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Cuarteto Latinoamericano performs in CSU’s Organ Recital Hall

Spectators+file+into+the+Organ+Recital+Hall%2C+find+their+seats+and+wait+in+anticipation+for+the+Cuarteto+Latinoamericano+to+perform+Jan.+23.
Collegian | Samantha Nordstrom
Spectators file into the Organ Recital Hall, find their seats and wait in anticipation for the Cuarteto Latinoamericano to perform Jan. 23.

Editor’s Note: Read the Spanish version of this article here.

World-renowned string ensemble Cuarteto Latinoamericano performed in Colorado State University’s Organ Recital Hall, captivating students and members of the community. 

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The quartet, consisting of three brothers Saúl Bitrán, Arón Bitrán and Álvaro Bitrán along with Javier Montiel, delivered a variety of classical music by Latinx American composers on the evening of Jan. 23.

“Music that comes from Latin America usually has a personality that is quite unique. … It speaks classical music but with a different accent.” –Saúl Bitrán, Cuarteto Latinoamericano member 

The roots of Cuarteto Latinoamericano trace back to the National Conservatory in Mexico City, where the Bitrán brothers met Montiel. Over the years, their dedication and talent have earned them awards, including the Latin Grammys for Best Classical Recordings in 2012 and 2016. 

“It’s very satisfying to get recognition maybe because we have a mission of promoting classical music written by Latin American composers,” Saúl Bitrán said. “These awards mean that, in a way, we have made this music more accessible, and people are starting to notice and recognize it.”

Saúl Bitrán also said the satisfaction comes from accomplishing their mission rather than the awards themselves.

“We cannot rest just because of (our achievements),” Saúl Bitrán said.

The quartet practices regularly, engages in outreach activities and actively promotes classical music with college students.

The performance at CSU was part of the Classical Convergence Series. The goal of this series is to present top performers who blend classical music with a modern perspective. Just days before their CSU concert, Cuarteto Latinoamericano performed in Washington D.C., showcasing their commitment to sharing their art across the United States. 

“The fact that it was written by composers from Latin America — I think it does give it a little bit of a different angle,” Saúl Bitrán said, reflecting on the uniqueness of Latinx American compositions. “It’s still a European art form — it’s still concert, Western, classical music — but it definitely has a little bit of a different flavor.”

A member of the event staff at the University Center of the Arts, Alexa Hudson, is a senior at CSU and studies music education.

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“I am not a string player, but I like listening to it sometimes,” Hudson said. “I think some of it, since I don’t know about it, it’s a bit odd for me to hear, but it’s really interesting to hear the styles and the different sounds that come through.”

“Music that comes from Latin America usually has a personality that is quite unique,” Saúl Bitrán said. “It speaks classical music but with a different accent.”

In addition to their performances, Cuarteto Latinoamericano engages with educational institutions.

“We love doing concerts at colleges,” Saúl Bitrán said. “We do it very often because we like to combine our performance with academic activities.”

The quartet conducted a master class at the UCA for string students on the day of their concert. Classes such as these create connections with colleagues worldwide and focus on inspiring young musicians.

Encouraging aspiring classical musicians, Saúl Bitrán spoke about the importance of diversifying skills. He encouraged students who want to pursue classical music to practice and to learn more skills such as music business and video editing that can be combined in a career as a performer.

“These specific shows — I have worked quite a few of them,” said Brenna Hudson, senior music education student and member of the event staff at the UCA. “They’re very professional musicians who have a lot of experience, and so it’s really cool to see such large crowds coming to shows like this. … They sound really, really good, and it’s interesting because they are Lincoln Center shows, but they are put on here at the UCA, and it gives us workers a chance to see what it is like to work a larger-scale show in the venues that we know of.” 

As the Classical Convergence Series continues at CSU, upcoming performances by guests such as Vitamin String Quartet Feb. 6 and Gilbert & Sullivan in Concert Feb. 28 will share more cultural experiences with the university community.

Cuarteto Latinoamericano’s performance undoubtedly resonated with attendees, leaving them with an appreciation of classical music from Latin America.

Reach Kloe Brill at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @CSUCollegian.

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