Celebrate the Music of the Americas in Concert with the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic

By Kelly MacConomy

The Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic ends their spectacular 2023/2024 season under the baton of Music Director and Conductor Anna Binneweg. This is Ms. Binneweg’s debut season with the popular home-grown orchestra, now in its 52nd year.

Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic music director and condictor Anna Binneweg celebrates the Music of the Americas in the finale program of her debut 2023/2024 season with the 52 year-old orchestra.
The orchestra performs in the majestic auditorium of the George Washington Masonic Memorial. In the final performance of the season on May 10 at 7:30pm, the orchestra celebrates the vibrant Music of the Americas with an eclectic program that’s certain to engage as well as entertain.
The first half of Sunday’s program features a new work by contemporary Puerto Rican composer Angelica Negròn’s eloquently passionate Tornesol, which means iridescent. The composition is an exposition of color, texture, and vibrant expression of change as it segues into each movement. The music is inspired by the existential zen of finding joy in the simplicity of the world around us.
Distinguished guitar soloist Colin Davin follows, performing the stylistically arrousing Concierto del Sur by Mexican composer Manuel Ponce. Premiering in Uruguay in the 1940’s, this provocative piece evokes the Iberian rhythms of Seville, Spain and the nostalgic melodies of old Mexico. The slow movement is sultry and seductive. The final movement, Festivo, culminates in a virtuoso flamenco showpiece that will elevate your spirits right out of your seats. You’ll be craving tapas and tamales!
The second half of the program spotlights the quintessential American composer Aaron Copland’s El Salón México. Inspired by Copeland’s visit to a dance hall in Mexico City in 1933, this composition represents the rich cultural diversity of the Central American diaspora in all its splendor.
Classic Copeland at its liveliest.
Aaron Copeland’s El Salón México leads off the second half of the program. It’s one of the most endearing and timeless musical portraits depicting the vibrancy of Latin America culture.
Alberto Ginastera’s Estancia Suite is next, taking us to life characterized by the ranch culture of Argentina. The Danzòn No. 2 by Arturo Márquez rounds out the whirlwind musical tour of the Americas delivering a finale inspired by the Cuban Habanera.
But then there’s more! Maestro Binneweg and the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic promise a surprise ending to the 2023/2024 season that you won’t want to miss!
The intimacy of the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic concert experience results from the staging of the orchestra in the magnificent auditorium of the George Washington Masonic Memorial. Photo Scott MacConomy

The staging of the orchestra in the Masonic Temple auditorium permits an intimacy with the performers that no other local or national symphonic venue enjoys. It’s as if you are in synchronicity with the instrumentation and one with the artists creating a symbiosis of sight and sound.

Front row seating is an arm’s length from the strings and horns. It’s an indescribable delight. Last concert, lucky concertgoers seated nearby the grand piano accompaniment of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, on its 100th anniversary by acclaimed local Gershwin expert pianist Thomas Pandolfi, experienced something transcendent. If you’ve ever been very close to a piano during a performance executed by a master, you feel the tonal expression of every note and phrasing.
Come join the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic in a musical fiesta celebrating the Americas this Friday evening, May 10. Tickets are $35 for adults, $30 for seniors, and $5 for youth 18 and under. And going fast!

Kelly MacConomy

Kelly MacConomy is the Arts Editor for The Zebra Press.

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