The Vega String Quartet and William Ransom play Classic Piano Quintets
Mar
17
to Mar 18

The Vega String Quartet and William Ransom play Classic Piano Quintets

The Vega String Quartet, Quartet in Residence at Emory University, is the talk of the chamber music community and internationally renowned.  After wowing Pro Musica audiences several seasons ago, they return to join pianist William Ransom to perform some of the great piano quintets. You won’t want to miss their dazzling playing which the New York Times described as having "a kind of clean intoxication to it, pulling the listener along.” The concert are on Friday, March 17th at 5pm and Sunday, March 19th at 4pm at St Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo, and are a must-hear as this year’s only string based quintet.

 

The Vega Quartet has toured throughout Asia, Europe and North America and performed in major venues including Carnegie Hall and the Royal Academy of Music, London. The Quartet has appeared at a myriad of music festivals and additionally held the title of Quartet in Residence at the Van Cliburn Institute, appeared on the artist roster of Carnegie Hall's New York City Neighborhood Concert series, and the Woodruff Arts Center's Art for Learning program. As music-lovers, we are inspired by the few composers who excelled in piano quintets - Schumann, Brahms, Dvořák, Fauré, Saint-Saëns, Dohnányi, and Shostakovich. These Pro Musica concerts feature nearly half of them.

 

Friday’s concert will include works by Handel-Halvorsen, Glière, Mozart, and Dohnányi. The quintessential romantic Piano Quintet by Hungarian Dohnányi shows his incredible talent, recognized from a young age by Brahms. Handel-Halvorsen’s popular Passacaglia for violin and viola, written in 1893, was based on the final movement of Handel's harpsichord Suite No. 7 in G minor. The key of G minor was an infrequent and particular choice for Mozart, making his Piano Quartet an especially interesting piece. His major works in that key share qualities of solemnity, restlessness, and melancholy.

Sunday’s concert will include works by Saint-Saëns Dvořák, and Moszkowski. Saint-Saëns was truly a prodigy, as he started composing when aged three. Saint-Saëns Piano Quintet in A minor Op 14, his earliest composition, was dedicated to his great-aunt who gave him his first piano lessons. The piano plays a dominant virtuoso role, often in opposition to the string quartet, but also engaging in dialogue, ensemble, contrapuntal, and unison passages. Dvořák’s Piano Quintet in A Major is rife with energetic virtuosity and spiced with contrapuntal variety; it’s said to be as much fun to play as to hear! While many argue that Romantic finales end on softer movements, this spirited finale is quite the opposite.

 

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $250 and $350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3, the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert half an hour before performance time.

 

Details of all Pro Musica’s concerts and Patron Membership are on our web site, www.promusicasma.org, or contact us at promusicasma@aol.com

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Internationally Renowned Classical Pianist, Anton Nel, in Concert
Mar
11
to Mar 12

Internationally Renowned Classical Pianist, Anton Nel, in Concert

Beloved pianist and master of the Steinway, Anton Nel, will make his San Miguel debut on March 11th and 12th, Saturday & Sunday at 5 pm at St. Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo. An international award-winner since the age of 12, he has toured the world for over 4 decades, playing in the most prestigious venues.

 

Following his auspicious debut with Beethoven’s C Major Concerto after only two years of study, the Johannesburg native captured first prizes in all the major South African competitions while still in his teens and became a well-known radio and television personality. With an active repertoire of more than 100 works for piano and orchestra, Nel is renowned as an acclaimed Beethoven interpreter. Having performed the concerto cycle several times, he has also given all-Beethoven solo recitals, complete cycles of the violin and cello sonatas, and most recently a highly successful run of the Diabelli Variations as part of Moises Kaufman’s play “33 Variations”. His recordings include four solo CDs, several chamber music recordings, and works for piano and orchestra by Franck, Faure, and Saint-Saens. 

Saturday’s concert will include Debussy, Beethoven, Schumann and Kodály. Debussy’s charming masterpiece, Suite Bergamasque, was completed in 1905, inspired by the poetry of Verlaine. Schumann’s Faschingsschwank aus Wien, translated as Carnival Merriment of Vienna; Fantasy Scenes, was described by Schumann as a "romantic spectacle", while a critic described it thus “Flashes of humor appear at every turn; skyrockets of wit and unbridled merriment soar upwards into the skies from all sides”. Beethoven’s “Waldstein” Sonata opens with a searching Adagio molto that leads the listener seamlessly into the exhilarating Rondo finale. Hungarian composer Kodály was deeply connected to folk music until travels in Europe expanded his musical horizons. He then found profound inspiration in Debussy, going on to compose Meditation on a Motive of Debussy in his fellow composer's honor. 
 

Sunday’s concert will feature Haydn, Debussy, Granados and Schubert. This is the centenary of the tragic death of pianist and composer Enrique Granados, whose ship was torpedoed by a German submarine after leaving the US in 1916. We will hear Granados’ Allegro de Concierto in C Major, which evokes flamenco dance through its rapid guitar-strumming. Schubert's artistic immortality was also achieved during a prolific, short life and the Sonata in B-flat Major was his last, and incredibly brilliant, work. Another highlighted composer, Haydn, lived the transition from Baroque to Classical; his Sonata in A-flat has many Baroque embellishments and a free form, which Neil is adept at making meaningful. Nel will also perform three of Debussy’s Preludes, inspired by Bach.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $250 and $350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3, the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert half an hour before performance time.

