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Spanish guitarist and rising star, Mabel Millán makes her US debut performing Manuel Ponce’s Guitar Concerto along with an all-Spanish program of early classical composer Arriaga’s Los Esclavos Felices Overture and Halffter’s Sinfonietta for chamber orchestra, a vibrant work akin to Stravinsky’s Pulcinella.
As fortune would have it, I was originally scheduled to conduct this in Hong Kong in November 2019, along with the Halffter Sinfonietta, however, the concerto was changed. The idea of an all-Spanish program intrigued me, especially with a Spanish guitarist. The Halffter was an incredible find. It has a Stravinskian influence yet is entirely unique. Halffter was Manuel de Falla's protégé and cataloged all his works posthumously.