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Meridionalis in Havana

Americas Society

February 20 - 21, 2016


Meridionalis (Image: Roey Yohai)

These performances are FREE and open to the public.

If you are interested in attending these events, please email Martha Cargo at for more information on the festival.

Meridionalis will perform two concerts as part of the 11th Festival de Música Antigua Esteban Salas in Havana, Cuba. The first program will draw from the group's extensive vocal repertoire from the hemisphere. For the closing night of the festival, Meridionalis will collaborate with Ars Longa in a sumptuous concert of music from the colonial period in Mexico. Dr. Bernardo Illari, on faculty at University of North Texas, specializes in colonial music of the period and will assist Americas Society's Music of the Americas Director Sebastián Zubieta both in the curation of the final program as well as the preparation of scores.

Program 1: Polifonía en Guatemala y Bogotá

Saturday, February 20, 5 PM

Aula Magna, Universidad de San Gerónimo de La Habana (View map)

Pedro Bermúdez  Christus natus est
Bermúdez  Misa de Bomba (Kyrie, Gloria)
Mateo Flecha (el viejo) La bomba
Bermúdez  Misa de Bomba (Credo, Sanctus - Benedictus, Agnus Dei)
Gutierre Fernández Hidalgo Magnificat octavi toni
Juan Navarro Ave maris stella
Hidalgo Salve Regina


Program 2: Vísperas y Misa de San José en la Puebla de los Ángeles

Sunday, February 21, 7 PM

La Catedral de la Virgen María de la Concepción Inmaculada de La Habana

First part  
Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla Deus in adjutorium (a 8)
Gutiérrez de Padilla Dixit Dominus (a 8)
Gerónimo Vicente Beatus vir (a 13)
Dallo Laudate Dominum (a 12)
Manuel de Sumaya or Francisco de Atienza Te Ioseph celebrent (a 4)
Anonymous (attributed Díaz Bessón) Magnificat (a 12) with instruments
Second part  
Juan Pérez Roldán Elizabeth Zachariae
Antonío de Salazar Exurgens Ioseph a somno (a 4)
Fabián Pérez Jimeno Mass (a 11) on Beatus Vir by Fray Jacinto
Manuel de Sumaya Cum esset desponsata (a 6)
Antonío de Salazar Ioseph filii David (a 8)


About the Ensemble

Directed by Zubieta, Americas Society's critically-acclaimed vocal ensemble Meridionalis comprises leading choral soloists in New York City. The ensemble has performed early music from the hemisphere since its debut in 2010, including music from Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. They have performed at a diverse range of venues and festivals, including Symphony Space's Wall to Wall festival (New York City), the Raritan River Music Festival (New Jersey), St Paul’s Chapel at Columbia University with Clarion Society, The Hispanic Society of America, and Americas Society, as well as at the Sala Juan Ángel Arango in Bogota with Ensemble Lipzodes in 2013. In April 2015, they presented a program of sacred choral music by Mexican 17th-century composer Francisco López Capillas, who was Kapellmeister at the cathedrals in Mexico City and Puebla for decades, at Hispanic Society of America, and, in late December 2015, participated in Trinity Wall Street's Twelfth Night Festival with the Bishop's Band in a program entitled "Con la armonía del cielo: Christmas in 17th-Century Guatemala" at St. Paul's Chapel.

About the Festival

The Festival de Música Antigua Esteban Salas (FES) is an early music festival started in 2003 as part of Ars Longa’s efforts to study, perform, and disseminate a vital part of the Latin American musical heritage. The Oficina del Historiador de la Ciudad de La Habana established Ars Longa in 1994 and made the 17th-century chapel of St. Anthony of Padua in Habana Vieja their official venue in 2000. After extensive renovations, the chapel reopened as a concert hall dedicated to early music. FES takes place not only at St. Anthony of Padua but also a variety of historic venues across the old city, transforming Havana into a microcosm of performance, academic gatherings, and workshops dedicated to early music. Each edition of the FES gathers local and international artists, bringing with them innumerable historical musical instruments and performance practices while sharing a variety of music-making techniques. To support historical performance in Cuba, Ars Longa established academic programs based on workshops imparted by visiting artists on early music instruments, performance practice, and current musicological research, in order overcome the lack of specialized training in early music in Cuba’s conservatories. The FES also supports the construction of historical instruments, bringing together important luthiers from around the world. The study and performance of these seldom-heard repertoires continue to increase the students’ knowledge, giving them a broader, richer vision of the history of Western music. Each year, FES welcomes internationally famous musicians, musicologists, and ensembles. The 11th FES will take place February 12–23, 2016.

About the Musicologist

Bernardo Illari is a specialist in Latin American music from the colonial and early national periods. He received his PhD in music history from the University of Chicago in 2002, with a dissertation entitled "Polychoral Culture: Cathedral Music in La Plata (Bolivia), 1680–1730." Illari's second book-size project, Domenico Zipoli: Para una genealogía de la música clásica latinoamericana ("Domenico Zipoli: Towards a Genealogy of Latin American Classical Music") was awarded the 2003 Premio de Musicología "Casa de las Américas." Prior to his appointment at University of North Texas, Illari held academic positions at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (Argentina) and the University of Hong Kong. He has also taught classes at the Universidad de Valladolid, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and Conservatorio de Salamanca (Spain). Since 1992, he has contributed scores, advice, and notes to several European-based early music soloists and ensembles, including Ensemble Elyma, The Rare Fruit Council, Grupo Vocal Gregor, Cuarteto Jacarandá, and others, which resulted in 15 CDs of colonial music from Peru and Bolivia. These projects include the edition of the operas La púrpura de la rosa (by Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco, 1701) and San Ignacio de Loyola (as compiled by Martin Schmid, Santa Ana de Chiquitos, c. 1762), monographic CDs dedicated to works by Domenico Zipoli, Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco, and Juan de Araujo, along with thematic projects such as villancico settings of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz's poetry and Fiesta Criolla, the musical representation of a colonial festival in Chuquisaca, Bolivia.

Meridionalis and Bishop's Band perform at Trinity Wall Street's Twelfth Night Festival.

Ars Longa performs Maguelone Antoniya, Flasiquiya, Gacipá by Fray Felipe de la Madre de Dios.