Details of all Pro Musica’s concerts and Patron Membership are on our web site, www.promusicasma.org, or contact us at promusicasma@aol.com

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Mar
3
to Mar 5

Los Angeles' Pacific Piano Trio in San Miguel Concert Debut

"Top string quartets pop up everywhere, but first-rate piano trios are rare. A concert by the Pacific Trio was a special treat, as the trio demonstrated in convincing manner, why it should be considered one of the best." We couldn’t agree more with the Los Angeles Times assessment.  Each of the artists has an illustrious career; for example John Walz is the principal cellist of Dudamel's Los Angeles Opera together their work is utterly sublime. Don’t miss their San Miguel debut at St Paul’s Church, Friday, March 3, at 5 pm and Sunday, March 5 at 4 pm.

Since their founding in 1979, the Pacific Piano Trio; Walz, Roger Wilke, violin and Edith Orloff, piano; has performed over 1,000 concerts worldwide. When they aren’t wowing audiences far flung parts of the globe, they hold the title of trio-in-residence at the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program in southern California. They have been making recordings since 1989 from Brahms and Shostakovich to the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Czech National Orchestra in Prague. Their most recent CD, “American Composers” highlighted the music of Gershwin, Bernstein, Copland and Muczynski.

On Friday, audiences will enjoy piano trios from Hayden, Turina and Brahms, among others. When Hayden composed Piano Trio No. 25, it was a return to greatness after a fallow period in his life Turina, a talented Spanish pianist and conductor, wrote pieces in all genres, however his works tended to fall into three groups, which are represented in the movements of his piano trio: a cosmopolitan first movement, a Spanish nationalistic second movement, and a final fusion of the two. Brahms' Trio was composed at the height of his career, although he was struggling with musical and personal changes, which led him to abandon the composition, but he then returned to it two years later with gusto and the great master work we know today emerged...

On Sunday, concertgoers will relish works by Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Bloch, Gershwin, and more. Beethoven's Piano Trio was dedicated to Austrian Prince Karl Lichnowsky, patron to Mozart as well. Infamous for his fickle patronage, he sued Mozart on his deathbed and insulted Beethoven publicly, causing the composer to smash the Prince’s in his home. Gershwin's Suite from “Porgy and Bess” is one of the most beloved works of American music, in part due to the extensive research that captured the true essence of the Gullah culture of South Carolina during that time. Swiss-born Ernest Bloch is best known for his composition of Jewish-influenced music, though his works span many genres. Bloch's extraordinarily beautiful Three Nocturnes demonstrate his gift for writing exquisite chamber music.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $250 and $350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3, the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert half an hour before performance time.

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Internationally Acclaimed Amernet String Quartet Returns to San Miguel
Feb
24
to Feb 25

Internationally Acclaimed Amernet String Quartet Returns to San Miguel

The Amernet String Quartet is heralded as one of today’s most talented string quartets. Described as “complex” with an “old world flavor”, the group has been revered for its “exceptional technical ability” and “musical integrity.” Returning to San Miguel after their raved-about debut for Pro Musica several seasons ago, they will perform two concerts, Friday, February 24th and Saturday, February 25th at 5 pm at St. Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo. Prepare to be dazzled by the flawless intonation of one of America’s greatest ensembles.

 

The Amernet’s performance schedule has taken the quartet across the Americas, to Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. They have collaborated with many of today’s most prominent artists and ensembles including the Tokyo and Ying quartets. Currently the Ensemble-in-Residence at Florida International University in Miami, the Amernet is joined this season by second violinist Tomas Cotik as they push forward with their new avant-garde album, Dissenting Voices released by New Focus Recordings. It features rarely-heard works by Sofia Gubaidulina, Shostakovich, and Mieczysław Weinberg, one of the most important, though rarely-cited, Soviet composers.

 

On Friday, the Amernet will perform works by Mozart, Grieg and Schulhoff. Mozart’s only accepted commission, the "Prussian Quartets", were composed for Friedrich Wilhelm II, the King of Prussia, who was an excellent cellist. We will hear the D Major Quartet, with its prominent and truly impressive cello passages, rivalled only by the Boccherini and Haydn quartets. Grieg's Quartet No. 1, composed at a farm in the Hardanger region, home of the Hardanger fiddle and fiddling style, inspired Grieg’s own unique folk-music style. At a time when serial music, folk-influenced music, and experimental approaches to tonality were being explored, Schulhoff supported avant-garde music and enthusiastically played ragtime. He was Jewish and died tragically in a Nazi concentration camp.

 

On Saturday, the concert will include Haydn, Dvořák and Lutosławski. The "Rider", a nickname for Haydn’s Quartet in G Minor, derives its moniker from the last movement which rhythmically opens with an evocative ‘contest’ between the first violin and the others. Dvořák's String Quartet in G Major was composed at the end of his stay in America; as Director of the National Conservatory of Music, he explored American music by incorporating African-American and Native American music in his compositions. Polish composer Lutosławski lived through tragedy; his father was executed by a firing squad prior to trial for his loyalties and later his compositions were censured by Stalin’s regime. Despite this, he went on to receive Poland's highest honor, the Order of the White Eagle.  We will hear his String Quartet composed in 1964.

 

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $250 and $350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3, the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert half an hour before performance time.

 

Details of all Pro Musica’s concerts and Patron Membership are on our web site, www.promusicasma.org, or contact us at promusicasma@aol.com

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David Coucheron with his 1725 Stradivarius plays for Pro Musica Concerts
Feb
14
to Feb 15

David Coucheron with his 1725 Stradivarius plays for Pro Musica Concerts

Norwegian-born violinist, David Coucheron, started playing at the age of three. He joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in 2010 as the youngest concertmaster in any major U.S. orchestra and now this incredible young musician will be honoring San Miguel when he performs with his 1725 Stradivarius on Friday and Saturday, February 17 and 18 at 4 pm at St. Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo.

