Sundays at 3:00 pm
“Fiesta!,” says the Uruguayan-born composer Elbio Barilari, “features the hottest Latin-American music from the 16th to the 21st centuries.” Mr Barilari, a faculty member of the University of Illinois at Chicago, is at the helm for this trip through the hidden pleasures of Latino concert music, including the magical rhythms of Silvestre Revueltas and Heitor Villa-Lobos and the power of symphonic tango. Plus, the series shares little-known treasures from the Latin-American Baroque, and celebrates classical guitar through the music of Agustin Barrios, Antonio Lauro, and Leo Brouwer.
Host and Production Biographies
Elbio Barilari, Host
Elbio Rodríguez Barilari was born in 1953 in Montevideo, Uruguay, where he studied at the Conservatório Universitario and with Coriún Aharonián, Graciela Paraskevaídis and Héctor Tosar before continuing his education in Brazil with Eduardo Bertola, Hans-Joachim Koellreutter, Gilberto Mendes, Joaquín Orellana and Conrado Silva at the Cursos Latinoamericanos de Música Contemporáne. He subsequently studied in Germany on an invitation from the Deutscher Musikrat, with Milko Kelemen, Helmut Lachenmann and Dieter Schnebel; he was also mentored while in Europe by Luciano Berio, Konrad Boehmer, Otto Donner and Misha Mengelberg. As a clarinetist and saxophonist, from 1994 to 1997 Barilari led the Barilari Quinteto and organized Planeta Blues, the first Uruguayan blues band to tour Europe and to record a compact disc; during the 1990s, he also led the fourteen-piece La Banda Oriental.
Since settling in the United States in 1998, Barilari has lectured at the University of Chicago and the Instituto Cervantes and given workshops in Chile and Paraguay; he is currently on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has collaborated annually with the Grant Park Music Festival since helping to organize a tribute concert to Astor Piazzolla in 2002, for which he was also commissioned to write his Bandoneón Concerto. In June 2006, the Grant Park Orchestra, conducted by Carlos Kalmar, premiered his Canyengue at Millennium Park; that same season at Grant Park he also recruited and prepared the orchestra of native South American instruments for the performance of Ariel Ramírez’s Misa Criolla. Barilari is also the founder of “Global Warming,” a Chicago ensemble devoted to the exploration of various cultural traditions.
Elbio Barilari has been closely involved with educational and community affairs, having served as an advisor to the Ministry of Education and Culture in Uruguay, Uruguayan delegate to the cultural section of MERCOSUR, and Deputy Commissioner of the Committee for the Reform of the State of Illinois Code of Education. He has also been a member of the Community Advisory Board of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 2001, and was appointed to the CSO Programming Committee in 2006.
As a composer, Barilari has received commissions from the Grant Park Music Festival, Concertante di Chicago, Chicago Park District, Chicago Composer Forums, Orquesta Filarmonica de Montevideo, pianists Maria João Pires and Marcel Worms and guitarist Eduardo Fernandez, and a grant from the Sara Lee Foundation. In addition to works for orchestra, chamber ensembles and solo instruments, he has provided scores for more than forty plays in the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. In 2007, his Los Cantos for Soprano, Choir and Orchestra was premiered at the Civic Opera House of Chicago to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Chicago Children’s Choir, with soprano Jonita Lattimore as the soloist, the Lyric Opera Orchestra and the Chicago Children’s Choir under Josephine Lee. His Lincolniana, incorporating texts by Carl Sandburg and Walt Whitman and featuring jazz trumpeter Orbert Davis, Goodman Theatre actor–director Henry Godinez and the Ondas Ensemble, was first heard at the Ravinia Festival in September 2008.
Barilari has published a novel (Lugares Comunes, 1987), four collections of short stories (Posibles Versiones , Fuera de la Nada , Alarmas y Excursiones  and La Mitad del Infinito ), and a book on Uruguayan folk and popular music (Aquí se canta, 1982, co-authored with Juan Capagorry). He has also served as music critic and columnist for the newspaper El País as well as editor-in-chief for La Raza, the leading American-Hispanic weekly, and director of its monthly publication Arena Cultural.
Cydne Gillard, Producer
Cydne Gillard takes true pleasure in producing Fiesta! Each hour of research, recording, and editing is full of new wonderful experiences, music, and stories from Spain and Latin America.
At WFMT, Cydne has produced live broadcast events, such as the Grant Park Music Festival, The World Orchestra for Peace, and the London Symphony Orchestra. Currently she produces Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin, Fiesta!, and a 13 part series on Russian culture and music.
In the late 1980s, Cydne organized the California Summer Arts Chamber Music workshop at California State University and she has spent many summers volunteering at the Marlboro Music Festival. In addition to holding many different positions related to classical music, she is an amateur musician- “I am a well-trained bad bassoonist and avid recorder player,” she says. Cydne has played the bassoon with the Morse Wind Ensemble at Yale University, the Windham Hill Chamber Orchestra, Vermont Bach Festival, Arkansas Music Festival, Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, and the Livermore Symphony.
Since moving to Chicago in 1993, Cydne has taught music to children, coached music ensembles and beginning band at the Chicago Waldorf School, and currently has a small private studio of recorder students.
Cydne lives in Evanston with her family and Lucy, her black Labrador.
Sara Murphy, Associate Producer
Sara Murphy is a recent graduate of Indiana University, where she achieved degrees in Journalism and Cultural Studies, and hosted a late-night student radio music hour. A major educational radio enthusiast, she came to WFMT as an intern for Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughin, and proceeded to hold the pledge drive bagel tray hostage until someone hired her for real. Originally from Texas, Sara deeply enjoys discovering new facets of Latin American and Hispanic music.