The Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas Gala Concert

Alondra de la Parra will lead the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas in a performance at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, featuring Grammy award-winning Cuban saxophonist/clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera as soloist. On Tuesday, June 12th at 7:00 pm. Following the concert the POA will hold a Gala-event at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The evening will include a sit-down dinner, and will honor Paquito D'Rivera and Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhán for their contributions to the art world.

Imagine if you had, basically, a continent (and a half) worth of composers and a century of compositions - plus the potential of major performers as soloists - all to yourself? What would you do?

If you're a young conductor sitting in New York City - you pick up the phone and make an orchestra. Which is what Alondra de la Parra did, starting the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas (POA) with a note pad and a telephone just over two years ago.

With a great idea that tapped into a vast and neglected field the POA quickly generated a lot of interest and - next in a whirlwind series of montage images - huge press coverage, a series of successful concerts and Ms. de la Parra giving interviews up and down three continents.

Now the summer blockbuster movie part of the narrative is over, it's two years later and and how do you top that opening? As it turns out, you do it by designing a gala evening concert as the culmination event of the POA's second year.

For this concert the orchestra has hit on all of its strong points: First, featuring two major works in the Latin American repertoire, works by Ginastera and Revueltas. Of the two, the Revueltas is a sure antidote to the notion that this might be a typical gala sampler of pleasant music, Sensemayá is basically an eight minute Rite of Spring, and a landmark work for Latin American composition.

Second, reminding the world that Paquito D'Rivera began his musical education as a classical musician and composer, and then inaugurating the POA Young Composers Competition with a work by the 25 year old mexican composer Martin Capella.