David Coucheron has an extensive orchestral and chamber music repertoire, and regularly plays many of the world’s greatest venues, like Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, and at many prestigious events, such as the Olympic Winter Games. As a soloist, he has played with illustrious orchestras world-wide, including the BBC Symphony. Holder of two MFAs, he serves as the Artistic Director for the Kon Tiki Chamber Music Festival in his hometown of Oslo, Norway. As an active recording artist, he has two albums with his sister, “David and Julie” (Naxos/Mudi) and “Debut” (Naxos).

Friday’s concert will include Vitali’s Chaconne. Most of this Baroque composer' violin works have long been known, but the recent discovery of an original manuscript sheds new light on this popular classic. Also featured will be Grieg’s Sonata in G major for Piano and Violin, composed during the first three weeks of his honeymoon, and which includes folk elements, like the springar, a dance meant for courting couples.

In 1934, Franz Waxman had come to America after composing cinema scores in Germany, such as Marlene Dietrich's The Blue Angel. He had more incredible successes in America, scoring Bride of Frankenstein, Sunset Boulevard, and A Place in the Sun, receiving two Academy Awards. We will hear Waxman's Fantasy, a virtuoso work, which plays on Sarasate's Carmen Fantasie for violin and piano.

On Saturday, Coucheron will perform a Scherzo from the multiple-composer F-A-E Sonata. It is a very unusual piece being the result of a collaboration between Schumann, Brahms, and Albert Dietrich, one of Schumann's students. The program also includes Mendelssohn’s great classic, the Sonata for Violin and Piano.  Moving on to Christian Sinding, hailing from Coucheron’s home country, he came from a family of artists: a painter, sculptor, and an actress. Conflicting stories regarding Nazi party affiliation have tarnished his reputation, but audiences will surely delight in Coucheron’s spectacular interpretation of his Suite for violin and piano. The Pro Musica audience will also hear Saint-Saëns’ superb Violin Sonata, a brilliant and musically varied work, this sonata has been associated with Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $250 and $350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3, the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert half an hour before performance time.

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Opera: Madame Butterfly
Feb
10
to Feb 12

Opera: Madame Butterfly

According to the records of the Municipality of San Miguel our production of Puccini’s “Madam Butterfly” on February 10 and 12th, 2017 at the Angela Peralta theater will be the first ever performance of the opera in San Miguel for over a century.  The story is based on actual events when Tsuru Yamamuri, the young geisha who gave birth to the child of a United States Navy officer, was known to the people of Nagasaki as O-Cio-San – or Madame Butterfly. Author John Luther Long drew literary substance to write a short story which David Belasco turned into a theatrical tragedy. On a trip to London, Puccini saw a performance of that Madame Butterfly and immediately acquired the adaptation rights from the author. How do you say no to “an impulsive Italian with tears in his eyes and both arms around your neck?” 

Puccini attuned his ear to the sonorities of the mystifying Japanese language by listening to the actress Sada Yacco and then the wife of the Japanese ambassador who sang him melodies from her homeland.  The composer pored over books on the customs of the Empire of the Rising Sun with all the meticulousness of an ethnographer. Against this backdrop of imaginary reality the Meisson-like fragility of the abandoned heroine stands out; she is Puccini's most moving heroine, and she was his personal favourite.

 

In the opera she becomes Cio-Cio San and the role in Pro Musica’s production will be sung by the remarkable young rising star of Mexican opera, lyric soprano Dhyana Arom.  Dhyana has risen from being a relative unknown into a singer with an unusually large vocal range capable of tackling the most demanding roles in the space of just a few years.  Dhyana was an instant success when she recently sang Dona Elvira in Don Giovanni, as she was as Frasquita in Carmen .  Her career has also included leading roles in operas by composers including Haydn and Cimarosa, as well s soloist in Handel’s Messiah, and much more.  I have no doubt that her assured stage presence and the power and beauty of her voice will make her a huge hit in our Butterfly.

Additionally, help support a large number of young musicians in San Miguel by attending our Gala Fundraiser on Tuesday February 7th at 5 pm in a magnificent private Hacienda in Los Frailes. The evening will commence with a champagne and canapé reception and the Pro Music Youth Orchestra playing a selection of classical music from their repertoire.  Founded a year ago and some 40 strong, the orchestra is already at music Academy standard. This will be followed by a three course, served dinner with wines in the magnificent sala of the Hacienda.  The evening culminates with the stars of the opera singing after dinner, with songs and arias from many different idioms. Your presence will support the Pro Musica Youth Orchestra and all our other Education Outreach Programs at our only Fundraiser of the year. 

Don’t miss Madam Butterfly at the Teatro Angela Peralta on Friday, February 10th at 7 pm and Sunday February 12th at 5 pm. Tickets from as little as $250 pesos are now on sale at all our usual sales outlets, and through our website

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Amit Peled, Internationally Renowned Israeli Cellist, to Perform for Pro Musica
Feb
2
to Feb 3

Amit Peled, Internationally Renowned Israeli Cellist, to Perform for Pro Musica

Considered one of the most Influential Music Professionals of 2015 by Musical America, Amit Peled is regarded as a powerful force in classical music. Standing a remarkable 6’5” and an ex-basketball professional, the Israeli cellist has been described as larger than life, connecting with audiences in unique ways, and making classical music more accessible. Playing alongside Alon Goldstein on piano, don’t miss your opportunity to see these incredible concerts on Thursday and Friday, February 2nd and 3rd, at 5 pm at St. Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo.

