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December 15, 2021

A few days ago, I found this photo on FB:

It was a post by Ailen Carvajal, composer and fellow student from the ISA years (1991-92)

These others pic is also part of that same concert:

These photos only bring me beautiful memories. It is the beginning of my career as an orchestra conductor. With many fewer pounds and much more hair, I was the Musical Director of the Havana Children’s Symphonic Orchestra. If I’m not wrong, this concert was at the Miramar theater, which is (or it was?) on 5th Avenue.

The Children’s Orchestra of Havana was a project that began with the visit of Dr. Jose Miguel Abreu to Cuba. The whole project took off from that encounter and our subsequent visit to Venezuela. The Cuban Youth Orchestra Movement was one of the most crucial educational efforts made in Cuba, of which I was part.

The Children’s Orchestra was the foundational ensemble. . It was the first step where students would begin their orchestral preparation to be part of the most advanced Youth Symphony Orchestra. Among many others, I remember some students’ names: Yasek Manzano, Boris Abreu, and Raynier Guerrero.

The Orchestra used to rehearse in the basement of The Synagogue (17 and E) in El Vedado. We played the “Unfinished “Symphony by F. Schubert and the Concertino for Piano and Orchestra by Andres Alen. The soloist was a very talented young pianist relative of Maestro Carlos Fariñas.

This experience was for me, such an outstanding school I can’t forget. Thank you all very much.

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