Category: Classical and Beyond

La Habana por su música

My mother left Cuba just before the Bay of Pigs in 1961. She was six years old then, and she has never been back. When I arrived in Havana in June, I became the first person from my…

Contemporary Cuban Pianists

Music fans might think of Cuba in terms of salsa or nueva trova, but the country’s pianistic tradition has built its world reputation. Few countries have had pianists as gifted as Cuba: from…

Conflicted Musical Identities

Training as a classical pianist in my native Ecuador was, to say the least, an identity struggle. As I learned the Western classical music canon—Chopin, Beethoven and others—I was…

A Cellist in Exile

When Pablo Casals first set foot in Puerto Rico in 1955—his mother’s native land—his life took a dramatic turn. At 79 years of age, any other musician of his artistic stature would have…

The Cactus Song

Can cactuses make music? The answer is definitely yes…

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