KRWG

Simon Gollo

Leora Zeitlin

Three dozen Las Cruces students will make their concert debut this weekend as the newly-formed Las Cruces Youth Orchestra, fulfilling a dream of Simon Gollo, founder of the orchestra and violin professor at NMSU. “We need to have more kids making music,” Gollo told Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin in this interview. Gollo and several faculty members have been training the students for three hours every Saturday this fall. “[The Las Cruces Youth Orchestra] is a wonderful program.

Leora Zeitlin

One of the foremost composers of our day, Osvaldo Golijov grew up in Argentina when Astor Piazzolla was composing and performing his famous tangos worldwide. After Piazzolla’s death, Golijov wrote a work for nine string players called “Last Round” that pays tribute to his fellow Argentinian composer. His goal was to “imitate the wonderful, amazing, beautiful sound of Astor Piazzolla’s bandoneon,” said Daniel Vega-Albela, speaking of the small accordion-like instrument that Piazzolla made famous.

Leora Zeitlin

This weekend, more than 100 young musicians ranging from age 12 to mid-20s will come together to perform in both Las Cruces and Juarez in a pair of concerts titled “Music Beyond Borders.” Students from the NMSU Philharmonia and conductor Simon Gollo will perform with students from Esperanza Azteca Juarez, a social and musical training program in Juarez that is directed by Jove Garcia.

Leora Zeitlin

This year’s 9th annual NMSU/Warner Hutchison Contemporary Arts Festival will be a two-day celebration of contemporary music, dance, drama, and narration, and will feature music ranging from Stravinsky to a world premiere. The festival is named for the long-time composer-in-residence and NMSU music department chair Warner Hutchison, himself a great champion of contemporary music and art who moved from Las Cruces to Albuquerque many years ago.

Leora Zeitlin

Violist Julio Campos and violinist Amalia Zeitlin grew up making music in Las Cruces, played in the Las Cruces High School Chamber Orchestra, and decided to make music their careers. This Sunday, they will make their orchestral debut together when they perform Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante” with the New Horizons Symphony Orchestra (NHSO). The work is a double-concerto for violin, viola and orchestra, and NMSU viola professor and NHSO conductor, Jorge Martinez, will be conducting.

Leora Zeitlin

All three members of the Reveron Trio live far from their native Venezuela and far from each other in the United States. But when they get together to perform, something special happens. “We go home when we meet,” says violinist Simon Gollo, who teaches at New Mexico State University. “We talk about our country. We talk about our dreams. It’s a beautiful project, this trio.”

Leora Zeitlin

What makes busy musicians want to start a new ensemble? For Venezuelan cellist Horacio Contreras, who teaches in Wisconsin and performs frequently around the world, it was a yearning to play with his old friend Simon Gollo, who teaches violin here at NMSU. They had met “more years ago than I want to say,” and later, he met pianist Ana Maria Otamendi in Venezuela. “I’d like to pay with Simon again, and what about playing with Ana Maria?,” he thought, as he recounted in this interview at the KRWG studios with Leora Zeitlin.

NMSU Philharmonia to perform free concert tonight

Nov 10, 2017

The NMSU Philharmonia is embarking on several firsts this year, says conductor Simon Gollo, who also teaches violin at NMSU and plays with La Catrina Quartet. The student orchestra is preparing for its first tour – to Houston and San Antonio – in February. It will have its first concerto competition in the spring. And it is now, for the first time, a full ensemble, rather than the smaller string ensemble it was last year. Tonight, the ensemble will play Mozart’s Symphony No.

Leora Zeitlin

There’s a new professional chamber orchestra in town – Camerata del Sol, a 15-member string ensemble that will make its debut this weekend in concerts in Las Cruces and El Paso. Made up of players from Las Cruces, El Paso, Ciudad Juarez and elsewhere in the country and the world, the group will perform works that aren’t played by large symphony orchestras, and that lend themselves to the more intimate sound of a chamber group.

Leora Zeitlin

While preparing to perform an all-Brahms faculty violin recital this weekend, NMSU professor Simon Gollo received a text from Florida-based pianist Jihye Chang. She had discovered that Johannes Brahms included a three-note motive not just in several places in one sonata – which is not uncommon in classical music – but that he wove it into all three of his Sonatas for Violin and Piano, even though he wrote the works many years apart. Gollo said he was delighted when Chang readily agreed to play all three sonatas with him in one concert, which neither of them has done before.

Leora Zeitlin

Simon Gollo and Daniel Vega-Albela, violinists with La Catrina Quartet, have been working hard to build the string program at New Mexico State University, and to turn Las Cruces into what Gollo hopes will be “a very important city to study music in.” Gollo is now the conductor of a student orchestra that has drawn young musicians from the region and across the border, inspired and taught by the first-class musicians of the quartet. Next weekend, students will perform in a concert conducted by Gollo that will also feature Vega-Albela as the soloist, performing music of Tchaikovsky and Bach.

Leora Zeitlin

Music is a way “to achieve our dreams,” says violinist and conductor Simon Gollo, who came to Las Cruces to join La Catrina String Quartet and to teach at NMSU. As a native of Venezuela, Gollo has been part of the renowned “El Sistema,” which has trained 400,000 young musicians to the point that “the whole country is making music,” he says. Gollo wants to bring that same passion and sense of opportunity to students here, where, in addition to teaching, he is the new conductor of the NMSU Philharmonic Orchestra, the university’s student ensemble.