 

Performing with the historic cello of Pablo Casals, gifted to him personally by Casals’ widow, Peled has inspired audiences worldwide, including extensive touring with his two chamber music groups, The Tempest Trio and the Goldstein-Peled-Fiterstein Trio, including a recent 20 city tour of the US, and many of the greatest concert halls worldwide. The New York Times praised his “glowing tone, a seductive timbre and an emotionally pointed approach to phrasing that made you want to hear him again.”

 

As one of the most sought after cello pedagogues, Mr. Peled, a Professor at the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University, is known for making his concerts spring to life with new energy. The Baltimore Sun described his stage presence this way: “Peled did a lot of joking in remarks to the audience. His amiable and inviting personality is exactly the type everyone says we’ll need more of if classical music is to survive.”

 

The concerts, will include different Bach solo cello Suites, the apogee of every cellist’s repertoire, and some of the most popular pieces in the genre. Both concerts will also feature Schubert’s Sonata in A minor for Arpeggione and Piano, one of the only recognized compositions for the arpeggione (which was essentially a bowed guitar) known today.

 

Thursday’s concert will include Liszt’s Paraphrase of Verdi's opera, Il Trovatore, and an opportunity for Peled to display his virtuoso playing. Sulkhan Tsintsadze’s Five Pieces on Folk Themes for cello and piano reflects the composer’s Georgian background, whilst Pablo Casals’ Song of the Birds, transcribed from a Catalonian folk song in protest of the Franco regime in Spain, reminds us of the maestro’s humanitarian credentials, for which he was awarded the United Nations Peace Medal.

 

Friday’s concert includes Ernst Bloch’s From Jewish Life, an iconic work invoking Hassidic dance rhythms, as well as Ginastera’s Three Argentine Dances from his early nationalistic and folk-influenced phase, whilst Popper’s gentle Tarantella will introduce us to a marvellous piece of music, not often played. Don’t forget that this concert also includes the Schubert Sonata and a wonderful Bach solo cello Sonata, as does the concert on Thursday 

 

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $250 and $350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3, the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert half an hour before performance time.

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Jan
27
to Jan 29

Misuzu Tanaka, Internationally Acclaimed Pianist, Debuts in San Miguel

Misuzu Tanaka is notably unique; an artist of poetic sensibilities and astounding virtuosity, she is famous for her “dizzying speed and sensitivity” (Today’s Zaman, Turkey) and her “exceptionally high technical level” (General-Anzeiger Bonn, Germany). As one of the best of the rising generation of young pianists, you won’t want to miss her San Miguel debut on Friday, January 27 and Sunday, January 29, 5 pm at St. Paul’s Church, Calle Cardo in two different concerts.

Internationally recognized for her talent and impeccable execution, Tanaka has performed in some of the greatest venues in the world - from the Gewandhaus in Leipzig and Mozart’s Museum at Villa Bertramka in Prague to Alice Tully Hall in New York. Both a small ensemble collaborator and a solo artist, Tanaka is as versatile as she is skilled.

On Friday, Tanaka will play classic romantic works including Mendelssohn's Prelude and Fugue No. 1 in E minor. While biographical events don’t inherently relate to the music composed at the time, this particular work was created by the bedside of his dying friend, Julius Schubring. As the disease destroyed his companion, his own composition built in intensity and tenacity. Schubert's Impromptus, short, independent pieces, similar to Preludes, were composed shortly before his death. Although they may be imagined as improvised, they were far from it. Rather, they are tiny masterpieces, extremely challenging and equally rewarding for pianist and audience alike. Tanaka will also feature Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No. 2 in D minor. A prolific and composer, this child prodigy is best known for Peter and the Wolf; the opera, Love of Three Oranges and the ballet, Romeo and Juliet—arguably his greatest masterpiece. Rachmaninoff's Preludes were inspired by Bach's Preludes in all twenty-four keys and it will be fascinating to hear the modern realization of this musical form after nearly three centuries of development.

On Sunday, Tanaka will showcase Bach's popular Italian Concerto. The composition, without soloist or orchestra, still creates a conversation between the two forces by the dynamism of the writing for the piano. Mozart's Piano Sonata in C Minor, originally named "Fantasy and Sonata," was written for Thérèse von Trattner, a gifted student of Mozart’s with whom he was rumored to have a secret romance. Mozart’s passion is transmuted by the music into one of his most powerful and moving compositions. Chopin's Ballade No. 4 in F minor is in a free, one-movement form, unique to this composer. Returning to Rachmaninoff, we will hear his Variations on a Theme of Corelli, La Folía. Dating back to Passover music sung by Renaissance Italian Jews, Rachmaninoff’s variations are a beautiful twist on this ancient music.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $250 and $350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3, the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert half an hour before performance time.

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Grammy-winning Cuarteto Latinoamericano Concerts for Pro Musica
Jan
21
to Jan 22

Grammy-winning Cuarteto Latinoamericano Concerts for Pro Musica

The Latin American Cuartet, founded in Mexico in 1982 and winner of the 2012 Latin Grammy Awards for their album "Brasileiro", represents a unique voice in the international world of classical music, diffusing Latin American culture throughout 5 continents. Three brothers, violinists Saúl and Arón and cellist Álvaro Bitrán, together with violinist Javier Montiel, make up the Latin American Cuartet. Described by the London Times as “possessing an instinct that definitely ranks it among the most important string quartets”, and by the Houston Chronicle as “one of the best string quartets we have heard in years”, we cannot wait to welcome them to the stage at St Pauls Church, Saturday, January 21, at 5 pm and Sunday, January 22 at 4 pm.

