Daniel Vega-Albela


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.