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National Symphonic Orchestra

National Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Master Leo BrowerThe National Symphonic Orchestra was created on October, 1959 and in November of 1960, it was offering its first concert at ''Amadeo Roldán'' Auditorium Theater under the conduction of Master Enrique González Mántici.

Since its creation, the national Symphonic Orchestra hs developed an outstanding labor on the Cuban and Latin American music broadcasting, approaching a huge symphonic and chamber repertoire runnig from Baroque period to our current music. They have perform more tahn two thousand concerts among national and international presentations at diverse places highlighting Russia, Poland, Yugoslavia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Spain, Peru, Argentine, Martinique and Guadalupe, strengthening basic work lines at regular concerts, symphonic-choral programs, cycles of didactic concerts, national periodic tours, ballet and lyric spectacles, extraordinary gala concerts,etc.

The orchestra has participated in discographic porductions and events celebrated in Cuba such as Guitar, Contemporary Music, New Latin American Movie and Ballet International Festivals.

Going back for its antecedents, they can be located at XVIII century, when Cathedrals in Havana and Santiago had a musical chapel with a minor group of singers and intrumentists. At the end of that century, the Cuban presbiterian composer Esteban Salas enhaced the cathedral's chapel in Santiago de Cuba until he built a small classic orchestra. But was only in the third decade of XIX century when the first Symphonic Orchestras were created having a complete format, a permanent institutional life and a stable schedule.

These orchestras were Symphonic Orchestra of Havana, founded in 1922 by Gonzalo Roig and Philarmonic Orchestra of Havana founded in 1924 and initially conducted by the Spanish musician Pedro Sanjuán. The existence of both orchestras generated, due to an emulating environment between them, indeniables profits for the musical culture at that time.

The Symphonic Orchestra of Havana preserved regular schedule around the first years of existence, but lately, concerts were more and more far from other until it disappeared around the last years of 40th decade.

Instead, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Havana kept an stable schedule of concerts until 1958. Its titular conduction was successively in charge of Alberto Bolet, Juan José Castro, Massimo Freccia, Erich Kleiber, Igor Markevich, Arthur Rodzinski, Amadeo Roldán and Frieder Weissmann.

Along its thirty four working years many interpreters performed in Philharmonic Orchestra -directors and soloists- having great international connotation. Among the directors we can highlight Ernest Ansermert, José Ardevol, Richard Austin, Carl Bamberger, Sir Thomas Beecham, Ferruccio Burco, Fritz Busch, Sergiu Celibidache, Fausto Cleva, Paul Csonka, Ives Chardon, Carlos Chávez, Desire Defaw, Amtal Dorati, José Echániz, Abel Eisenberg, Georges Enescu, Guillermo Espinosa, Karl Fritz, Osip Gabrilovich, Rudoph Ganz, Enrique González Mantici, Georg Gruber, William P. Hacker, Walter Hendl, Hans L. Henior, Jascha Horenstein, José IIturbi, H. Maurice Jacquet, Enrique Jordá, Emil L. Kahn, Herbert von Karajan, Serguei Kusevitski, Clemens Krauss, Efrem Kurtz, Ethel Leginska, Erich Leinsdort, Robert Lortat, Thomas Mayer, César de Mendoza Lasalle, Howard Mitchell, Gustavo Morales, Jean Morel, Pierre Monteaux, Charles Munch, María Muñoz, Benjamín Orbón, Eugene Ormandy, Gustavo Pittaluga, Rodrigo Prats, Emilio Puyans, Nicola Rescigno, Engelbert Rontgen, Gonzalo Roig, Joseph Rosenstock, Manuel Rosenthal, Fabien Sebitzky, Eric Simon, Jacques Singer, Nicolás Slonimsky, Henry Sopkin, Wilhelm Steinberg, Leopold Stokowsky, Igor Stravinsky, Eugene Szenkar, Walter Taussig, Joaquín Turina, Heinz Unger, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Joseph Wagner, Bruno Walter, Jack Zadikoff, y Emiliana de Zubeldía, just to mention a few.

Among the most outstanding soloists -instrumentists and singers- that have performed with the Symphonic Orchestra, we can mention: Marian Anderson, Claudio Arrau, Jorge Bolet, Alexander Brailowsky, Henry Cowell, Georges Enescu, Jascha Fischermann, Kirsten Flagstad, Jascha Heifetz, William Horne, José Iturbi, Hipólito Lázaro, Edith Mason, Nathan Milstein, Flora Mora, Joaquín Nin-Culmell, Adolfo Odonoposoff, César Pérez Sentenart, Alexander Prilutchi, Rosita Renard, Ruggiero Ricci, Margot Rojas, Arthur Rubinstein, Andrés Segovia, Isaac Stern, Helen Thompson, Salomón Van den Berg, y Ernesto Xancó, among others.

In 1959, a process to confer a definitive economic and social stability to cultural institutions of our country started and in this same year, was created the National Symphonic Orchestra of Cuba.

Along all these years, the National Symphonic Orchestra of Cuba has been conducted by more than one hundred national and international directors, such as Sebrina Ma. Alfonso, Jean Claude Bernede, Teodor Constin, Iosif Conta, Carmine Coppola, Tido Dejan, Herrera de la Fuente, Luis de Pablo, Bernardo Adam Ferrero, Tomás Fortín, Yoshikazu Fukumura, A. Gaux, Juan Luis González, Enrique González Mantici, Camargo Guarnieri, Félix Guerrero, Emil Jachaturián, V. Kazanajiev, Olaf Koch, Siegfried Kurz, Alexandr Lazárov, Michel Legrand, Georges Martin, Joel Mathias Jenny, Eduardo Moubarak, Jean-Paul Penin, C. Piantini, Redentor Romero, Gonzalo Romeu, Roberto Sánchez Ferrer, Vasil Stefanov, Antonio Tornero, Hans Werner Henze y Tek Yin. Having also national and international soloists -instrumentists and singers- of great prestigy highlighting: S. Apolin, G. Badev, Zuill Bailey, R. Boubolidi, Y. Boukoff, José Carreras, Joaquín Clerch, C. Cotsiolis, A. Dikov, Frank Fernández, Niurka González, Eric Grossman, Rey Guerra, María de los Angeles, Victor Pellegrini, Jorge Luis Prats, Aldo Rodríguez, Victor Rodríguez, M. Rostropovich, Alina Sánchez, Evelio Tieles, Miguel Villafruela, Roger Woodward, among others.

The orchestra is currently havig a considerable number of Cuban directors such as Zenaida Castro Romeu, Guido López-Gavilán, Louis Aguirre, Elena Herrera, Jorge López Marín, María Elena Mendiola, Manuel Duchesne Cuzán, Lourdes Santiesteban, Iván del Prado and Enrique Pérez Mesa, these two lates as assistant directors, being nowadays, Master Leo Brower, its general director.

The National Symphonic Orchestra, is curently formed by one hundred and five musicians, graduated from Art Schools of the country and conservatoires abroad, having as permanent venue the ''Amadeo Roldán'' Auditorium Theater and it is considered an important institution from our culture showing a renovated image full of virtuosity and high aesthetic quality.

Text courtesy from Institute of Music.

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