MONTEVIDEO – The new music director of the National Symphony Orchestra of Uruguay told EFE that Saturday evening’s season-opening concert would be very eclectic and include a performance by a marimba soloist with orchestral accompaniment.
Diego Naser also said that for the first time the audience would be allowed to take photos and videos during the concert, as long as they do not use flash, their cellphones are in airplane mode and they use the hashtag #Ossodre when sharing their images on social media.
“We want to break away a little bit from that paradigm of turning off the cellphone. We want them to share (their images of) us,” the young Uruguayan conductor and violinist said, adding that the idea also was to attract a younger audience.
Naser said the concert, which will begin at 7:00 pm Saturday at the Sodre National Auditorium in Montevideo, will begin with a performance of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” followed by “Concerto No. 2 for Marimba” by Brazilian composer and soloist Ney Rosauro and then Richard Strauss’ “Rosenkavalier Suite.”
Referring to the second part of the concert, Naser said it was “rare to hear an symphony orchestra accompany a solo percussionist” and even more odd for the composer himself to be the one playing the instrument.
The modern marimba is a type of xylophone whose resonator pipes are now made of metal; it is the successor of an instrument that originated in Africa and, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “was taken to Latin America by African slaves (or possibly originated through pre-Hispanic contact).”
Naser said he invited Rosauro, a composer with whom he had worked at Brazil’s Porto Alegre Symphony Orchestra, because the Sodre orchestra wanted to “begin the season with a big-league artist.”
“We know that in Brazil they always come with incredible rhythms and a freshness that’s very strong and very clear. We wanted that at the start of the season,” the conductor said.
Naser has come to the National Symphony Orchestra of Uruguay after working in 2016 with the symphony orchestra of Spain’s Region of Murcia, where he conducted Fernando Sor’s opera “Il Telemaco nell’isola di Calipso” (Telemachus on Calypso’s Island).