 

Besides their Latin Grammy, they have received the Mexican Music Critics’ Association Award and the Chamber Music America/ASCAP's "Most Adventurous Programming" Award three times. They have premiered more than a hundred works written especially for them and continue to introduce new and neglected composers to the genre with more than 70 CDs, including nearly all the Latin American repertoire for string quartet. For the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, art is more than beautifully-executed musical expression; it is patriotism honouring Latin America and informing listeners of its diverse cultural history through a wide spectrum of Latin American music and composers.

 

On Saturday, Villa-Lobos’ Cuartet No. 1 will be featured. A composer, cellist, guitarist, and clarinettist, Villa-Lobos' Brazilian folk heritage remains in the foreground of his music, enticing the audience to imagine the natural richness of the Amazon. Additionally, they will highlight the last quartet of Silvestre Revuletas - a fine violinist, conductor, and composer of songs, orchestral works, film music, and four string quartets. Música de Feria is an impressive and uncompromising masterpiece. Piazzolla’s Libertango will also be played. A combination of liberty and tango, the composition speaks to the new style of tango that Piazzolla created by fusing jazz, folk, and classical influences.

 

On Sunday, Ponce’s Estrellita y Gavota, one of Latin America's best-known love songs, will be featured. Campa’s Trois Miniatures, among the earliest Mexican string quartets (possibly the first), will also inspire listeners. Campa was well-known in Mexico for his composition of operas, symphonic works and chamber music, collaborating with other famed composers at the Mexican National Conservatory. Additionally, Costa Rican composer Alejandro Cardona’s Echú, a composition dedicated to the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, will be played. These concerts will be unique occasions to hear a wide cross section of classical Latin American music played by an ensemble of international repute.

 

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $250 and $350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3, the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert half an hour before performance time.

 

Details of all Pro Musica’s concerts and Patron Membership are on our web site, www.promusicasma.org, or contact us at promusicasma@aol.com

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Internationally Acclaimed Violinist, Andrew Sords, Returns to San Miguel
Jan
14
to Jan 15

Internationally Acclaimed Violinist, Andrew Sords, Returns to San Miguel

The illustrious Andrew Sords returns to San Miguel to play two unforgettable concerts with pianist Tim Durkovic. As handsome as he is talented, this violin prodigy is swooning audiences worldwide, receiving abundant praise. Performing across 4 continents, and collaborating with nearly 250 orchestras, Andrew Sords is a captivating musician. His concerts on Saturday and Sunday, January14th and 15th at 5 pm at St. Paul’s church on Calle Cardo, are not to be missed!

 

Sords has received countless awards and distinctions reflecting his career trajectory, including the Pittsburgh Concert Society’s Career Grant and the NFMC Young Artist Award, and was described as “the finest violin soloist I have ever heard …an absolute wonder,” by the Kansas City Star and “utterly radiant” by Canada’s Arts Forum.  Not only a classical musician, he is an activist and philanthropist, competing in charity fundraisers like “Pittsburgh’s Dancing with the Stars” and with the Minnesota and Atlanta Philharmonic in support of gay rights.

 

Saturday’s concert will include the grace and beauty of Dvořák, Mozart, Liszt, and Schumann. Dvořák’s Sonatina in G Major, composed as a gift for his children in 1893, was the last chamber composition he wrote during his sojourn in America. Mozart’s Sonata in E-flat major was composed when the harpsichord was being replaced by the fortepiano. The harpsichord was limited in its volume changes while the piano could remarkably play both loud and soft dynamics. This sonata is one of Mozart's earliest compositions to extensively employ the new dynamic possibilities. Schumann’s Sonata in D Minor was written during one of the most prolific periods of his life when, after winning a lawsuit against his father-in-law, he was finally able to marry his beloved Clara. The Sonata is a marvel of organic integration and growth apparent from its opening.

 

Sunday’s concert will feature exquisite pieces by Grieg, Bloch, Saraste, and Prokofiev. European cosmopolite Grieg was passionate about the state of his Norway's musical identity. His exquisite Sonata in C Minor for piano and violin was composed in 1887. Bloch’s Baal Shem, Three Pictures from Hassidic Life, was written during the year that he acquired American citizenship. Considered Jewish music, it has no folk or traditional Jewish aspects, leaving many questions regarding what classifies music as “Jewish”. Saraste’s Habañera, from Spanish Dances, can be traced to Spanish Renaissance music as seen in it traditional duple-triple rhythms. He inspired many other composers, such as Lalo, Saint-Saëns and Bizet, who dedicated their compositions with a Spanish flair to Sarasate.

 

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $250 and $350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3, the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert half an hour before performance time.

 

Details of all Pro Musica’s concerts and Patron Membership are on our web site, www.promusicasma.org, or contact us at promusicasma@aol.com

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Double Grammy Winner Clarinettist Richard Stoltzman Returns to San Miguel!
Jan
7
to Jan 8

Double Grammy Winner Clarinettist Richard Stoltzman Returns to San Miguel!

After their  magical concerts for us last season, Pro Musica is delighted to welcome back Richard Stoltzman, universally acknowledged as the world's finest clarinetist, and his equally renowned wife, marimbist, Mika, accompanied by William Ransom, piano. The trio will perform two different concerts on Saturday January 7th, at 5 pm and Sunday January 8th, at 4 pm at St. Paul’s Church, Calle Cardo.

