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For the last eight years the International Festival Alfredo Saint Malo has brought classical music to the masses, a privilege historically reserved for the more affluent classes. In this edition of the festival, from Thursday, May 29 to Sunday, June 8, orchestras and musicians from Taiwan, Venezuela, Honduras and the United States will perform at the Anita Villalaz and National theaters and at the City of Knowledge’s Athenaeum. All the presentations at the theaters start at 8:00 p.m.
This year the festival is dedicated to the Panamanian pianist, cellist, percussionist and composer, Fermin Castañedas del Cid, who during his long career composed orchestra, chamber and ballet music.
Additional to the concerts there will be music clinics in which students will receive instruction from professors from Louisiana State University, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the Youth Orchestra of the Americas and, for the first time, lecturers from Northern Colorado University and the University of Minnesota will be speaking at the University of Panama and the Universidad Santa Maria La Antigua from Thursday, May 29 until Friday, June 6.
The first concert will take place on Friday, May 30 at the Anita Villalaz Theater with performances by Camerata Panama, with participation of the Honduran oboist, Euridice Alvarez, the U.S. flautist, James Hall, and trumpetist, Lacey Hays, also from the United States.
Tuesday, June 3 will be the turn of the Northern Colorado Woodwind Quintet at the City of Knowledge’s Athenaeum. The following day, Wednesday, June 4, the Panama Symphonic will give a presentation and be directed by two different conductors, Jorge Ledesma of Panama and from Venezuela, Carlos Riazuelo. The orchestra will accompany the U.S. virtuoso, Michael Gurt.
Saturday, June 7 is dedicated to youth orchestras with concerts taking place from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the City of Knowledge’s Athenaeum. The public will have the opportunity to hear the child prodigy, William Chen, 8 years old, who has astounded critics with his technique and the incredible passion he transmits when playing the piano.
The Panama Music Festival Alfredo de Saint Malo (ASMF) is the brainchild of the Panamanian cellist, Isaac Rodríguez Casal, and other local musicians with the purpose of reuniting national and international performers in a large-scale cultural and artistic exchange through different activities to enrich their knowledge and musical passion.
Tickets for all the concerts can be bought at boletospanama.com. Entrance to the concerts at the National Theater cost $35-$8; at the Anita Villalaz Theater $20-$10 and at the City of Knowledge Athenaeum $20-$8.
For more information about concerts, workshops and conferences visit www.asmfestivalpanama.com.