The talents of award-winning flutist Nestor Torres and composer/violinist/pianist Mariano Morales are showcased during Santa Fe Symphony performances on October 14 and 18.
“Música Hispana,” which is presented on Oct. 14 at the Lensic Performing Arts Center, features works by four composers including Morales, a Puerto Rican musician who earned a doctoral degree in music composition from Indiana University.
Morales has asked Torres to play the flute part in the New Mexico premiere of his work “Concerto for Flute and Orchestra.”
The concerto, which was commissioned by the Santa Fe Symphony’s principal conductor Guillermo Figueroa and the Lynn Conservatory, is a one-movement work in three sections that draws inspiration from jazz and Latin American musicals styles.
“It was written in the Western European concerto tradition with jazz harmonies,” explains Torres, a Latin Grammy Award-winning musician who was born in Puerto Rico and studied classical flute at both Mannes School of Music and the New England Conservatory. “It is a unique work. I am proud and honored to play it. I hope it will become part of the standard flute concerto repertoire.”
Torres and Morales take center stage together for the Santa Fe Symphony’s Latin Jazz Concert on October 18 at St. Francis Auditorium. Joining the musicians are the four members of Morales’s Latin Jazz Group “Pikante”-Yosmel Montejo (bass), Camilo Quiñonez (percussion and drums), Josiel Pérez (trumpet) and Arnaldo Acousta (percussion and drums).
On the October 18 program are works composed and arranged by Torres and Morales.
“When I first started playing my own music in the concert world years ago, my pieces were often programmed on pops concerts rather than classical music concerts,” says Torres. “It was frustrating. I didn’t feel that I was being taken seriously.
“Classical music, like all forms of music, has to evolve,” Torres continues. “I knew that a fusion of sounds is the direction in which classical music has to go in order to keep the genre relevant and timeless.”