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Meridionalis Tour: Havana and Quito

Americas Society

April 1 - 5, 2017


Meridionalis at Hispanic Society of America (Image: Roey Yohai).

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

Meridionalis will perform one concert in Havana, Cuba, and two concerts as part of the Música Sacra festival in Quito, Ecuador. 

The tour opens with Y de la esfera más alta…, a program prepared by Guatemalan musicologist Omar Morales Abril that offers a trajectory from shadows to light through motets and villancicos drawn from archives across Latin America. The concert begins with a series of Easter lamentations by Hernando Franco and Gaspar Fernandez which, dating to the late sixteenth century, are among the earliest music preserved in the hemisphere, before moving onto Immaculate Conception and Christmas villancicos by Fernandez and Carlos de Borja y Aragón, among others, that reflect on ideas of light and celebration. The concert includes a bilingual reinterpretation of the Salve Regina text by Diego de Cáseda that alternates the traditional Latin prayer by a choral group with a paraphrase by two soprano soloists, as well as a meditative setting of the Lenten Psalm “Circumdederunt me,” written in Guatemala in the late 1500s by Hernando Franco. In Havana, this performance will be in collaboration with the singers and instrumentalists of Ars Longa.  

The second program will be dedicated to music recently discovered in the Ecuadoran city of Ibarra, some 60 miles north of Quito. This repertoire includes a combination of mostly anonymous motets and villancicos for chorus and various combinations of soloists, following a similar trajectory from darkness to light that is the theme of this year’s Música Sacra festival in Quito. This program includes two solo songs that will spotlight Meridionalis sopranos Molly Quinn and Nell Snaidas, as well as polychoral works in which Meridionalis sings antiphonally with the instrumental ensemble Lipzodes.

Havana: Y de la esfera más alta with Ars Longa
Saturday, April 1, 7:00 p.m. at Iglesia Corpus Cristi

Quito Program 1: Y de la esfera más alta
Tuesday, April 4, 7:00 p.m. at Iglesia de Fátima

Quito Program 2: Al sol de la tierra y cielo with Lipzodes
Wednesday, April 5, 6:00 p.m. at Iglesia de San Agustín


Molly Quinn, Nell Snaidas sopranos
Mikki Sodergren, Timothy Parsons altos
Brian Giebler, Sebastián Zubieta tenors
Thomas McCargar, Steven Hyrcelak basses



Meridionalis & Ensemble Lipzodes perform Aparejad ballestros, 2011.

About Meridionalis

Directed by Sebastián Zubieta, Americas Society's critically acclaimed vocal ensemble Meridionalis includes leading singers in New York City, dedicated primarily to Latin American early music, occasionally exploring other repertoires. Since its debut in 2010, the ensemble has performed programs dedicated to the music of Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. They have performed at a variety 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, Trinity Wall Street, The Hispanic Society of America, and Americas Society, as well as at the Sala Juan Ángel Arango in Bogotá and the Havana Cathedral. Meridionalis has collaborated with Clarion Society, Lipzodes, the Bishop’s Band, and Ensemble Ars Longa de La Habana. This season, the group performs three programs of Spanish music from the archives of The Hispanic Society and a concert dedicated to new choral music by contemporary Argentine composer Pablo Ortiz in New York. In April, Meridionalis undertakes its second Latin American tour with concerts in Havana and Quito in collaboration with Ars Longa and Lipzodes and, later this spring, it will complete the recording its debut CD for NAXOS, which will be dedicated to Ortiz’s choral music.

About Ensemble Lipzodes

Ensemble Lipzodes (founded 2004, Bloomington, Indiana) originally consisted of students completing degrees in the Early Music Institute and the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. The ensemble combines voice, shawms, dulcians, recorders, and percussion to bring to life the rarely performed music of sixteenth-century Guatemala. In addition to this singular repertoire, the ensemble also explores new directions in early music utilizing voices and winds. Lipzodes was a 2004 finalist in Early Music America's Renaissance and Medieval Performance Competition and was selected as a winner in the ninth competition in Performance of Music from Spain and Latin America. The ensemble has performed throughout the United States and Latin America and has been featured in the Bloomington Early Music Festival, the Chicago Latino Music Festival, the Boston Early Music Fringe Festival, and the National Gallery of Art Concert Series. In 2007 they were featured on a CD with University of North Texas, entitled “Christmas Vespers in Cusco: Music from an Incan Baroque City”; Oy hasemos fiesta was their first ensemble release with Focus Records. 

About Sebastián Zubieta

Sebastián Zubieta has been the music director at Americas Society since 2005. He has presented papers on baroque and contemporary music at congresses including the International Musicological Society (2002 and 2014), the Society for American Music (2011), the Latin American Studies Association Conference (2015 and 2016), and International Musicological Society Congress (2017). He has taught hearing and analysis as well as music appreciation at Yale University, music history at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, and composition at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata in Argentina. He made his New York conducting debut to critical acclaim with Meridionalis, a group dedicated to Latin American early music, at the Look and Listen Festival in 2010 with music by Gutierre Fernández Hidalgo. He has appeared as a conductor at Music of the Americas, Symphony Space's Wall-to-Wall, the Raritan River Valley Festival, the Biblioteca Juan Ángel Arango in Bogotá, as well as at the Música Sacra festival in Quito, the Festival Esteban Salas in Havana, and the Centro de Experimentación del Teatro Colón. Zubieta was the conductor of the Yale International Singers from 1999 to 2005 and premiered a number of new works for chamber ensembles and orchestra with Yale Philharmonia, New Music New Haven, and NeitherMusic. His music has been performed in concerts and festivals in Europe, Korea, Latin America and the United States, by musicians including ICE, Continuum Ensemble, the New York Miniaturist Ensemble, the Momenta Quartet, violist Antoine Tamestit, and clarinetist Joshua Rubin. He has written music for ICE, the Centro Cultural General San Martín (Buenos Aires), the New York Miniaturist Ensemble, pianist Stephen Buck, the Bugallo Williams Piano Duo, and the Damocles Trio, commissioned by Look and Listen. He was in residence at Banff Centre and was a fellow at the Composers Conference at Wellesley College. He holds a doctorate in composition from Yale University and a licentiate in musicology from Universidad Católica Argentina in Buenos Aires.