Classical Music

Video: Apollo Chamber Players Go On An Andean Walkabout

A conversation and studio session with the Houston group about the power of folk music and their South American-inspired concert with World Premiere.

Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina. The folklore, folk rhythms and folk instruments of these South American countries inspired the composers featured on the Apollo Chamber Players’ next program, Andean Walkabout. And through their pieces, these composers created a new musical language with their innovative approach to blending the traditional with the contemporary.

Long-inspired by folk music from around the world, the Apollo Chamber Players began their 20X2020 commissioning project in 2014 – with the goal to commission 20 culturally-relevant pieces of music, which engage the diverse communities of Houston, by the year 2020.

Now at its halfway point, 2020’s tenth commission is the Andean Suite for string quartet and guitar by Chilean composer-guitarist, Javier Farias. The World Premiere will take place on the Andean Walkabout concert, which also features music by Gabriela Lena Frank, Alberto Ginastera and Astor Piazzolla.

How did Apollo’s love affair with folk music begin? What are the unique sounds, rhythms and cultural ideas explored in this concert? Find out in the interview above with Apollo’s Matthew Detrick and Whitney Bullock.

Watch performances by Apollo Chamber Players in HPM’s Geary Studio, where they played selections by Javier Farias and Astor Piazzolla.

Musical excerpts used in the interview:

  • Javier Farias: Andean Suite (III. Diablada); string quartet arrangement; Apollo Chamber Players; recorded in HPM’s Geary Performance Studio
  • Astor Piazzolla: Tango Ballet (excerpt); Apollo Chamber Players; recorded in HPM’s Geary Performance Studio
  • Gabriela Lena Frank: Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout for String Quartet (I. Toyos & VI. Coqueteos); The Chiara String Quartet; New Voice Singles 002

Apollo Chamber Players present the program, Andean Walkabout, featuring the World Premiere of Andean Suite for String Quartet and Guitar by Javier Farias, featuring the composer as guitarist, on Friday, March 31, 2017, 8pm at MATCH (Midtown Arts and Theater Houston).

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