Performance Sunday, March 10, 2013 | 3 PM

La Pasión según San Marcos: A Creative Learning Project

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
At the heart of Osvaldo Golijov’s residency as Carnegie Hall’s Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair is this performance of his La Pasión según San Marcos, featuring members of the Venezuelan chorus to which the piece is dedicated, together with high school singers from throughout New York City. Drawing on the sounds of Latin America with texts in Spanish, Latin, and Aramaic, the piece is evocative, wildly inventive, and entirely characteristic of Golijov’s personal aesthetic.

This concert is part of My Time, My Music.


  • Robert Spano, Conductor
  • Orquesta La Pasión
    Mikael Ringquist, Leader
    Gonzalo Grau, Leader
  • Jessica Rivera, Soprano
  • Luciana Souza, Vocalist
  • Reynaldo González-Fernández, Afro-Cuban Singer and Dancer
  • Deraldo Ferreira, Capoeirista and Berimbau
  • Members of Schola Cantorum de Venezuela
  • Maria Guinand, Chorus Director
  • David Rosenmeyer, Music Supervisor
  • Forest Hills High School
  • Frank Sinatra School of the Arts
  • Songs of Solomon


  • OSVALDO GOLIJOV La Pasión según San Marcos


  • Robert Spano

    Robert Spano is one of the brightest and most imaginative conductors of his generation. As music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, he has elevated the ensemble to new levels of international prominence. As music director of the Aspen Music Festival and School, he oversees the programming of more than 300 events and educational programs for 630 students, including Aspen's American Academy of Conducting.

    Under Maestro Spano's guidance, the ASO and audiences explore a creative programming mix, recordings, and visual enhancements, and the Atlanta School of Composers reflects Mr. Spano's commitment to American contemporary music. He has led ASO performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and at the Ravinia, Ojai, and Savannah music festivals. He has made guest appearances with the major orchestras of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, and Philadelphia, as well as the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He has conducted for Welsh National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera (2005 and 2009 Ring cycles), and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

    With an extensive discography of 21 recordings for Telarc, Deutsche Grammophon, and ASO Media, Mr. Spano has garnered six Grammy Awards. Dedicated to pedagogy and multi-disciplinary studies, he completed a three-year residency at Emory University, is on faculty at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, and has received honorary doctorates from Bowling Green State University, Curtis Institute of Music, Emory University, and Oberlin. In May 2009, Mr. Spano was awarded Columbia University's Ditson Conductor's Award for the advancement of American music.

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  • Orquesta La Pasión

    Orquesta La Pasión was created in 2006 for the world tour of Osvaldo Golijov's La Pasión según San Marcos. Its origins, however, date back to the first performance of the piece in Stuttgart in 2000. A hand-picked group of 14 musicians, the Orquesta serves as the vibrant foundation of percussionists, brass players, and other instrumentalists who lead the chorus through the surging drama of the score. The leaders, Mikael Ringquist and Gonzalo Grau, were instrumental in the conception, orchestration, and creation of the piece, and serve as the group leaders for this percussion-driven work.

    Mikael Ringquist

    Mikael Ringquist was born in Stockholm, Sweden. He began musical studies at the age of nine on trumpet and trombone, but his interest soon turned to percussion. He made his first recording at age 15, and by age 17 had signed a recording contract with Sound of Scandinavia Records, leading to tours and performances throughout Scandinavia.

    Mr. Ringquist moved to Boston in 1983 to study film scoring at Berklee College of Music, where he met legendary Cuban percussionist Lazaro "Watusi" Pérez (also known as "Cinco Tumbas"), who introduced him to the world of Afro-Cuban folkloric drumming, as well as the mysterious world of batá drumming and La Regla de Ocha (Santería). Mr. Ringquist continued to study batá drums with Felix Sanabria and master drummer Orlando "Puntílla" Rios, and was eventually initiated as Omó Añá (consecrated drummer) in 1989. He has performed with various groups on tour and in concerts and festivals in Europe and the US.

    Mr. Ringquist served as percussion consultant, orchestrator, and collaborator for La Pasión según San Marcos. He teaches at Berklee College of Music, where he designs and coordinates the curriculum for Afro-Cuban and Brazilian hand percussion and drum set.

    Gonzalo Grau

    Gonzalo Grau began his musical studies at the age of three in Caracas, where he learned to play many instruments from the viola da gamba and the cello to the flamenco cajón and his principal instrument, the piano. A Berklee College of Music graduate, Mr. Grau has established himself as a multi-instrumentalist with varied credits that range from performances with Venezuelan music projects like Maroa, Schola Cantorum de Venezuela, and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela to appearances with jazz icons like Maria Schneider and the Latin jazz giant Timbalaye.

