Elisa Sutherland

Elisa Sutherland at St. Ignatius of Antioch Church. (Image: Roey Yohai Studios)

Music of the Americas: En Casa and Season Recap One

En Casa takes us to Argentina and we look back at the 2021–2022 season.

En Casa evokes Argentina with a song by composer and writer Horacio Lapunzina, and we take advantage of a lull in our live concerts before a busy July and August with a few Recuerdos from the performances we already presented during the current season.

Recuerdos: Ekmeles

Tuesday, June 7, 10 a.m.

In March, we presented our first live concert of 2022 when we welcomed the vocal ensemble Ekmeles to Music of the Americas.

Jeffrey Gavett founded the group over a decade ago to address the relative paucity of vocal ensembles dedicated to new music in New York City. Over the years, Ekmeles have flawlessly performed countless programs of the most daring music.

Their program included pieces by Tania León and Hilda Paredes, as well as an extended work by Marc Sabat. These song were interspersed with solo numbers from Mauricio Kagel's Der Turm zu Babel. In this 2002 collection, the Argentine composer sets Genesis 11:5-7 to music, ending with the line “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech” in eighteen different languages. This is the fifth setting—the French version—and it's sung by Elisa Sutherland. 

Recuerdos: Fabián Forero Trío

Wednesday, June 8, 10 a.m.

The Fabián Forero Trio (Alexander Parra Ríos, Jean Carlo Espíndola, and Fabián Forero Valderrama) presented a virtual concert on May 20, 2022 with a program dedicated to Colombian guitarist and composer Gentil Montaña, one of the most transcendental figures in the history of the instrument in Latin America and the teacher of trio member Parra Ríos. This is an excerpt from that concert: Montaña's "Alejandro." 

Horacio Lapunzina

Thursday, June 9, 10 a.m.

Argentine composer and writer Horacio Lapunzina was born in Buenos Aires, grew up in the province of Misiones, studied at the Universidad Nacional del Litoral in Santa Fe, and currently lives in Paraná. He began to compose in 1995, releasing his first album, Espejos y viaje, in 2003. His second album, performed by the group Prana in 2012, was called Las puertas. This album was recorded for Shagrada Medra and produced by Carlos Aguirre.

From home in Paraná, Lapunzina sent us a solo version of his song "Amuleto," which refers to the experiences of his childhood in Posadas, the capital of Misiones. The song remembers images of the afternoons playing in the streets, of the contact with the Paraná River, and of the heat and the exuberance of its landscapes. It also refers to exile after living in early childhood in Buenos Aires and the internal struggle to adapt to a completely new place.

Recuerdos: Orchestra of St.Luke's

Friday, June 10, 10 a.m.

The Orchestra of St. Luke’s was back on our stage in March as part of their annual Five-Borough Tour. Their program included chamber music by a group of young composers who write with wonderment about the Earth—its origins, concern for its survival, and hope and purpose for its future.

From that show, we share Canadian composer Iman Habibi's "Âhūye Kūhī," for violin and cello.

About the piece, the composer writes: 

"A concern for the destruction of the environment has been present in the arts for centuries. Poetry is at the heart of the Iranian culture, and much to my surprise, I discovered that one of the oldest known verses of Farsi poetry in Arabic rhythm, written by the 8th century poet Abu Hafs, expresses concern regarding the displacement of animals (at least at a literal level), asking how a mountain gazelle (Âhūye Kūhī) may be expected to survive on a plain, away from its home and companions. This piece explores the idea of displacement, the shrinking, and destruction of one’s habitat, one of the most concerning effects of climate change, which often results in extinction. And what will remain of the human race, when our planet becomes uninhabitable?"


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

The Spring 2022 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, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and by the Howard Gilman Foundation. 

Additional support provided by The Augustine Foundation, the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and The Amphion Foundation, Inc.

New York Council on the Arts Howard Gilman Foundation The Augustine Foundation