has not only consented to a concert, but at his personal invitation, his co-performers will be the Trio Nova Mundi, a topflight all-female violin-cello-piano trio from Pittsburgh, who happen to be touring Mexico this month. The New World Concert, as we’re calling it, will feature music of Joseph Haydn, Johannes Brahms, Kurt Weill, Astor Piazzolla, and Gwyneth Walker. It will be the latest installment of the Steinway Series, a quasi-monthly, piano-based concert series now in its third year. Twenty percent of all Steinway Series profits are donated to Libros para Todos, an outreach program to inspire young Mexicans to read. May is normally an arid month for classical music in San Miguel, but it’s a safe bet that this concert, which will be held at 7pm on Friday, May 19, in the second-floor auditorium of the Bellas Artes on Hernandez Macias, will rank with the year’s best classical offerings.

It’s a safe bet because, for starters, the New World Concert will feature not one outstanding pianist, but two. Becky Billock, the pianist for the Trio Nova Mundi, has been praised for her public performances and recordings (“persuasive and capable”—BC Music Magazine; “unforgettable”—The Whole Note). Cellist Elisa Kohanski has played in some of the most prestigious concert halls around the world and performed with dozens of marquee artists, including the Miami String Quartet, Robert Shaw, and Harry Connick Jr. Violinist Maureen Conlon Gutierrez, a native of Mexico, is a multiple competition winner who has distinguished herself in a broad range of styles, from classical to tango to rock to jazz.

With Enrique Prado, Conlon will perform the Brahms Violin Sonata No. 1 in G major, and three selections from Kurt Weill’s Threepenny Opera, arranged for violin and piano by Stefan Frenkel, among other works. Trio Nova Mundi, in turn, will play a Haydn piano trio, and the jazz/folk/rock-inspired New World Dances, by American composer Gwyneth Walker.

Tickets are 250 pesos advance sale (at La Conexión, Aldama 3, and Solutions, Recreo 11), and 300 pesos at the door, starting an hour before the concert. Online tickets can be purchased for USD$13.50 at steinwayseries.com

 

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