    Mr. Grau also leads two projects of his own: Plural (Latin jazz-flamenco fusion) and La Clave Secreta (salsa fusion), whose album was nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award. He has participated in more than 80 recording projects as performer, producer, or composer. A versatile artist, he bridges the classical and popular music worlds. His recent contributions include collaborations with composer Osvaldo Golijov for La Pasión según San Marcos and Ainadamar, recording production on Rolando Villazón's México!, and the Labeque sisters' Nazareno and West Side Story, as well as commissions for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. His new oratorio Aqua, commissioned by the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart, won the European Composer Award 2011.

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  • Jessica Rivera

    Jessica Rivera has established a reputation as one of the most creatively inspired vocal artists today. The intelligence, dimension, and spirituality with which she infuses her performances on international concert and opera stages has garnered Ms. Rivera unique artistic collaborations with many of today's most celebrated composers, including John Adams, Gabriela Lena Frank, Osvaldo Golijov, Jonathan Leshnoff, and Nico Muhly. She has collaborated with such esteemed conductors and directors as Gustavo Dudamel, Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Peter Sellars, Robert Spano, and Michael Tilson Thomas. Ms. Rivera has given the world premieres of Adams's A Flowering Tree, Golijov's Ainadamar, Muhly's The Adulteress, and Frank's Holy Sisters.

    Ms. Rivera's 2012-2013 season features the role of Pat Nixon in John Adams's Nixon in China as part of a multi-city European tour with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer. A frequent guest soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the soprano performs a program of Grieg, Sibelius, and Rachmaninoff under the baton of Music Director Robert Spano. She also reprises her acclaimed interpretation of Adams's El Niño with the Vancouver Bach Choir. Other concerts include performances of Gabriela Lena Frank's La centinela y la paloma with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and the world premiere of Holy Daughters, a newly commissioned oratorio by Ms. Frank and Pulitzer Prize-winning author and playwright Nilo Cruz, featuring the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Girls Chorus led by conductor Joana Carneiro.

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  • Luciana Souza

    Grammy Award winner Luciana Souza is one of jazz's leading singers and interpreters. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Ms. Souza's work as a performer transcends traditional boundaries around musical styles.

    As a leader, Ms. Souza has been releasing acclaimed recordings since 2002, including her six Grammy-nominated records Brazilian Duos, North and South, Duos II, Tide, Duos III, and The Book of Chet. Ms. Souza has performed and recorded with many greats, including Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon, James Taylor, and Bobby McFerrin. She has been a prominent soloist in important works by composers Osvaldo Golijov and Derek Bermel, performing with the New York Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, among others.

    Ms. Souza began her recording career at age three with a radio commercial. She spent four years on faculty at Berklee College of Music, where she received a bachelor's degree in jazz composition. Ms. Souza earned a master's degree in jazz studies from the New England Conservatory of Music and taught for four years at the Manhattan School of Music.

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  • Reynaldo González-Fernández

    Born in Matanzas, Cuba, in 1967, Reynaldo González-Fernández has been dancing, singing, and playing percussion since early childhood. He has learned and absorbed the rich living traditions of secular and ritual music and dance, which have their roots in the African Yoruba music, and for which his native city is particularly known.

    Upon graduating from the Escuela para Instructores de Arte in 1984, Mr. González became one of the principal dancers and choreographers for the prominent Cuban group Afro-Cuba de Matanzas. He has been dancing professionally for more than 25 years. He has performed and appeared on TV regularly throughout Cuba and has toured the US, South America, Central Africa, Europe, and Australia.

    Mr. González is also initiated as an Ilu-batá (owner of ritual batá drums) and a priest of Oshun in a Regla de Ocha (Santería). He was appointed to serve as artistic director for the Lukumi Center of the Orishas in Providence, Rhode Island, in 2003.

    Since moving to the US, Mr. González has been performing and teaching Afro-Cuban dance and percussion classes privately and in dance studios and universities throughout New England, California, New York City, Washington, and Philadelphia, among other places.

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  • Deraldo Ferreira

    Deraldo Ferreira, founder and artistic director of the Brazilian Cultural Center of New England, has 35 years of experience in capoeira and a similar lifetime involvement and commitment to Afro-Brazilian samba drumming and dancing, musical composition, and choreography.

