KSO to host U.S. debut of Chilean symphony

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Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Music Director Julian Kuerti holds one of four copies of Enrique Soro’s “Sinfonia Romantica.” Courtesy Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra will host an international-themed concert, including the first U.S. performance of 20th-century Chilean composer Enrique Soro.

The Music of the Americas concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 4, in Miller Auditorium, at 2200 Auditorium Drive in Kalamazoo.

The orchestra will feature the work Soro, Antonín Dvořák and Aaron Copland. The night will begin with Dvořák’s overture “My Country,” followed by Copland’s “Old American Songs” featuring baritone Derrick Parker.

The event will end with the North American debut of Soro’s “Sinfonia Romantica,” which is considered to be the first symphony created in Chile.

KSO Music Director Julian Kuerti spent several years investigating and researching the composition, working directly with the family of the composer, specifically his grandson Roberto Doniez Soro.

“I spent years reading and rereading the original materials — copies of manuscripts of Soro’s score, parts used in the early renderings, sketches and alternate versions,” Kuerti said. “Through careful study and research, we identified and eradicated hundreds of small mistakes that had slipped into existing material. We corrected wrong notes, errors in the dynamics, and in some cases, restored passages to instruments that had been changed or omitted.

“The symphony is written in a great romantic tradition. Soro had a wonderful gift for melody, harmonic invention and orchestration.”

Kuerti in 2015 received one of four copies of the original manuscript. The others are held by the Enrique Soro Foundation, the University of Chile and the Chilean National Library.

“Sinfonia Romántica” premiered in Santiago, Chile, in 1921 and was performed again in Berlin in 1922 and Madrid in 1923.

Tickets are available here.

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