Daniel Vega-Albela

Leora Zeitlin

There’s a new professional chamber orchestra in town – Camerata del Sol, a 15-member string ensemble that will make its debut this weekend in concerts in Las Cruces and El Paso. Made up of players from Las Cruces, El Paso, Ciudad Juarez and elsewhere in the country and the world, the group will perform works that aren’t played by large symphony orchestras, and that lend themselves to the more intimate sound of a chamber group.

Leora Zeitlin

Award-winning Cuban composer Yalil Guerra will visit Las Cruces as part of this year’s “Warner Hutchison Contemporary Arts Festival” at NMSU next week. Guerra, who won a Latin Grammy in 2012 and has been nominated six times, will speak to students and the public on Monday, Feb. 20 at 3:30 p.m. about the business of music, and will have his third String Quartet performed at the Festival concert on Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m.

Leora Zeitlin

Simon Gollo and Daniel Vega-Albela, violinists with La Catrina Quartet, have been working hard to build the string program at New Mexico State University, and to turn Las Cruces into what Gollo hopes will be “a very important city to study music in.” Gollo is now the conductor of a student orchestra that has drawn young musicians from the region and across the border, inspired and taught by the first-class musicians of the quartet. Next weekend, students will perform in a concert conducted by Gollo that will also feature Vega-Albela as the soloist, performing music of Tchaikovsky and Bach.

All-Latin American music concert by La Catrina Quartet

Dec 10, 2015
Leora Zeitlin

A concert with the Latin-Grammy Award winning La Catrina Quartet always includes something new, and tonight, the ensemble is offering not only a program entirely by Latin American composers but also its first foray into jazz. Violinist and founding member Daniel Vega-Albela came to KRWG to speak briefly with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about the music, including some arrangements by La Catrina’s cellist, Jorge Espinoza.


A rarely-heard piece of music for string quartet and tuba by jazz composer and musician Manny Albam is on the program this Sunday in a concert performed by La Catrina Quartet and tuba professor James Shearer. The group has performed Albam’s “Quintet for Tuba and Strings” before, but wanted to perform it for an audience again in advance of recording it. Violinist Daniel Vega-Albela came to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about the concert, providing background on the Albam piece, as well as an early string trio by Beethoven and the famous String Quartet by Maurice Ravel.

Leora Zeitlin

Though Mozart was one of the foremost pianists of his time and a virtuoso violinist, another instrument he truly adored was viola. He wrote his Sinfonia Concertante to showcase both violin and viola, but gave special attention to the lower instrument, which he himself most likely played in performances of the piece. Daniel Vega-Albela, first violinist and founding member of La Catrina Quartet, talks with KRWG’s Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about the work, which he and violist Jorge Martinez will perform this weekend in concert with the New Horizons Symphony Orchestra.

La Catrina Quartet: From Haydn to the Day of the Dead

Oct 29, 2013
Leora Zeitlin

Violinist Daniel Vega-Albela and violist Jorge Martinez-Rios named their string quartet “La Catrina” to give it an immediate Mexican association, and to draw on the iconic skeletal image’s message that life is fleeting. In this conversation with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin, they talk about the quartet’s name and its association with the upcoming “Dia de los Muertos” holiday, and the music that they love to play, from Haydn to Mendelssohn to signature pieces by Mexican composers such as Emmanuel Arias y Luna, Eduardo Gamboa and Manuel Ponce.