Puerto Rico Symphony to make Chicago debut in first concert on U.S. mainland in 18 years

Posted on: August 4, 2022

“With a more than 60-year history and ties to one of great cellists of the 20th century, Pablo Casals, as well as his namesake annual festival, the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra has become one of the most important classical institutions in Central America and the Caribbean Basin,” writes Kyle MacMillan in Tuesday’s (8/2) Chicago Sun-Times. “The orchestra remains little-known in the continental United States, but its profile will no doubt get a boost Aug. 6 when it presents a concert in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall…. Said music director and principal conductor Maximiano Valdés, … ‘People don’t know about us, so this is a good occasion to show what we do.’ Not only will the appearance mark the 68-member orchestra’s debut in the Windy City, but it will also be the ensemble’s first performance on the U.S. mainland since 2004…. The concert is presented by [Chicago’s] National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture…. Valdés, a former music director of New York’s Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, … estimates that about 98 percent of the players in this ensemble come from Puerto Rico…. The ensemble will highlight its homeland in Chicago, presenting … a program of popular and classical works by composers associated with Puerto Rico.”