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Steinway Series Returns Cuban Pianist to Bellas Artes

By Fredric Dannen

When Cuban pianist Fidel Leal made his San Miguel debut one year ago in a concert featuring Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No 7, he was a relative unknown here, though celebrated in his native country. Since then, he’s been invited back once and is returning yet again with two performances you won’t want to miss this month.

Leal will be performing on Thursday, August 8, and Thursday, August 15. Both performances are at 7pm in the Miguel Malo auditorium on the second floor of Bellas Artes on Hernández Macías 75. The concerts are part of the Steinway Series benefit concerts for Libros para Todos, a nonprofit organization that seeks to inspire children in México to read more, particularly those children and young adults residing in rural communities where access to books is limited.

Leal has been a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba, has toured Europe, and has won first place in two international competitions. The young musician is widely considered to be one of Cuba’s important pianists.

The August 8 concert will feature Leal as a soloist, performing two impromptus by Franz Schubert and works by George Gershwin and Ignacio Cervantes. The concert’s centerpiece is a pair of piano sonatas by a fascinating, long-neglected Czech composer, Leopold Koželuch. A contemporary of Mozart and Haydn, Koželuch was held in comparable esteem among the music elite of Vienna. In 1790, Ernst Ludwig Gerber, author of a famous dictionary of musicians, wrote: “Leopold Koželuch is without question … the generally most loved among our living composers, and this with justification.”

The August 15 concert pairs Leal with one of San Miguel’s leading musicians, countertenor Don Krim, in their first-ever joint appearance. The program will include Robert Schumann’s song cycle Frauenliebe und Leben, Steven Mark Kohn’s American Folk Songs, spirituals, and Spanish and Latin American songs.

All tickets for both concerts are for reserved seats in the 18-row, 194-seat Miguel Malo auditorium. Seats range in cost from 200 to 300 pesos. Buy them at Boleto City in the Mercado Sano, Ancha de San Antonio 123, Monday through Saturday, 11am–5pm. You can also buy them online at or at the door starting one hour before each performance. Tickets at the door must be paid for in cash only.



Steinway Series presents

Thu, Aug 8, 7pm

Steinway Series presents

Fidel Leal with countertenor Don Krim

Thu, Aug 15, 7pm

Bellas Artes

Hernández Macías 75, Centro

Reserved-seat tickets: 300, 200, and 100 pesos

Boleto City, Mercado Sano

Ancha de San Antonio 123

Online: e-tickets:

Proceeds benefit Libros para Todos


Fidel Leal

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