FITZFEST 2016 Michael Collins (clarinet) Clara Rodriguez (piano) Festival Musicians


Bolivar Hall 54-56 Grafton Way, London W1T 5DL

FitzFest 2016
Celebrating London’s Fitzrovia with its entire musical heritage from past generations together with the contemporary diversity that thrives today.

Michael Collins (Clarinet) Clara Rodríguez (Piano) and Festival Musicians

09_bio1picClarinettist Michael Collins

7.30pm | Thursday 9th June 2016


Wagner: Siegfried Idyll

Mozart: Piano Concerto No 12 KV 414 in A major

Galíndez: Caramba and Pueblos tristes for clarinet and piano

Núñez: Anthology of Venezuelan Waltzes for piano, clarinet and string orchestra

Bliss: Clarinet Quintet

At Bolívar Hall,
54-56 Grafton Way, London W1T 5DL
07956 484812


Pianist Clara Rodriguez




Francisco de Miranda House in Fitzrovia

Furiously rhythmical -My next London concert is on June 7th at 4.00 pm

SouthBank-RGBHow can one explain that some pieces are delicious to play? I can only suggest to travel as far as the Southbank Centre which is much nearer than say Caracas or Buenos Aires to listen and feel that the sounds have a third dimension, that they can be palpable and can be savoured; does it make sense? Please let me know after you’ve been.

I love every bit of the pieces we shall be performing on the afternoon of Sunday 7th June at 4.00 pm at the very prestigious Southbank Centre, one of those London landmarks that I have been visiting since I was a student at the Royal College of Music and where I have had the priviledge of performing regularly since 1992. Since the date and the time are so joyous, a sunny Sunday afternoon, I thought that only a programme full of idem pieces could fit the bill.

Commencing by two magnificent pieces by Albéniz, Evocation and El Puerto, I think that I set the mood evoking past times pregnant with nostalgia as well as the happiness of the music that has dance elements in its core followed by two Argentinean dances by Alberto Ginastera, again two contrasting gems of the piano repertoire. The waltz Adriana by my friend Miguel Astor will be performed just before Gerswihn’s Rhapsody in Blue. After this wonderful well-known piece, I shall be joined by my musician friends to give an account of the beautiful and sad zamba by Ariel Ramírez, Alfonsina y el mar and to follow with the feminine touch, we shall perform Pajarillo by another dear friend, composer Luisa Elena Paesano, the public will feel the happiness of the Venezuelan sunshine in sounds!

The journey will continue down to Brazil with a famous choro by Ernesto Nazareth, Odeon, to then round off  this first half with the popular Joropo by Moisés Moleiro.

Plantio do caboclo by Heitor Villa-Lobos opens the second half to give way to more chorinhos or Brazilian tangos as Nazareth really called them. Colombian music will be represented here by two compositions by Germán Darío Pérez, jazzy but traditional at the same time, his pasillo and bambuco are based on typical rhythms from his country with what we detect as an influence of the genre created by Aldemaro Romero called Onda Nueva.

I have included too the famous Malagueña by the Cuban Ernesto Lecuona redolent of Andalucian feeling and the brilliant Zumba que zumba by Federico Ruiz.

To end this marvellous journey we plan to première a piece by the very young composer Carlos Pérez Tabares, originally written for the piano but under my request he has kindly arranged it by adding the cuatro and the double bass to it, Wilmer and Ernesto have added the percussion and drums. It is called Merengada de pajarillo. I’ll explain more about it in the concert. It is really interesting and exciting…ok, it is a Venezuelan merengue inspired by the joropo called Pajarillo.

In sum it is a very special programme that mixes nostalgic, expressive pieces with fast and happy rhythmical ones . Much of this music is characterized by virtuosity, improvisation, subtle harmonies and it is full of syncopation!

I really hope that you will get a lot of the enjoyment we feel when we perform it.

For tickets and more information:

Clara Rodriguez, piano

Cristóbal Soto, guitar, cuatro, mandolin

Ernesto Marichales, drums

Wilmer Sifontes, percussion

Marius Pibot, double-bass

Musical Crossroads -Two Latin American concerts at the Bolívar Hall soon!

On Thusrday 20th June at 7.30 pmImage

Leo Blanco, jazz pianist and composer will play his only London concert before embarking on a tour of Scotland. “Pianoforte Improv”

He is a Professor at Berklee College of Music and has deeply studied the Latin American styles exploring the fertile sounds of his homeland and other realms.
As he expands our collective appreciation of these fruitious idioms, he adds the nuance, both subtle and unabashedly overt, of his own distinctive and highly intuitive style.Blanco boasts a wealth of educational background and practical experience in both popular and classical music styles.
Far from just a cursory, jazz-grounded overview of sundry South American music styles, Blanco  focuses on a particularly compelling element — the far-ranging influence of African cultures on the music of these lands. “When most people hear the term ‘Afro-Latin’ in music,” the pianist readily admits, “they immediately think of Cuba and Brazil.
I’ve always loved the music of these two titanic cultures, but I feel is about time to open the door and show the rest of the world how Africa is one of the most significant influencefra2es on today’s popular music throughout the Americas.”


Clara Rodriguez

The last concert of Clara Rodríguez Bolívar Hall Concert Series will take place on Monday 1 July 2013 at 7.30 pm

From Argentina to Puerto Rico!! will be a musical journey of merengues, tangos, waltzes and joropos from many Latin American countries. It promises to be a feast of  ebullient and exciting dances that will enthral audiences of all ages.

A quintet formed by Clara Rodríguez (piano), Efraín Oscher (flute), Gabriel León (double bass) Cristóbal Soto (mandolin, cuatro and guitar) and Wilmer Sifontes (percussion) will recreate the colours, rhythms, nostalgia and happiness of the whole of South America.