Richard Stoltzman, two-time Grammy winner, is a dazzling entertainer. He stands out in so many ways it’s hard to know where to begin: he was the first wind player to be awarded the Avery Fisher Prize; he won the prestigious Sanford Medal from Yale, his performances and recordings include collaboration with a host of the greatest names in classical music, jazz and pop. Meanwhile, Mika Stoltzman, described by the LA Times as a “high-wire marimbist … an amazing, energetic performer ”, tours worldwide, has recorded numerous albums and plays regularly  in venues like Carnegie Hall. As San Miguel audiences already know, Mika does not just play the marimba, she flies around it like a possessed spirit.  When she and Richard play together their love for each other and the music they make is palpable and electrifying!

On Saturday, audiences will revel in the innocence and simplicity of Schumann's Romances for clarinet, Ravel's wildly popular Pavane for a Dead Princess, and one of Brahms' greatest masterpieces, the Sonata for clarinet. Forays into blues and jazz will include Mentheny’s Brazilian-seeming Letter’s From Home and McKinley’s delicate and varied Mostly Blues. A particularly prolific composer, McKinley composed in many styles, from jazz to chamber music and works for orchestras. A particularly brilliant gem, Fuga y Misterio by Astor Piazzolla, will take your breath away.  And there is much more!

Sunday’s concert will include classics such as Bach’s Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Keyboard, adapted for clarinet; Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo, and Gade’s Fantasiestücke. A friend of both Schumann and Mendelssohn, and teacher of Grieg and Nielsen, Gade was an extremely resourceful and talented composer whose work you will much enjoy. Moving into other idioms, our artists will perform Sea Journey, a fusion of jazz, Latin, and classical influences.  Chick Corea is one of the finest composers for solo marimba and Mika will perform his Wigwam, a life enhancing feast of rhythmic virtuosity that shows off the instrument at its superb best. Other pieces in the show will include an adaptation of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, which you may not know was composed while the composer was on a train ride!

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $250 and $350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3, the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert half an hour before performance time.

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Dazzling World Class Cello and Piano Duo from New York Play for Pro Musica
Dec
3
to Dec 4

Dazzling World Class Cello and Piano Duo from New York Play for Pro Musica

Nothing dazzles like a finely polished cello and piano duo, and no duo quite compares with this one. Widely acclaimed New York cellist Nicholas Tzavras will team up with Steinway master, Japanese pianist Rieko Aizawa. Taking full advantage of Pro Musica’s new 9’ Steinway concert grand, San Miguel’s finest piano, they will take to the stage on Saturday and Sunday, December 3rd and 4th at 5 pm at St. Paul’s church on Calle Cardo for two different concerts.

 

Nicholas Tzavaras, hailing from Spanish Harlem in New York City, is the name on every chamber music lover’s lips right now. Cellist of the internationally renowned Shanghai Quartet since 2000, having played over 1300 international concerts, his popularity has skyrocketed. Praised as “beautifully nuanced” with his cello “richly singing” by the New York Times, Tzavaras is a chamber musician, soloist and educator renowned worldwide.

 

Tzavaras holds the esteemed title of guest principal cellist of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (since 2009) and guest Professor at the Shanghai and Central Conservatories in China, the only Westener to hold such high ranking and prestigious positions.  He has recorded more than 20 albums and leads the String Department of the Faculty of the University of Richmond, as well as being artist in residence at Montclair State University, Tzavaras performs in many international festivals worldwide.  If this were not enough he can be seen in the Academy Award nominated documentary “Small Wonders;” the movie “Music of the Heart” starring Meryl Streep; and with the Shanghai Quartet in Woody Allen’s “Melinda Melinda.”

 

Japanese pianist Rieko Aizawa debuted in the United States at 14 years old, playing the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, accompanied by the New York String Orchestra. Since then she has only grown in her talents. Celebrated by the NY Times for her “impressive musicality, a crisp touch and expressive phrasing,” she has gone on to perform worldwide as a soloist and with many leading orchestras.

After a recent all-Beethoven recital in Dresden, Germany, a reviewer wrote: "Her listeners followed her playing -full of details and delicate contrasts- breathlessly." Aizawa performs a "Prism" series in Japan, with tributes to Beethoven, Brahms and Schumann, contrasted with specially commissioned works for each program. Currently, Aizawa lives in New York City.

 

The two concerts will include works by Beethoven, Debussy, Brahms, Fauré, Bach and more These Tickets for these two unmissable concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $250 and $350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3, the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert half an hour before performance time.

 

Details of all Pro Musica’s concerts and Patron Membership are on our web site, www.promusicasma.org, or contact us at promusicasma@aol.com

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Pro Musica Masterwork Concerts: Tzavras and Aizawa play Cello and Piano Sonatas
Dec
3
to Dec 4

Pro Musica Masterwork Concerts: Tzavras and Aizawa play Cello and Piano Sonatas

World renowned cellist Nicholas Tzavras and Steinway artist, Japanese pianist Rieko Aizawa, will join forces for two Pro Musica concerts on Saturday and Sunday, December 3rd and 4th, at 5 pm at St. Paul’s church on Calle Cardo.  The two concerts will include works by Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, and Fauré and others.  These two international chamber music celebrities are not to be missed on their San Miguel debut and will delight audiences with their stunning intonation and technique.

Tzavras, with more than 20 albums and guest principal cellist of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, as well as the internationally renowned Shanghai Orchestra, is a cello master. Child prodigy Rieko Aizawa, on the other hand, has flowered into one of the great Steinway artists of our time, receiving extensive praise in the media.

On Saturday, the duo will perform works by Beethoven, Debussy, and Brahms. Beethoven's Sonata Opus 102 for piano and cello was one of the first pieces of its kind as previously only Vivaldi, Boccherini, and violinist Geminiani, had written sonatas for cello and keyboard. In contrast, Beethoven completely composed the piano parts, instead of using only a bass line with improvised harmonies, similar to modern jazz works.

