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
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,
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
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.
See discography at www.discuba.com