SOLO RECITALS • concerts with orchestra • RESIDENCIES
NOTE: During a "RESIDENCY," besides SOLO RECITALS or CONCERTS WITH ORCHESTRA, Alfredo offers EDUCATIONAL ASSEMBLIES for elementary, middle and high school and/or WORKSHOPS for MUSIC DEPARTMENTS at high school, college or university levels for the presenting organization. See EDUCATIONAL ASSEMBLIES page.
THE REPERTOIRE of his SOLO RECITALS is adapted to the needs of the presenter. From the most exciting to the most romantic music in contrasting Latin American styles: traditional, classical, popular, Latin Favorites and his original compositions inspired by his love for his wife and family, a rainy day, rivers, the sea, the sunset, the moon, the mountains, intimate moments of love.
His compositions are frequently performed and recorded all over the world by classical harpists and performers of lever harps and Latin American harps. A search in Youtube with the words HARP ORTIZ, results in over one hundred videos of performances of his compositions by others. For some examples see his own VIDEOS.
SOUTH AMERICAN SUITE FOR HARP AND ORCHESTRA
Note: His Suite may be performed with SYMPHONY or CHAMBER ORCHESTRAS.
See below for instrumentation details and more.
Videos of some of the movements are available in youtube.com/alfredorolandoortiz and the VIDEOS page.
Performances of the “South American Suite for Harp and Orchestra” include:
• World Premiere, Tulare County Symphony, California, March 3rd, 1996. Conductor & Music Director: David André
• Third Latin American Harpists Encounter, Caracas, Venezuela, October, 1998, with
Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho Symphony Orchestra. Music Director: Rodolfo Saglimbeni
• New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, three performances, March, 1999. Conductor: David Lockington
• Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra, May 2nd, 1999. Conductor: John Koshak
• Arizona State University Symphony, two concerts, September, 1999
• El Paso Symphony Orchestra, four concerts, July and September, 2000. Conductor: Gürer Aykal
• Invited by Jana Bouskova, he performed his South American Suite at the Seventh World Harp Congress, Prague, Czech Republic, 1999, with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Bladimir Valek
• Auckland Philharmonia, New Zealand, November 2001. Music Director: Miguel Harth Bedoya
• Istanbul Borusan Philharmonic Orchestra, Turkey, two concerts, December 2001. Conductor: Gürer Aukal
• St. Matthew's Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Palisades, California, June 6, 2003
• California Chamber Orchestra, Temecula, California, January 5, 2008
• Guatemala National Symphony Orchestra, Guatemala, April, 2008, Director: Dr. Felipe de Jesús Ortega
• Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, Iowa, October 19, 2008. Conductor: Jason Weinberger
• Returned to Iowa to perform again his Suite with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, March, 2010
• South Coast Symphony Orchestra, California, March 26, 2010
• Corona Symphony Orchestra, California, October 18, 2014. Conductor/Music Director: Marco A. Mejia
• The Israel Stage Symphony Orchestra, Israel, December, 2014. Conductor: Yi-An Xu
• Mission Chamber Orchestra, San Jose, California, January 2015. Conductor/Music Director: Emily Ray
ABOUT THE "SOUTH AMERICAN SUITE FOR HARP AND ORCHESTRA:"
On March 3rd, 1996, Alfredo performed the premiere of his South American Suite for Harp and Orchestra, with the Tulare County Symphony Orchestra, in Visalia, California, conducted by Music Director David André. Due to the long standing ovation and at the request of orchestra members, Maestro David André acquiesced to A REPEAT OF THE LAST MOVEMENT of the Suite ("Paraguaya"), something that Maestro André said had never happened before in his long international career as conductor.
CREATING MY SUITE:
The idea of performing with orchestra had began in 1982, when my friend, Phia Berghout, phoned me from The Netherlands, very early one morning, to ask if I would accept her invitation to perform several of my compositions as part of the Opening Concert of the First World Harp Congress, to take place in Maastricht, The Netherlands, in 1983. After a long silence I accepted.