    Mr. Ferreira began studying capoeira at the age of 14. He founded the Academy of Capoeira in his hometown of Santos, São Paulo, Brazil, and became a certified mestre of capoeira in 1984. He soon moved to North America and became one of the first capoeiristas to bring the art form to the US and Canada.

    Of equal importance is Mr. Ferreira's talent and experience as an instructor. In addition to his work at the BCCNE, Mr. Ferreira has founded capoeira schools in Montreal and in Sardinia, Italy. Over the past 25 years, he has regularly taught classes and workshops at Amherst College, Brown University, Hampshire College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Smith College, Wellesley College, and Wheaton College.

    Mr. Ferreira has been a featured music and dance soloist for Golijov's La Pasión según San Marcos since its inception in 2000. He is also the founder of Brazilian music and dance troupe Samba Tremeterra, which performs throughout New England. Mr. Ferreira is currently based in his home country of Brazil.

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  • Schola Cantorum de Venezuela

    Schola Cantorum de Venezuela is one of the most important choral societies belonging to the growing choral movement in Venezuela. It was founded in 1967 by Venezuelan composer and conductor Alberto Grau. The choir's broad repertoire includes works from the Spanish, Italian, French, and English Renaissance; German and Italian Baroque; contemporary Venezuelan and international composers; a vast collection of Venezuelan and Latin American traditional music; and symphonic choral pieces.

    International tours have taken Schola to the US, Europe, Mexico, Canada, and South America, and the ensemble was chosen for the premiere of Osvaldo Golijov's La Pasión según San Marcos. In 2006, under the direction of Peter Sellars, Schola premiered John Adams's opera A Flowering Tree in Vienna, which it subsequently brought to Lincoln Center. Schola also gave the world premiere of Gonzalo Grau's award-winning oratorio Aqua in 2011.

    As a specialized ensemble with unique arrangements and a variety of a capella and symphonic choral programs, Schola has more than 50 major works in its repertoire and has performed under the batons of distinguished conductors in concert venues across the globe. It has recorded 30 albums to date.

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  • María Guinand

    María Guinand is artistic director of the Schola Cantorum de Venezuela and conducts choral projects throughout the world. Renowned as an authentic interpreter and trainer of Latin American choral music of the 20th and 21st centuries, she is a recipient of several distinguished prizes in choral music conducting. 

    A graduate of the University of Bristol in England, Ms. Guinand studied choral conducting with Alberto Grau and went on to further studies with Helmuth Rilling, Luigi Agustoni, and Johannes B. Göschl.

    She conducts two of Venezuela's most prestigious choirs: Schola Cantorum de Venezuela and the Cantoría Alberto Grau. She has been involved in the premieres, performances, and recordings of Osvaldo Golijov's La Pasión según San Marcos, John Adams's A Flowering Tree, and Gonzalo Grau's oratorio Aqua.

    For more than three decades, Ms. Guinand has been associate conductor and advisor of choral symphonic performances and activities for El Sistema. She also teaches in the master's degree program for choral conductors at the Universidad Simón Bolívar. A passionate choral promoter, Ms. Guinand serves as director of the Fundación Schola Cantorum de Venezuela and conductor of the Polar Foundation Choir, and for 12 years was the Latin America vice president of the International Federation of Choral Music. She also edits the Música de Latinoamérica collection at Earthsongs music publisher. 

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  • David Rosenmeyer

    David Rosenmeyer is the new music director of the Fairfield County Chorale, and he recently opened its 50th anniversary season with a performance of Carmina Burana in collaboration with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. Now in his eighth season as the Oratorio Society of New York's associate conductor, he has led the Society in Carnegie Hall performances of Britten's Te Deum (2010) Fauré's Cantique de Jean Racine (2008) and Stravinsky's Mass (2007), which marked his Carnegie Hall debut. He has conducted the OSNY on tour in Budapest, Rome, and São Paulo. Mr. Rosenmeyer is also music director of the Chorale and the University Singers at New York University. In 2009, Mr. Rosenmeyer made his debut with the Bellas Opera Company of Mexico City, leading a staged gala at the Festival Internacional Cervantino. He returned to the Bellas to conduct the finals gala of its Morelli Opera Competition. Recent engagements have included concerts with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Israel Chamber Orchestra, and São Carlos Philharmonic of Brazil. Mr. Rosenmeyer has conducted several orchestras in South America and is actively involved in education, as coach and conductor with the International Vocal Arts Institute and with programs of Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute. He was music director and pianist for the world premiere of The Sandman, an opera by Thomas Cabaniss.

