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New Mexico Music Festival and Orchestral Academy set to debut


The New Mexico Music Festival and Orchestral Academy (NMMFOA) will premiere Monday through Sunday, Aug. 9-15, in Las Cruces, said event coordinator and founder Simón Gollo

Gollo is a New Mexico State University associate professor of music and director of the NMSU Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also founder and director of the Las Cruces Youth Orchestra and Choir.

“The festival and academy will be an international musical event,” Gollo said. “Beginning this summer, young musicians will gather each year in Las Cruces to share the stage with first-class musicians from top orchestras around the United States and beyond.”

At the festival and academy, students will have the opportunity to interact with guest artists and clinicians in a variety of orchestral settings and programs, he said. The event will feature educational

experiences in a studio class setting, orchestral sectional preparation, rehearsals and performances.

Gollo envisions NMMFOA “becoming a premier musical event featuring a unique educational and artistic experience for musicians in both New Mexico and the Southwest.”

For this summer’s festival, the NMSU Music Department will host several world-renowned musicians and educators, to include members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Los Angeles Opera, Pittsburgh Symphony, Houston Symphony and faculty from NMSU, the University of North Texas and Louisiana State University. The event will also include the Camerata del Sol Chamber Orchestra, a regional chamber group.

A faculty concert will feature guest artists Lucinda Chiu (violin, Los Angeles Opera), David Cerutti (viola, Metropolitan Orchestra), Liuh-Wen (viola, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, based in New York City), Adam Liu (cello, Pittsburgh Symphony), Maki Kubota (cello, Houston Symphony), Jeff Bradetich (double bass, University of North Texas), Ana Maria Otamendi (piano, Louisiana State University), Ana Maria Quintero (violin, Midland Orchestra), and from NMSU, Jorge Espinoza (cello), Jorge Martinez (viola) and Gollo (violin).

The festival will bring young participants from the north of Mexico, Albuquerque, El Paso and Las Cruces to the NMSU campus, Gollo said.

NMMFOA will present three concerts, including pre-concert lectures. Concerts will take place in NMSU’s Atkinson Recital Hall, 1075 N. Horseshoe on the NMSU campus, and at the Doña Ana Arts Council Arts and Cultural Center, 250 W. Amador Ave.

The concerts are

  • 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 13: The concert will feature the masterwork “Verklärte Nacht” by Arnold Schoenberg performed by festival guest artists at Atkinson Recital Hall.
  • 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14: Camerata del Sol Chamber Players will join festival guest artists

performing Joseph Haydn's Quartet Op. 20/2 and “Metamorphosen” by Richard

Strauss, at the DAAC Arts and Cultural Center.

  • 11 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 15: The festival ends with the premiere performance of the New Mexico Music Festival Orchestra with the participation of all students and guest artists under Gollo’s direction, performing the Chamber Symphony (Kammersinfonie), Opus 110a by Dmitri Shostakovich, at Atkinson Recital Hall.

“NMMFOA again features NMSU as an important venue for music education and diversity, and Las

Cruces as a city which fosters the development of international cultural events,” Gollo said.

For more information, contact Gollo at sgollo@nmsu.edu.