Christ Church Cathedral
Sadly, due to artist scheduling conflicts beyond our control, we have had to cancel the May 26th performance of Crossing the Andes. Ticket holders will be refunded. We apologise for the inconvenience. Thank you for your understanding.
Artists: Constantinople directed by Kiya Tabassian; Federico Tarazona, charango; Jonatan Alvarado, voice and guitar
This concert explores the juxtaposition of indigenous South American musical traditions with the ‘new’ repertoire introduced by the European colonizers in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. The two main sources used to explore this repertoire are The Trujillo Codex from Peru and the Codice Luz y Norte published in Madrid but written in Mexico. The charango and pan flutes featured in this concert are played by virtuoso Federico Tarazona from Peru. The charango is a small guitar with five double strings that looks like a Spanish bandurria and is one of the most popular Andean musical instruments. Its resonator, which is rounded, is made from the shell of an armadillo. It has many names and is also known as tatú, atatou, quirquincho, querú, cabasu, piche, mulita, toche, mataca. The Argentinian singer Jonatan Alvarado, specialist of South American repertoire whose passion is to revive the tradition of self-accompanied singing, will join the ensemble to recreate this colourful journey.
This concert is generously supported by Fran Watters & Paul Devine.
Founded in 1998 by its artistic director Kiya Tabassian, Constantinople is a musical ensemble inspired by the ancient city straddling the East and West. Since its founding, the ensemble promotes the creation of new works incorporating musical elements of diverse musical traditions around the world; drawing from medieval manuscripts to a contemporary aesthetic, passing from Mediterranean Europe to Eastern traditions and New World Baroque. Underpinned by a spirit of research and creation, Constantinople has joined forces with leading international artists such as: Marco Beasley, Suzie LeBlanc, the Mandinka griot Ablaye Cissoko, the Greek ensemble En Chordais, the Belgian duo Belem, The Klezmatics, sarangi virtuoso Dhruba Ghosh, and Iranian kamancheh master Kayhan Kalhor. They are regularly invited to perform in international festivals and prestigious concert halls including: the Salle Pleyel (Paris), the Berliner Philharmonie, the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music (Morocco), the Rencontres musicales de Conques (France), the Aga Khan Museum (Toronto), the Cervantino Festival (Mexico) and the Festival de Carthage (Tunisia). Constantinople has 19 albums to its credit. Over the past fifteen years, Constantinople has created nearly 50 works and travelled to more than 240 cities in 54 countries.
Kiya Tabassian, dir.
In 1990, at age 14, Kiya Tabassian emigrated with his family to Quebec from his native Iran, bringing with him some initial musical training in Persian music. Determined to become a musician and composer, he continued his education in Persian music, studying with Reza Gassemi and Kayhan Kalhor. At the same time, he studied composition at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal with Gilles Tremblay. In 1998, he co-founded Constantinople with the idea of developing an ensemble for musical creation that draws from the heritage of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, of Europe, and of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Serving as its artistic director, Kiya has developed close to 40 programs with Constantinople. Numerous musical groups and institutions have called upon his talents as a composer, including the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne and the European Broadcasting Union. He has also composed music for documentary and feature films, including Jabaroot and Voices of the Unheard. Since the summer of 2017, he has held the post of Associate Artist at Rencontres musicales de Conques festival in France. In 2017 he co-founded the Centre des musiciens du monde in Montreal. Kiya also sits on the Board of Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.
Federico Tarazona, charango
Renowned for his exciting interpretation, extraordinary technique and musical expression, Federico Tarazona is considered one of the world’s finest Andean charango virtuosos, and one of the most important contemporary Peruvian composers working today.
He began his musical studies at the age of eight on the violin and piano with his father and sister respectively. Later, he pursued classical guitar with Ricardo Barreda and composition with Walter Casas and Edgar Valcarcel at the Lima Conservatory in Peru. He subsequently studied composition with Genady Belov at the Saint-Petersburg Conservatory in Russia, guitar with Sonja Prunnbauer under a KAAD scholarship at the Freiburg Musikhochschule in Germany, electro-acoustic music composition at the Bordeaux Conservatory in France, and a Masters Degree in composition at the Laval University in Québec City, Canada.
Equally at home in both classical and folkloric musical genres, Mr. Tarazona is an authority on traditional Peruvian charango styles and traditions. He has adapted techniques from his classical guitar studies and applied them to his “Hatun” 8 strings charango, allowing him to perform Latin-American and European works written for or transcribed from the vihuela, lute, guitar and violin.
Mr. Tarazona has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards for his contribution to Classical Music and to Peruvian Culture. In 2008, he was granted an honorary medal from the Peruvian Education Ministry for his distinguished work in the promotion and dissemination of art and culture. In 2011, he won the “Guitar Composition Prize Productions d’Oz” in Quebec, Canada. In 2013, he received the “International Composition Prize Casa de las Americas” in Havana, Cuba and an Honorable Mention for the “Ibero-American Composition Prize for Symphonic Orchestra, Ibermusicas”, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2014.
Jonatan Alvarado, voice, guitar
Jonatan Alvarado is an Argentinian singer, lutenist, director and researcher. He began his musical studies on the modern guitar at his hometown’s conservatory of Mercedes. He would go on to pursuing a Degree in Orchestral Conducting and Composition at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, while also beginning private singing lessons in Buenos Aires. During his studies he founded his own baroque orchestra, with which he would go on to give the Argentinian premier of Bach’s John’s Passion on period instruments, while also performing several works by Charpentier and Scarlatti for the first time in South America. Parallel to this, he developed a successful career as a folk-singer, culminating with his performance at the Cosquin Festival with his group Dos en Trío.
Taking the decision to develop his skills as singer and performer of historical European repertories, he applied for a Bachelor in Early Music singing at the Amsterdam Conservatorium where he was accepted into the class of Xenia Meijer. While advancing in his singing studies he also explored the possibilities of period plucked instruments, taking lessons with the lutenist and theorbo player Fred Jacobs. The combination of singing and lute playing in historically informed performances would lead to a Master’s in self-accompanied singing, custom-created for his studies, resulting in a “Cum Laude” for his final examination recital.
During his time as a student he became the cofounder and co-director of the ensemble Seconda Prat!ca, with which he entered the EEEmerging platform, an initiative of the European Commission for Culture to support rising early music talent. The ensemble’s high level of performance has led to their releasing of the debut album “Nova Europa” in 2016 with the Ambronay label, which garnered a coup de coeur and became album of choice of France Musique.
He is currently working with Dr. Rebecca Stewart in developing vocal techniques for historical repertoires and connecting early music with oral practices such as the folklore of his own country. This research has led to the recording of his debut solo album ‘Pajarillos Fugitivos’ released by the label Ayros. It includes Spanish guitar songs found in non-Spanish sources, aiming to explore its possible connections and transformations within the realm of Latin-American traditional music and poetry.
With his ensemble and as a soloist he has sung and played in some of the most important festivals of his specialty including Ambronay, Sablé, Stockholm and Göttingen. He has collaborated with other musicians and directors such as Sigiswald Kuijken, Richard Egarr, Gabriel Garrido, Adrian van der Spoel and Eduardo Eguez.