National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba wraps up first U.S. tour

Posted on: November 9, 2012

In Friday’s (11/9) Palm Beach Daily News (Florida), Jan Sjostrom writes, “When Cubanisimo! performed at SunFest 13 years ago, the Cuban dance band attracted 5,000 fans—and 40 anti-Castro protesters. This weekend, two concerts by the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba will open the 38th season of the Kravis Center’s Regional Arts series. What a difference time—and the easing of travel restrictions between the United States and Cuba—makes. The 52-year-old Havana-based orchestra has never toured the United States before. ‘It’s absolutely historic,’ said Sharon McDaniel, Regional Arts programming associate. ‘It’s such a big deal.’ … The orchestra has been greeted warmly during its 21-concert tour, which started Oct. 16 in Kansas City. The tour has traveled through the Midwest and East Coast, and will wrap at the Kravis Center, said Leonid Fleishaker, one of the tour’s producers. … The program features standards, such as Mendelssohn’s fourth symphony and violin concerto and Schubert’s fifth symphony. The Saturday concert opens with Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, which was written after a 1932 vacation in Havana, where he fell under the spell of Cuban dance music and Cuban percussion instruments. Mixed in are works by Cuban composers Ernesto Lecuona, Jorge López Marín, Ignacio Herrera and Guido López-Gavilan.”

Posted November 9, 2012