Chamber Music from the Americas at WHC Sydney


Every morning at 9 am, there is a chamber music concert at the Residential Suite at Four Seasons Hotel. Every day’s concert has a different theme, and on Wednesday the 23rd, we traveled to the other side of the world with music from the Americas.

The concert started with Serenade for Cello and Harp written by Michael Kurek, an American composer. It was played by Mario Falcao from Portugal, who often works with Mr. Kurek, and Julia Janiszewki, an Australian cellist. Mr. Kurek was also at the concert with his wife. He gave a few words about the music.

The second performing group was Duo Portinari (Soledad Yaya, harp / Peter Pas, viola) from Brazil. They played The Viola in My Life 3 by Morton Feldman (USA), Sonata for Viola and Harp which was also composed by Michael Kurek, and Acalanto da Rosa by Claudio Santoro (Brazil)

Duo Capra (Marcelo Penido Da Silva, Harp / Talita Capra, Oboe) is also from Brazil, and they performed Pot-pourri de Cancoes Folcloricas Brasileiras which is an arrangement of various traditional Brazilian tunes for children (sorry that I can’t type out the accented letters), Saudosa Seresta from “Primeira Suite Brasileira” for harp by Oscar Lorenzo Fernandez, and Primeiro Amor, Valsa Op.4 by Patapio Silva

Gabriella Russo from Argentina performed South American solo music following Duo Capra. On her program, there was Sonatina for Harp by Alberto Ginastera, and Tango Adios Nonino by Astor Piazzolla.

The program was very enjoyable and was a great start for the day.
I was very lucky to be able to interview Soledad Yaya from Duo Portinari –

Q: Why did you decide to come to the WHC?
A: It’s like a dream for me. For me, it’s like the World Cup in Brazil. The best people are here. It’s one of the most important concerts I would play in my whole life. It’s a great honor for me, especially because I came from very far away, and everything’s new here. It’s a very rich experience for me to meet all the harpists from all around the world. The feeling I had since the first day was that the congress is going to be very special, because almost everyone came from very far away. It’s something different to see.

Q: Tell me about Duo Portinari,
A: We started playing together because Peter has a special instrument that belonged to William Primrose. We wanted to take advantage to have opportunities for Peter to play more as a soloist, and for me to make chamber music, and make new arrangements. In Brazil, besides playing concerts, we also bring our music to different points of music schools all over São Paulo. We play for kids there.

Q: How did you come up with the program?
A: We were going to play our favorite music, but then Peter met Mario Falcao in Brazil at a music festival, he suggested adding this piece to our repertoire. So we got the piece, and we loved it. And we thought it would be great to play the piece at the WHC, so we proposed to the WHC. The other two pieces were arranged by me, the first one by Morton Feldman who’s American. The third one was by one of the best Brazilian composers ever, Claudio Santoro.

Soledad Yaya is very happy that she got perform, and she is looking forward to the rest of the congress.


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