 

Claude Debussy’s Cello Sonata is renowned for its ethereal depth and is part of the way he radically affected music by bring impressionism into music, particularly with his Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune for orchestra. Impressionism is indelibly connected to Debussy’s legacy,although he criticized its use in reference to his works. The Sonata is dedicated to his wife, Emma, petite mienne (my little one).

On Sunday, compositions by Beethoven, Cassadó, Brahms and Fauré will be featured. Beethoven’s Seven Variations are based on the aria "Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen" (Men who feel love) from Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute. Beethoven had a particular weakness for matters of the heart, his assistant, Ferdinand Ries, once saying that the master had been in unrequited love for seven months!

The program also includes Cassado’s Requiebos and Fauré’s Sonata. Cassado was a gifted cellist from age 9 and studied with Ravel.  The first time that Pablo Casals heard Cassado in Barcelona, he offered him free lessons, Cassado went on to premiere six unpublished cello sonatas of Boccherini on Boccherini's own Stradivarius cello. Fauré’s famous Sonata for cello and piano was composed during World War I and reflects the tragedy of the times, although the work is actually based on an unpublished symphonic movement of 1884.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $250 and $350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3, the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert half an hour before performance time.

Details of all Pro Musica’s concerts and Patron Membership are on our web site, www.promusicasma.org, or contact us at promusicasma@aol.com

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Brian Ganz, Pre-eminent Chopin Pianist Returns to San Miguel: One Night Only
Nov
13
4:00pm 4:00pm

Brian Ganz, Pre-eminent Chopin Pianist Returns to San Miguel: One Night Only

Brian Ganz is one of the leading pianists of his generation. Lending his incredible musical talent and deep understanding of Chopin as an artist, he will perform a one-night, all Chopin concert, highlighting the most-loved favorites and some lesser known, but brilliant, works on November 13th, Sunday at 4 pm at St. Paul’s Church, Calle Cardo.

The Washington Post wrote of his playing, “One comes away from a recital by pianist Brian Ganz not only exhilarated by the power of the performance but also moved by his search for artistic truth.” This is exactly the immense depth which Ganz brings to the music in every performance, giving great works new life, infusing them with intense and authentic emotional power. His audiences are delighted by his lively technique and open way of engaging with them throughout the concert. La Libre Belgique, one of Belgium's leading newspapers, described it well, "We don't have the words to speak of this fabulous musician who lives music with a generous urgency and brings his public into a state of intense joy."

Winner of both the Marguerite Long Jacques Thibaud and the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Piano Competitions, Ganz is a highly acclaimed pianist, soloing with orchestras such as the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, the National Symphony and the City of London Sinfonia. Ganz is artist-in-residence at St. Mary's College of Maryland and a member of the piano faculty of the Peabody Conservatory and the artist-editor of the Schirmer Performance Edition of Chopin’s Preludes.

In 2011, Mr. Ganz began a decade-long project to perform the complete piano works of Chopin in public. “Extreme Chopin” he calls it.   After his opening recital, The Washington Post said: "Brian Ganz was masterly in his first installment of the complete works [of Chopin]."

Chopin's music, his status as one of music's earliest superstars, his brush with political insurgency and his early death, has made him an icon of the Romantic era. His works remain as popular today as they were in his lifetime, when he was mobbed by hysterical audiences, much like modern pop stars.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $250 and $350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3, the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert half an hour before performance time.

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Revel in Chopin: A Unique Concert with Pianist Brian Ganz
Nov
13
4:00pm 4:00pm

Revel in Chopin: A Unique Concert with Pianist Brian Ganz

As Robert Schumann said, "[Chopin] is and remains the boldest and most poetic spirit of his time."

Brian Ganz, a wildly talented pianist and committed interpreter of Chopin, will be performing in San Miguel for one night only: November 13th, Sunday at 4 pm at St. Paul’s Church, Calle Cardo. The Washington post, raved that “a recital by pianist Brian Ganz not only exhilarated by the power of the performance but also moved by his search for artistic truth”.

Since 2011, Ganz has been collaborating with the National Philharmonic to perform the complete works of Chopin at the Music Center at Strathmore outside of Washington D.C. The Washington Post also had something to say about the inaugural concert of the project: "Brian Ganz was masterly in his first installment of the complete works [of Chopin]." Ganz is committing 10 years to performing the complete works of Chopin.

Ganz’ concert on Sunday is part of this magnificent undertaking and will start with the Impromptus, including the incomparable Fantaisie-Impromptu. The term impromptu implies a spontaneous ad-lib, which was common for musicians of the early 1800’s, much like modern jazz composers. Chopin composed four Impromptus, originally inspired by Schubert, which are counted among his most popular works. It’s quite likely that many of his published compositions began in the process of improvisation. Many of you will recognize the familiar melody of Chopin's Fantaisie-Impromptu as it was later revised for the popular 1917 song, "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows". That version became quite trendy and was performed by singers like Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, and Frank Sinatra.

Ganz will perform some of Chopin’s Nocturnes. Similar to Impromptus, Nocturnes are solo pieces for piano played in one movement. Chopin’s lyrical melodies are ornately decorated, characterized by wide pitch ranges and the sustained sounds of the then recently-developed pedal. His twenty-one Nocturnes are the best-known examples of the style and their familiar melodies have become a consistent theme in the last two centuries of classical music.

