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Boston Conservatory Orchestra makes its inaugural trip to Worcester's Mechanics Hall to perform an exciting program of works by Beethoven and Saint-Saёns, as well as a special orchestral collaboration with Silkroad artist and gaita player Cristina Pato.
BEETHOVEN: Leonore Overture No. 3
SAINT-SAËNS: Symphony No. 3 for organ and orchestra
VÁZQUEZ: Widows of the Living and of the Dead: Concerto for Gaita and Orchestra, featuring Cristina Pato, Galician bagpipes (Gaita Galega), commissioned by Cristina Pato with support from New Music USA
Bruce Hangen, conductor
This performance has been selected as part of Boston Conservatory at Berklee's 2019–2020 Center Stage collection. Learn more about Center Stage and view all Center Stage performances.
Composer's Note: A Celebration of Women Throughout History
Octavio Vázquez: Widows of the Living and of the Dead: Concerto for Gaita and Orchestra
Traditional roles of women in Galician society, often as a result of harsh historical circumstances, have not been second to those of men. Galician history abounds with examples of women leaders, even when it comes to politics and warfare, from all periods of recorded history, beginning with the Roman invasions (137–19 BCE). More recently, women have often taken it upon themselves to provide for entire families in a pre-industrial environment, from running farms to building gravel roads with pickaxes. These were the “widows of the living and of the dead,” resulting from the massive emigration suffered during most of the 19th and 20th centuries. This piece celebrates their unbroken and ultimately triumphant spirit. Needless to say, this celebration is extended to all women throughout history.
The gaita (Galician bagpipe) is the national instrument of my homeland, Galicia, in Northwestern Spain. Following a long tradition of male pipers, a woman piper, Cristina Pato, has finally brought the instrument to international attention. A member of Silkroad Ensemble, Pato has had pieces written for her by composers such as Olvaldo Golijov and Emilio Solla, and has taken the gaita into the hitherto unexplored territories of jazz and Brazilian bossa nova. Along the way, she has developed unique technical abilities and a very distinctive playing style.This piece was commissioned by and written for her with support from New Music USA.
*This concerto is part of Cristina Pato’s groundbreaking Gaita and Orchestra Commissioning Project.
Yo-Yo Ma conceived Silkroad in 1998 as a reminder that even as rapid globalization resulted in division, it brought extraordinary possibilities for working together. Seeking to understand this dynamic, he began to learn about the historical Silk Road, recognizing in it a model for productive cultural collaboration, for the exchange of ideas and tradition alongside commerce and innovation. And in a radical experiment, he brought together musicians from the lands of the Silk Road to cocreate a new artistic idiom, a musical language founded in difference, a metaphor for the benefits of a more connected world.
Today, these Grammy Award-winning artists seek and practice radical cultural collaboration in many forms, creating and presenting new music, teacher and musician training workshops, and residency programs in schools, museums, and communities.
Silkroad has recorded seven albums. Sing Me Home, which won the 2016 Grammy for Best World Music Album was developed and recorded alongside the documentary feature The Music of Strangers, from Oscar-winning director Morgan Neville.