“Ms. de la Parra elicited a vibrantly nuanced performance whose bristling conclusion had the audience … on their feet.” – The New York Times
Featuring violinist Daniel Andai, guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas, and pianist Alex Brown as soloists, World premiere recordings of rarely-heard music by Mexican composers Eugenio Toussaint and Enrico Chapela, plus works by Gustavo Campa, Ricardo Castro, Carlos Chávez, Candelario Huízar, Federico Ibarra, Manuel M. Ponce, Silvestre Revueltas & more
Sony Classical is pleased to announce that Mi Alma Mexicana (“My Mexican Soul”), the debut recording of conductor Alondra de la Parra with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas (POA), will be released worldwide on August 2, 2010. Mi Alma Mexicana is a 2-CD set celebrating Mexico’s 2010 Bicentennial with 200 years of orchestral music by Mexican composers. The album features the world premiere recordings of Enrico Chapela’s Ínguesu and Eugenio Toussaint’s Concerto for Improvised Pianowith Alex Brown as piano soloist. Mi Alma Mexicana also includes Gustavo Campa’s Melodía for Violin and Orchestrawith violinist Daniel Andai, and Manuel M. Ponce’s Concierto del Sur for Guitar and Orchestra with guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas, as well as music by Ricardo Castro, Carlos Chávez, Candelario Huízar, Federico Ibarra, Mario Lavista, Arturo Márquez, José Pablo Moncayo, Silvestre Revueltas, and Juventino Rosas. Mi Alma Mexicana was engineered by Grammy Award-winning producer Adam Abeshouse, with De la Parra as executive producer.
Mi Alma Mexicana is the result of two years of extensive research by the dynamic 29-year-old Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra, who founded POA in 2004 and serves as the orchestra’s artistic director. “I wanted to make an album that really represents Mexico’s music,” she said. “This project showcases the diverse styles and eras of Mexican music, ranging from Ibarra’s very contemporary sounding Sinfonía No. 2, to Castro’s nearly Wagnerian Intermezzo de Atzimba, to Ponce’s Spanish-influenced Concierto del Sur. Mexican orchestral music deserves a place in the core repertoire of every orchestra, and this album shows the wide range of musical styles and extraordinary artistry from my home country.”
De la Parra has gained widespread attention for her spellbinding and vibrant performances, making her one of the most compelling conductors of her generation. She holds the distinction of being the first woman from Mexico to conduct in New York City, and has been heralded by opera star Plácido Domingo as “an extraordinary conductor.” Most recently, she was featured in Crain’s New York Business as one of their “40 under 40 New York’s Rising Stars,” and singled out in The Daily Beast as one of the “Young Rockstars of the Conducting World.”
The release of Mi Alma Mexicana follows the success of live performances of music from the album in New York and Los Angeles. In New York, the orchestra’s first performance of Mi Alma Mexicana at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall sold out, and a second concert – which also filled to capacity – was added to fill the demand. In Los Angeles, the orchestra filled Walt Disney Concert Hall when it joined forces with Argentine-Uruguyan powerhouse music collective Bajofondo for an explosive evening presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In September 2010, POA will embark on a multi-city tour of Mexico to celebrate the album and the country’s Bicentennial.
The Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas was founded in 2004 by then-23 year old Mexican conductor and pianist Alondra de la Parra. Her vision has materialized into what is now an international symphony orchestra serving as a platform to showcase young composers and performers from the Americas. The Orchestra itself comprises the next generation of emerging classical music talent (mostly aged under 35); members hail from 22 different countries.
Since its inception, the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas has performed for the President of Mexico; been hosted at the White House, the Mexican Embassy, and the Canadian Consulate; given concerts for over 30,000 concertgoers in New York, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Oaxaca, Dallas, and Washington, DC, among other cities; provided important New York City debut opportunities to almost 20 emerging soloists from the Americas; performed 10 world premieres of American composers; established an international Young Composers’ Competition; and initiated the innovative Niños arts and education program for underprivileged youth in the United States and Mexico.
Most recently, the Orchestra made its well-received debut as orchestra-in-residence at the prestigious Napa Valley Festival del Sole (CA) in July 2009, and returned to the Music Festival of the Americas at Stowe, VT in August 2009.
During the 2009/10 and 2010/11 seasons, the Orchestra will present a two-year celebration of the Mexico Bicentennial, rediscovering and incorporating the great masterworks of Mexican classical music from the past 200 years into all of its concerts and tours, and making a 2-CD Mexican Bicentennial recording for SONY Music.