Concuerda2 (Martha Liliana Bonilla and Wuilmer López.)

Martha Liliana Bonilla and Wuilmer López of Concuerda2. (Image via Americas Society video)

Music of the Americas: Colombia

En Casa features a week of Colombian musicians curated by Yalilé Cardona-Alonso.

Born in Bogotá, Cardona-Alonso studied communication, journalism, and singing at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. She continued her musical studies at the Royal College of Music in London, where she won the Early Music Prize of the Century Fund. She has been seen on the opera stage in roles from Dido and Belinda (Dido and Aeneas), to Helena (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). She also completed a master’s in cultural management at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, and founded CardonArt, an agency originally focused on connecting central Europe and Latin America, and is now extending to new territories. In 2018 Cardona-Alonso was appointed co-director of the Festival Internacional de Música Clásica de Bogotá.

For her week, Cardona-Alonso selected a group of fellow Colombian musicians living at home and abroad who sent us music in a variety of styles crossing over between classical and popular music. 


Monday, February 8, 10 a.m.

Colombian harpists Martha Bonilla and Wuilmer López created Concuerda2, an unusual duo of classical and llanera harps, was created in 2014 by . They write their own arrangements of music from different parts of the world. They have appeared at harp festivals in Colombia and abroad, including the World Harp Congress in Cardiff, the most important international event for the instrument. Bonilla studied in Colombia, Switzerland, and Germany and is currently a member of the Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá and professor at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in that city. López graduated from the Universidad INCCA de Colombia, won several international prizes, and is active in Colombia and abroad.

They sent us their arrangement of Lucas Saboya's "Despasillo por favor!" a piece in the pasillo rhythm written in 2005 originally for violin and guitar. It is one of his most popular pieces, and Concuerda2 was delighted to prepare this arrangement that incorporates rhythms including Onda Nueva and a final section that features the llanero rhythm called Tres damas.

Concuerda2, "Despasillo, por favor!" 

Carolina Muñoz Torres

Tuesday, February 9, 10 a.m.

Carolina Muñoz Torres was born in Bogotá and studied with Andrés Rojas, Juanita Delgado, and Maria Olga Piñeros at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, and later at the Escuela Superior de Canto de Madrid with Miguel Bernal. She has won several competitions of Andean Colombian Music, including the Festival Mono Nuñez, the Concurso Nacional del Bambuco, the Festival Nacional Antioquia le canta a Colombia, among others. She has appeared in operas and oratorios, including roles at the Teatro Real de Madrid. She toured as a soloist in Osvaldo Golijov's La Pasión según San Marcos and was a member of the choir of the Teatro Real and the Coro Nacional de España.

She sent us her song "Trenza tu pelo," which she composed for a gathering honoring Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano and his last book, titled Mujeres.

Carolina Muñoz Torres, "Trenza tu pelo"

BoteroDelgado Duo

Wednesday, February 10, 10 a.m.

BoteroDelgado Duo (Juanita Delgado and Santiago Botero) is an ensemble that explores the sonic possibilities of the contrabass/voice and presents an ever-shifting array of performances that include improvised music, conventional, and extended instrumental techniques, Latin American traditional music, and interdisciplinary theatrical gestures. The duo was formed in 2016 as a lab for improvised music, and also worked on Delgado's La Salvaje y La sombra – Ópera para contrabajo y voz and on the composition of songs based on poems by Fernando Pessoa, Latin American poets, and Delgado and Botero themselves. BDD premiered eight works by Colombian composers in a project produced by the Teatro Mayo Julio Mario Santodomingo called Anatomía de lo intangible, based on the composers' experiences with magic and mysticism.

They sent us Enrique Mendoza's "MalAire."

BoteroDelgado Duo, "Mal Aire" 

Cuarteto Q-Arte

Thursday, February 11, 10 a.m.

Cuarteto Q-Arte

Santiago Medina, Liz Ángela García, Sandra Arango, Diego García.

Established in 2010, Grammy-nominated string quartet Cuarteto Q-Arte is one of Latin America's leading quartets. The quartet combines their performance work with continuing research and teaching with new generations of musicians, emphasizing the value of the Latin American musical patrimony. Their repertoire includes over a hundred pieces by composers from the region, which they have presented in the Americas and Europe. The members of Q-Arte teach at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Universidad de los Andes, and Universidad Sergio Arboleda.

Q-Arte studied with Richard Young, of the Vermeer Quartet, and with the Latinoamericano, Kronos, Borodin, Avalon, Miami, Casals, and Quiroga Quartets. In 2017 they were nominated to the Innovation prize at Classical:NEXT in the Netherlands. Their first album, on the Toccata Classics label, was dedicated to Gustavo Leone’s String Quartets. They have also released 4+1, featuring new Latin American music for clarinet and string quartet, recorded with Javier Asdrúbal Vinasco, Gentil Montaña's "Suites colombianas," and Tango Sacro.

From Boogotá, they sent us "Pasillo" y "Bambuco," two movements of "Suite para guitarra No. 4" by Colombian composer and guitarist Gentil Montaña (1942–2011), in a quartet arrangement by Fernando León. Montaña was a leading figure in Colombian music and a pioneer of classical guitar in the country.

Cuarteto Q-Arte, "Pasillo" and "Bambuco" 

Trip Trip Trip Trio

Friday, February 12, 10 a.m.

In 2008, Camilo Giraldo, César Quevedo, and Guillermo Bocanegra founded the guitar trio Trip Trip Trip, a group that explores Colombian and Latin American musics. Several Colombian composers have written for them, creating a wildly varied repertoire in their recordings and live shows, from the dreamy atmospheres of Alejandro Zuluaga, to the subtle evocations of Colombian traditional music in Mateo Samper's work, through the mystical and vigorous rhythms of Damián Ponce, to the group's own arrangements and compositions.

They have released three albums: Trip trip trip (2012), ¡Que cosa tan seria! (2014), and Como quien oye llover (2017), this last release distributed by NAXOS. In 2016 they were invited to the Research and Music Festival in the Netherlands. Their latest concerts include the launch of Como quien oye llover at the Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santodomingo in Bogotá, a showcase at Classical:Next in Amsterdam 2017, and three European tours from 2017 to 2019. In 2021 they will release their fourth album, built around the idea of memory, with a program including pieces written for the ensemble, which they will release at the Teatro Mayor in March.

From Bogotá, they sent us "La carne y los huesos," by César Quevedo. The composer writes about this piece: "'La carne y los huesos' is an homage to Álvaro Lagos' Peruvian guitar. It is a landó [a typical Afro Peruvian rhythm] that leaves ample room for improvisation, which is a hallmark of that country's popular guitar and of Trip Trip Trip's work."

Trip Trip Trip Trio, "La carne y los huesos"


The MetLife Foundation Music of the Americas concert series is made possible by the generous support of Presenting Sponsor MetLife Foundation.

The Spring 2021 Music program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.



Additional support provided by The Augustine Foundation.