Finally, Ganz will play a selection of Chopin's Études, which were revolutionary in their effect on the piano playing style of the day. Considered some of the most challenging and evocative pieces in the repertoire, they have remained ever popular. Études, or studies, are intended to be teaching tools to help students deal with particular musical issues. Some are purposeful calisthenics to refine technique; others, while didactic, have a beautiful artistic edge. The latter epitomizes Chopin’s etudes, technically challenging; yet irresistibly brilliant, unique and romantic. Chopin’s Études have formed the bedrock for advanced pianistic expression.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $250 and $350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3, the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert half an hour before performance time.

 

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Unlocking the Mystery of the Violin: Gil Morgenstern in his San Miguel Debut
Oct
9
5:00pm 5:00pm

Unlocking the Mystery of the Violin: Gil Morgenstern in his San Miguel Debut

Acclaimed for his artistry and technical brilliance, violinist Gil Morgenstern will make his San Miguel debut, playing with renowned pianist, J.Y.Song, for one night only. Devoted to unlocking the mystery surrounding classical music, Morgenstern presents his audiences with a more complete concert experience, meticulously curated from start to finish, placing the music in a historical and artistic context and organically integrating music with other artistic disciplines in innovative and unexpected ways. The New York Times describes Morgenstern as a “brilliant and musically curious artist.” Don’t miss his one-of-a-kind performance, opening the Pro Musica 2016-2017 concert season, Sunday, October 9th at 5 pm at St. Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo.

Morgenstern delights in shedding new light on well-know works, providing fresh perspectives and insight. To that end, he’ll perform Beethoven’s Sonata No. 8 in G Major, dedicated to Czar Alexander I, an "enlightened despot", whose legal reforms were admired by Beethoven and which incorporates Russian folk melodies.  He will continue with Schubert’s Nacht und Traüme (Night and Dreams) will be set to the poetry of Mattheus Collin, a leading Viennese poet.

In a nationalist vein, Morgenstern will highlight Manuel de Falla’s Suite Populaire Espagnole, composed of evocative pieces that evoke the Spanish character to which he gave his heart.  He then moves to Smetana’s From the Homeland.  Both these are nationalistically inspired works composed once Smetana was deaf. From America, Morgenstern will interpret Gershwin’s ‘From Porgy and Bess’, a dynamic and popular work involving fusion of contemporary influences and Gershwin’s attempt to “make a lady out of jazz”, followed by Copland’s Rodeo from Agnes de Mille’s first significant ballet which draws on American folk tunes.

In this captivating concert he will also perform a unique segment named From Bach to Barkauskas, a movement through time, culture and composition, beginning in 1720 with Bach's Gavotte en Rondeau, from Partita in E Major, and ending with contemporary compositions from Chen Yi, Harbison, Barkauskas and Carter. It will include Minstrel, the opening piece of Enescu's autobiographical "Impressions", Harbison’s Solitude #2, recipient of both a Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Fellowship, and Carter’s Riconoscenza per Goffredo Petrasi. Chen Yi’s Memory, composed in 2010, will take listeners, by way of folk elements, through the Cultural Revolution she experienced in China and her subsequent relocation to the countryside. The segment will conclude with Barkauskas’ Partita, an utterly engrossing work based in Baroque form which employs highly-advanced and hypnotically artistic violin-playing techniques.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $250 and $350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3, the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert half an hour before performance time.

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International Violin Star, Gil Morgenstern Performs for Pro Musica
Oct
9
5:00pm 5:00pm

International Violin Star, Gil Morgenstern Performs for Pro Musica

Gil Morgenstern, artistic director of Reflections Series International and world renowned violinist, will debut in San Miguel de Allende, playing alongside pianist, J. Y. Song. He was described as being “a perfect demonstration of supreme ability” by The New York Times and “a rare poet of the violin” by The South China Morning Post, The Washington Post summed it up nicely, saying, “Morgenstern played a program that tested every part of a violinist’s equipment and he did it all beautifully”. Performing for one night only, Morgenstern and Song will play a wide-ranging program of classical and modern piano music at Pro Musica’s opening concert of the season on Sunday, October 9th, at 5 pm St. Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo.

 Morgenstern’s brain child, Reflections Series International, presents programs throughout the United States and Europe. He creates original performances combining music, dance, visual art, poetry and prose in ways that invite the audience to reflect on universal themes in a new way. After Reflections Series International’s successful inaugural season at Avenues: The World School, Morgenstern was named Artist-in-Residence for Interdisciplinary Studies. This unique yearlong residency, in which Morgenstern engaged students and faculty of all academic subjects, nurtures artists of all mediums, encouraging collaboration and creative growth. Additionally Morgenstern co-founded the Nine Circles Chamber Theatre, a creative organization dedicated to inter-disciplinary performance, and the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble, a diverse chamber group specializing in classical, romantic and contemporary works.

Morgenstern has a long history of performing in the world’s great concert halls, including the White House, and he has recorded many distinguished albums. His latest recording, 20th Century Duos for Violin and Cello, was the No. 1 classical album for over a month on eMusic, the largest online music store in the world, and was ranked as one of the top ten best selling classical music albums on Amazon. The New York Times raved, “the music is terrific and the performances compelling on this surprisingly exciting and excellently engineered recording.” Morgenstern’s recordings and playing can be regularly heard on National Public Radio and classical music radio stations across the country.

His concert in San Miguel will transport listeners from Bach to Barkauskas, moving from the late 1700s to the present, and including great masters such as Beethoven and Schubert, as well as dipping into iconic nationalist composers like Czech Smetana, Spanish Manuel de Falla, and American icons, Gershwin and Copland.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $250 and $350 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3, the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert half an hour before performance time.

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