Puerto Rico Symphony, giving free concerts after hurricane’s devastation

Posted on: October 16, 2017

“There hasn’t been much to celebrate here since Hurricane Maria devastated the island three weeks ago,” writes Simón Rios on Friday (10/13) at Boston radio station WBUR. “Some of its residents’ spirits may get a lift Friday as the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra is set to perform for the first time since the hurricane forced it to suspend its regular schedule. Rehearsing in San Juan’s symphony hall, the orchestra has been preparing to give free concerts across the island, and according to conductor Maximiano Valdés, the … ‘idea is to play for those who need more…. There are many people left with nothing here.’ The orchestra will perform both classical compositions and popular Puerto Rican music. The theme of their performances will be loss, survival and rebuilding after the hurricane…. Trombonist Miguel Rivera, president of the local musicians’ union, said … the needs of the Puerto Rican people go beyond food and water. They need culture, too.… The orchestra only has a few dates scheduled at this point….  They plan to perform through November not only in the capital city, but also in smaller cities and within the interior of the island…. The Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra has members from around the Americas, including Chile, Venezuela and the U.S.”

Posted October 16, 2017

Pictured: Maximiano Valdés, music director of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, conducts the symphony during a rehearsal. Photo by Jesse Costa/WBUR