Saturdays at 6:00 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, Leo Brouwer, and more.
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; as well as 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.
Daniel Goldberg, Producer
Daniel Goldberg is an award-winning producer for the WFMT Radio Network and 98.7WFMT. He began working for WFMT in 2008 as an overnight board operator and quickly moved his way up to producer. He currently produces the Lyric Opera of Chicago Broadcasts, Ryan Opera Center Recital Series, and Fiesta! with Elbio Barilari. He has also helped produce The New York Philharmonic This Week (New York Festivals Winner), Studs Terkel: Montage of a Life (New York Festivals Grand Winner), 2015 Bravo! Vail Music Festival, Eric on Opera, WFMT’s American Opera Series, El Paso Pro Musica Festival, Collectors’ Corner, Jazz with Bob Parlocha, Through the Night with Peter van de Graff, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
Along with producing classical music programs, Mr. Goldberg records local Chicago bands and helps them produce and distribute their music. His latest release is Bob Dey’s Dream by Bob Dey’s Tank Engine Man from the Plus Tapes label.
He lives in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago with his wife Melanie and pit-bull Andre, where he keeps his large collection of new and vintage LPs and his ever growing collection of recording and music gear.