Phia requested my pieces and offered to have them arranged so I could perform them with the Royal Band of The Netherlands. The performance took place with great success, having not only the audience but the musicians in love with the marvelous and unique rhythmic styles of South America. For several years I kept thinking of commissioning the orchestration of my "South American Suite," a collection of five of my pieces in contrasting South American music styles. In 1992, I heard a recorded version of one of my compositions, Sueño Español (Spanish Dream), beautifully performed on pedal harp by Paul Hurst. Mr. Hurst was also a pianist and orchestrator and specialized in computer music notation. Talking to Mr. Hurst about my ideas, I felt that I had found the person with both, the technical knowledge and the sensitivity I was looking for, to orchestrate my Suite.
I commissioned the orchestration in 1993. Giving him the original solo harp versions of my compositions for the Suite, besides the many long hours he worked on the project, we worked together many more hours on many details, making sure that the unique style and character of each one of my compositions, were preserved.
While touring in Alaska, in November of 1995, a phone call from my wife informed me that David André, Music Director of the Tulare County Symphony, California, had called to ask if I had music for harp and orchestra. At that time, only one of the movements, Andina, was still to be orchestrated. Both parts of Andina were kept very close to my original composition for harp, guitars, charango and quenas (Inca flutes). The strumming of some of the original instruments was given to the strings, strumming "guitar style." In the slow, haunting first part, the bassoon was assigned a phrase originally for guitar, while my theme for the quenas was given to a piccolo and a flute and, at other times, the oboes. The lively final part . . . well, just listen to that fun part in my recording and dance along!
On December of 1995 the music score was ready. The Premiere of the South American Suite for Harp and Orchestra took place March 3rd, 1996, at the L. J. Williams Theater, Visalia, California, performed by the Tulare County Symphony, conducted by David André. I was the harp soloist. It was one of the most emotionally intense moments of my career . . . only second to the experience of playing in the delivery room during the birth of our second daughter years before.
Enjoy the music!
Flute 1/piccolo, flute 2/alto flute, oboe 1 & 2, Bb clarinet 1 & 2, bassoon, Horn in F 1 & 2, Bb trumpet 1 & 2, tenor & bass trombone, timpani, percussion and strings.
ABOUT THE MOVEMENTS:
COLOMBIANA: This is a "joropo," a lively harp music genre from the plains of Colombia and Venezuela. This piece is dedicated to Colombia and specially to the Colombian plains, where every year music festivals celebrate the traditional "joropo."
VENEZOLANA: This is a "tonada," a traditional harp music genre from the Venezuelan plains. I dedicate this piece to Venezuela and to Juan Vicente Torrealba, Venezuelan harpist and composer whose music had a great impact on me upon my arrival in Venezuela as a child.
ANDINA: The Andes, the valleys, the mountains reaching high in the sky, from jungle to snow, from Cuzco to Machu Pichu, from Spanish to Inca, the elements of this rich culture are the basis of this piece. In its two very distinctive parts I have used the same mixture of indigenous and Spanish elements present in much of their music.
ECUATORIANA: Dedicated to that beautiful South American country, this piece is in the genre of "pasillo," very popular in its mountain regions.
IMPROVISACION (Improvisation): Ecuatoriana ends with a solo harp improvisation which will be different every time the Suite is performed. Using elements of South American music genres, this improvisation will arrive at the main theme of "Paraguaya," without interruption. For the premiere, March, 1996, the improvisation was based on themes, originally improvised years ago, dedicated to my wife Luz Marina and the birth of our daughters, Luzma and Michelle. To them I dedicated that improvisation, with all my love.
PARAGUAYA: This movement is in the rhythmic style of the "polca paraguaya"), the most characteristic harp music genre of Paraguay. (similar in name but rythmically unrelated to the European "polca"). Originally a solo harp piece, dedicated to friends in the area of Santa Cruz, California, who had fallen in love with the harp and music from Paraguay, I gave it the title "Zayante," a word which identifies an indigenous tribe that used to live in the area of Santa Cruz. I dedicate this new orchestrated version of "Zayante" to Paraguay, land of the harp, and to the memory of my Paraguayan harp teacher, Alberto Romero. See VIDEO