The rich tapestry of contemporary music was brought to life by the sublime talent of young cellist Natalia Garita Picado on September 23, 2023, at the prestigious Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica. Music enthusiasts were treated to the riveting piece "Sevillana a Dos" for Violoncello and Piano, composed by the internationally recognized Veronica Rodriguez Pellegrini.
Natalia Garita Picado, known for her deep passion for studying contemporary pieces penned by women composers, captivated the audience with her talent and dedication. Her mentorship under the distinguished Professor Raul Barreto at Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica significantly shaped her musical prowess. Notably, Professor Barreto and the composer, Veronica Rodriguez Pellegrini, had first connected in Puerto Rico at Festival Cellistiko 2022, where Professor Barreto was honored to perform another of Veronica's creations.
Veronica Rodriguez Pellegrini, a celebrated violinist and composer, has performed with world-renowned orchestras including The New World Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica de Extremadura, Orquesta Sinfonica de la Radio y Television Espanola, and Orquesta Sinfonica de Puerto Rico. Her compositions have echoed in concert halls from Madrid and Extremadura to Florida, Philadelphia, Puerto Rico, England, Israel, and Cadiz.
Recently, her piece "Las Carboneras" wowed audiences at the Coca Cola Music Hall alongside flamenco legends Lolita, Rosario, and Antonio Carmona. Furthermore, the Cuarteto Boriken gave life to her "Intro and Buleria" in San Juan, Puerto Rico, highlighting the diverse range of her compositions.
The performance at Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica demonstrated Natalia Garita Picado's mastery of the cello, bringing out the full emotional range and technical complexity of "Sevillana a Dos." Her sensitive phrasing and dynamic expression enthralled the audience. Meanwhile, her accompanist, renowned pianist Juana Cortes, provided the perfect harmonic foundation for Picado's cello to soar.
Cortes, professor of piano at the National University's School of Music, is an acclaimed performer in her own right. She has played with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica and given solo recitals across Central America and Europe. Her rapport with Picado was evident in their seamless musical dialogue.
In the audience were distinguished guests like the Rector of the University Dr. Rodrigo Arias and the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Maria Teresa Obregon Zamora. Dr. Arias congratulated the performers, calling the concert "a testament to the bright future of Costa Rican music." Minister Zamora also remarked on the importance of promoting compositions by women like Veronica Rodriguez Pellegrini.
The concert marked an important milestone for Natalia Garita Picado as she embarks on her professional career after graduating with top honors from the university. She plans to further her studies in Spain next year, having received a prestigious scholarship to study with the Royal Conservatory of Madrid.
This performance also created valuable exposure for Veronica Rodriguez Pellegrini's catalogue of works. Attendees were thrilled to experience a pioneering composition melding Spanish folk influences with contemporary sensibilities. Many eagerly awaited Picado's interpretation of more pieces by Pellegrini and other leading women composers.
Date: September 23, 2023
Venue: Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica
Performance: "Sevillana a Dos" for Violoncello and Piano
Artist: Natalia Garita Picado
Composer: Veronica Rodriguez Pellegrini
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