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  • Forest Hills High School Concert Choir | Robert Koch, Chorus Director

    Forest Hills High School was dedicated in 1937. In June 1998, President Bill Clinton cited FHHS's "academic and extra-curricular excellence"; it became one of only 124 "Blue Ribbon" schools nationwide. Commonly known as Rock 'n' Roll High, Forest Hills has also been a home for such musical icons as Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Tatiana Troyanos, Ronnie Earl, The Ramones, Leslie West, and Burt Bacharach. The Performing Arts Academy was introduced six years ago to continue the legacy of outstanding graduating musicians, stressing the need for equally high academic success, citizenship, leadership, and personal integrity. The vocal program within the Performing Arts Academy begins with two freshman pedagogy classes, a women's chorus, and the concert choir performing today. The concert choir has strong working relationships with the National Chorale, Lincoln Center, and Queens College (CUNY).

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  • Frank Sinatra School of the Arts Concert Choir
    Heidi Best, Chorus Director

    The Frank Sinatra School of the Arts is a public school founded by singer Tony Bennett. Under the direction of Heidi Best, the FSSA Concert Choir has proudly shared the stage with Mr. Bennett and has performed in many venues around New York City, including Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, Alice Tully Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the American Museum of Natural History. The group also has performed for the Governor's Arts Awards, Americans for the Arts ceremonies, the Dave Matthews Band's Central Park Concert, morning news programs, and The Tyra Banks Show. Several FSSA students have performed in the NYSSMA All-State Choir, have been finalists in several young artists competitions, and have participated in the New York City Opera Acting for Singers seminar. Many FSSA singers participate in The Collegiate Chorale's Side-by-Side program, performing large choral masterworks with internationally renowned singers, conductors, and orchestras on domestic and international stages, including in Osvaldo Golijov's Oceana just last month.

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  • Songs of Solomon | Chantel Wright, Chorus Director

    Songs of Solomon: An Inspirational Ensemble, founded in 2001 by veteran conductor Chantel Wright, remains true to its mission to serve the world community through its music. Professor Wright is a firm believer that arts education stimulates children spiritually and intellectually, and builds the family through its commitment to a child's development. Songs of Solomon's membership bridges all ethnicities from the tri-state area, being a safe haven in which all young people can flourish. For the past four years, 100% of its members have entered college and 50% are now pursing advanced degrees in the arts. Songs of Solomon has performed with Earth, Wind & Fire; Carole King, Sir Elton John, and Aretha Franklin, and recently participated in the National High School Choral Festival at Carnegie Hall. The ensemble's repertoire spans opera to contemporary gospel. It has won numerous competitions in the metropolitan area, and continues to serve in churches, corporate settings, and major performance venues.

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Pre-concert talk starts at 2:00 PM in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage with Osvaldo Golijov and Maria Guinand in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Director of Artistic Planning, Carnegie Hall.


Osvaldo Golijov's La Pasión según San Marcos (Parade to Golgotha—Dance of the Holy Purple Robe)
Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela | Schola Cantorum de Caracas | Maria Guinand, Conductor
Deutsche Grammophon

At a Glance

Commissioned by the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart to commemorate the 250th anniversary of J. S. Bach's death in 2000, Osvaldo Golijov's La Pasión según San Marcos melds an abundance of musical styles from early music in the Western Classical tradition to popular Cuban, Brazilian, and West African idioms. Golijov employs Spanish as the piece's primary language, incorporating Galician, Latin, and Aramaic texts as finer brush strokes. Composed from the standpoint of an "outsider" (Golijov is Jewish and once remarked he had never opened the New Testament before receiving this commission), the work focuses more on the faith of Christians than on Christ's death itself. Today, this contemporary oratorio is brought to an entirely new generation of performers, with members of the Venezuelan chorus to which the piece is dedicated joining young singers from public schools throughout New York City.
Program Notes


Lead support for La Pasión según San Marcos: A Creative Learning Project is provided by The Irene Diamond Fund.
La Pasión según San Marcos: A Creative Learning Project is generously underwritten by Martha and Bob Lipp.
Public support for this program is provided by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Osvaldo Golijov is the holder of the 2012–2013 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall.
Additional support is provided, in part, by an endowment grant from The Irene Diamond Fund.
This concert and the Choral Classics series are made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for choral music established by S. Donald Sussman in memory of Judith Arron and Robert Shaw.
Funding for the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast series is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This performance is part of Choral Classics.

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