What A Concert: I Wish I’d Been There!

How could anyone resist this cultural-thaw event that took place on Friday in Havana? As The New York Times recounts: ‘On the left side of the makeshift wobbly stage, Lang Lang, China’s fresh-faced piano prodigy, stroked the keys meticulously as Chucho Valdés, one of Cuba’s music superstars, struck heavier tones on a second piano positioned to the right. At center stage, standing before the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra with her baton raised high, Marin Alsop, the American conductor, unified the ensemble. The free concert featured works by Tchaikovsky; Gershwin’s “Cuban Overture”; “Victory Stride,” by the American jazz pianist James P. Johnson; and pieces by Chucho Valdés and two other Cuban composers, Ernesto Lecuona and Antonio María Romeu.

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