What makes busy musicians want to start a new ensemble? For Venezuelan cellist Horacio Contreras, who teaches in Wisconsin and performs frequently around the world, it was a yearning to play with his old friend Simon Gollo, who teaches violin here at NMSU. They had met “more years ago than I want to say,” and later, he met pianist Ana Maria Otamendi in Venezuela. “I’d like to pay with Simon again, and what about playing with Ana Maria?,” he thought, as he recounted in this interview at the KRWG studios with Leora Zeitlin. “It’s the right moment to do it, even though we have so many things to do, just because it would be so much fun!” Now the three have formed the Reveron Trio, which will make its debut concert on Saturday at Good Samaritan Auditorium at 7:00 p.m.
The ensemble is named for the famous Venezuelan artist Armando Reveron, and pays tribute to the country where all three musicians were born and raised. Gollo and Contreras grew up in the famed “El Sistema,” a nation-wide music education program that, after almost 50 years, has made Venezuela the most significant classical music center in Latin America. “Music is a human right,” Gollo noted in discussing the program. “It’s not a luxury, and shouldn’t be any more for anybody. That’s why El Sistema became such an important program in the world.” Otamendi joins Gollo and Contreras from her new position as professor of collaborative piano at Louisiana State University. She worked for six years as a vocal coach for singers, and says that as a pianist, she learned from the experience that “We need to breathe like singers do, and we need to sing on our instruments the way singers do.”
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