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Concert | ‘Ode to the Fallen Trees’ by Alfonso Fuentes Colón with Oskar Espina Ruiz

Alfonso Fuentes Colón, Puerto Rican composter and pianist; Oskar Espina Ruiz, clarinetist

March 9, 2023 · 7:00 pm8:30 pm · Richardson Auditorium

Program in Latin American Studies

Join the Program in Latin American Studies for a special concert by Puerto Rican composer and classical and jazz pianist Alfonso Fuentes Colón, former VISAPUR fellow, which will take place on Thursday, March 9, from 7:00pm – 8:30pm, at Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium. Ode to the Fallen Trees is an orchestral piece influenced by the catastrophic aftermath of hurricane María on Puerto Rico that Fuentes started writing during his summer stay at Princeton in 2018. The program will include a version of the Ode for piano and clarinet, with special guest clarinetist Oskar Espina Ruiz, and improvisations of traditional, classical, and popular musical pieces from the Caribbean and Latino traditions. This concert is free and open to the public.

Alfonso Fuentes Colón is a Puerto Rican composer, concert improvisation pianist, commercial musician, poet and educator, with international presence. He has produced a profoundly passionate, artistic, diverse, and inclusive canon of work, an endeavor that is still ongoing. He graduated from the New England Conservatory during the innovating times of 1980’s. As former Interim Dean of Academics Affairs and current Professor at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, he has successfully developed and implemented new teaching methods. Fuentes has been a visiting artist at the State University of New York at Albany, Hunter College-CUNY, Sichuan Conservatory of Music, Capital Normal University of Beijing, Music Mountain Academy, among others, and participated in various music forums in Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, Panamá, Puerto Rico, Venezuela. Fuentes has been advocated before the Legislative Assembly for the development of music creation and local music employment in Puerto Rico. In appreciation to his contribution, La Corporación Arpegio (The Arpeggio Corporation) has created the Professor Alfonso Luis Fuentes Colón Award. As a Visiting Fellow in Princeton (PLAS-VISAPUR, 2018) Fuentes worked in the orchestration of the first movement of his concerto for clarinet and large orchestra, Oda para los árboles caídos (Ode to the Fallen Trees), inspired by the devastation caused by Hurricane María in Puerto Rico in 2017. This work constitutes a message of hope.

Oskar Espina Ruiz has been described by the press as a “masterful soloist” (La Nación, Costa Rica) and a “highly expressive clarinetist” (Nevskoye Vremia, Russia). He has performed at major concert halls and festivals to high critical acclaim, including concerto performances at the Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia, and recitals in New York City, Washington DC, Moscow, Madrid, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. He has appeared as soloist with the St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony (Russia), St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic (Russia), Orquesta Sinfónica de la Ciudad de Asunción (Paraguay) and Bilbao Symphony (Spain).

The Department of Music, Humanities Council, Effron Center for the Study of America, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS), and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

This musical event is free and open to the public. Register here.

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