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Lydie Solomon: From Chopin to Cuba Concert

Lydie Credits Yvon Marciano - Version 2
Lydie Solomon
Photo Credits: Yvon Marciano

For music recitals in Paris, I am enjoying following Lydie Solomon. She is a pianist, composer and actress and puts together musical programs with a theme. She is passionate about her research. Her latest research includes the works of Frédéric Chopin and those he influenced. The program also includes one of Lydie’s original composition.

She will perform her newest concert program “De Chopin à Cuba” (From Chopin to Cuba) on Friday, January 24 at 12:45 at the Auditorium de l’Espace Georges Bernanos.

The idea for this program came while she was performing her Eldorado Trilogy Concert in Havana in 2012. Using previously unpublished compositions in the possession of the Havana Conservatory Director, Lydie recognized a sound in the works of certain Cuban composers. Certain morsels of the lyrical melodies, breathed the “parfum” of Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849).

This raised the question: If Chopin had never set a foot down in Cuba, how was it that his works influenced the Cuban musical geniuses? One of the answers lies in the bond between Frédéric Chopin and childhood Polish friend, Julian Fontana (1810-1869). Another answer lies in the biographical history of the musician voyager, Julian Fontana. The Polish composer, Fontana traveled to Havana, Cuba in 1844-1845. Cuba has a well-guarded secret of classical music.

Chopin influences seeped into the piano lessons Fontana gave to future composer, Nicolás Ruiz Espadero (1832-1890). Espadero developed an unique style combining Cuban rhythms and Chopin’s lyricism. He then in turn taught piano to the future Cuban composer, Ignacio Cervantes (1847-1905). Ernesto Lecuona (1895-1963) who was Cervantes’ student continued the Chopin influence.

On this concert program, Lydie Solomon will perform works by Frédéric Chopin, including Polonaise-Fantaisie, Julian Fontana, and other Cuban composers Manuel Saumell Robredo (1818-1870), Nicolás Ruiz Espadero, including Grande Fantaisie Cubaine), Ignacio Cervantes, Ernesto Lecuona y Casado, and Lydie Solomon’s original composition, Invocation.

When: Friday, January 24, 2014 at 12:45 pm
Where: Auditorium de l’Espace Georges Bernanos
4, rue du Havre  75009 Paris
Métro: Havre-Caumartin ou Saint-Lazare
Admission: free

The program “De Chopin à Cuba” will continue throughout 2014.
Additional concerts:
March in Poland
June-July in Mexico and possibly Cuba
CD goes on sale Summer 2014
More French concerts later this year

(*)Between June 1833 and June 1849, Frédéric Chopin lived in Paris:
5, puis 38, rue de la Chaussée d’Antin ;
5, rue Tronchet ; 16, rue Pigalle ;
9, square d’Orléans (today between 36, rue Saint-Lazare 80, rue Taitbout).
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