New England Public Radio to Broadcast "DiverseCity - an evening with the Puerto Rico Philharmonic Orchestra" on December 23
New England Public Radio will broadcast the Arturo Somohano Puerto Rico Philharmonic Orchestra's performance recorded live at Springfield's Symphony Hall in October. The concert will be broadcast in its entirety on Sunday, December 23 beginning at 12:30 p.m. as part of the station's Sunday Classical Music (10 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.). The October concert, DiverseCity - an evening with the Puerto Rico Philharmonic Orchestra was presented by Partners in Community, The New England Farm Workers Council, The North End Education Development Fund and The Student Prince as part of a celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month.
The program includes songs, dances and arias from Latin America, the U.S. and Spain, including the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein, Arturo Márquez's "Danzón No. 2," Augustín Lara's "Granada," a medley of hits by Trio Los Panchos, selections from the zarzuelas El Niño Judio and La Taberna del Puerto, and highlights from the Puerto Rican songbook by such composers as Tito Henríquez and Rafael Hernández.
"Imagine the Boston Pops doing a program of Latin and Spanish symphonic favorites, songs, dances and arias, but with an authentic spirit and great zest," says NEPR's music director, John Montanari. "Toss in two fine singers and Springfield Symphony maestro Kevin Rhodes guest conducting the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, and you've got two hours of great enjoyment."
The performance is conducted by Rafael Enrique Irizarry, with soprano Rosa Betancourt, tenor César Hernández, Kevin Rhodes, of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra as guest conductor.
"The Puerto Rico Philharmonic is a great treasure," said Heriberto Flores, president of Partners in Community and The New England Farm Workers Council. "We were very pleased to present them here in Springfield, and happy to have the concert broadcast on our local public radio station." The event was sponsored by numerous local businesses and organizations.