During the shutdown, PostClassical Ensemble has been sharing archived videos of their performances, followed up with Zoom chats bringing listeners and artists together. Although Gil-Ordóñez was initially skeptical about Zoom chats, he sees now that it is a powerful way to enhance the relationship with the ensemble’s audience. “We are putting faces on those who have followed us for years,” he enthused. “We can see them, and we are giving them a platform to participate more in the discussions. So this is a very positive part of having no live music: we are getting to know our audiences better. We are planning on continuing this as a complement to everything we have done before. To me this is the most important lesson of this time.”
He is an angel. In fact, that’s his first name and his passport ends with the last names Gil-Ordóñez. Perhaps it is more appropiate to portray him as an archangel for the immense work he has done in favor of music –real music– not only in his commendable career as a teacher at Wesleyan university and Georgetown, but in the invaluable work leading Post-Classical Ensemble, hand in hand with the genius of Joseph Horowitz.
For PostClassical Ensemble, it is not enough to complain about the monotony, or the ethnic or social bias, of symphonic programs. [Horowitz and Angel Gil-Ordóñez] devise alternatives… They produce stimulating evidence the music belongs to life and to the cultural and political environment of the times in which it was created… Classical music needs to leave the confinement of concert halls.
The Indonesian gamelan will be the centerpiece of PostClassical Ensemble’s latest musical creation, Cultural Fusion: The Gamelan Experience, on Jan. 23 at the Washington National Cathedral.
The Conductor Angel Gil-Ordóñez and Perspectives Ensemble have recorded two of Manuel de Falla’s dramatic works –El retablo de Maese Pedro and El Amor Brujo (in its 1915 version). Esperanza Fernández, one of Spain’s leading exponents of flamenco art, joined the ensemble for El Amor Brujo. Sessions for this Naxos release, due in April, took place at the end of summer in Scarsdale, New York.
When patrons of the 40th annual Havana Film Festival in Cuba enter the city’s Cine la Rampa on December 8, they’ll be treated to an unexpected viewing experience – a conductor and an orchestra beneath the venue’s large projection screen. DC-based conductor Angel Gil-Ordóñez will lead Cuba’s Mozart Lyceum Orchestra of Havana in a live performance of the score to classic Mexican neo-doc, Redes.
Even when I do find time to listen to the radio these days, I rarely encounter a program that gives me the same sense of excitement and discovery that I felt as a child. But a few weeks ago I did, while listening to an Internet show called PostClassical, which features concert performances by the Post-Classical Ensemble, an innovative group of musicians now in residence at Washington’s National Cathedral. Led by the historian and writer Joseph Horowitz and the conductor Angel Gil-Ordoñez, the ensemble puts on concerts that are far from typical and often experimental, with the aim of contextualizing a composer or a piece of music with verse, theater, film, or dance. Every two months, Horowitz and Gil-Ordoñez join radio host Bill McGlaughlin (the former host of the aforementioned Saint Paul Sunday Morning) in the studio, to discuss their concerts in depth.
One of D.C.’s most unconventional and adventurous musical ensembles is set to transform the iconic Washington National Cathedral into a cutting-edge venue for the city’s vibrant music scene. PostClassical Ensemble, named the new ensemble-in-residence at the cathedral, is bringing an exciting, innovative inaugural season of music to Washingtonians. Expect unusual, utterly surprising performances from this self-described “experimental orchestral laboratory” that will shake up your view of both classical music and the cathedral itself.
Starting this fall, PostClassical Ensemble becomes Ensemble-in-Residence at the Washington National Cathedral. On December 7, the day Americans remember the Pearl Harbor bombing, a new concert there will juxtapose the ideas that around the Second World War were exposed in the works by Dmitri Shostakovich, Arnold Schoenberg and Hanns Eisler.
The PostClassical Ensemble announced Friday that after 14 itinerant seasons, it has found a stable home — at Washington National Cathedral. Starting next season, it will become the cathedral’s newest ensemble-in-residence. This means that the ensemble, which calls itself “an experimental orchestral laboratory” and has performed in venues from the Indonesian Embassy to the Library of Congress, will present three of next season’s concerts at the cathedral, two of them in collaboration with the cathedral’s chorus. It will continue to perform in other locations around Washington as well.
PostClassical Ensemble: Full-on activists. Galvanizing issue: Diplomacy. “We’ve never practiced art for art’s sake,” Horowitz, 70, says of the cross-disciplinary organization created in 2003. “Our premise is that music is an instrument for human betterment.” Both men are international-minded: This spring, Gil-Ordóñez, 59, led an exchange that took his Georgetown University students to Cuba, and that brought visiting Cuban musicians to the Washington campus. “Instead of building walls, building bridges,” Gil-Ordóñez told Washingtonian magazine this spring.
If today we remember Redes, it’s because the Spanish conductor Ángel Gil-Ordóñez has recovered for the Naxos record label the original soundtrack of the film that was recorded and interpreted in a deficient way at the time, and because Gil-Ordóñez himself interprets it today, At 8 pm at the Teatro Monumental in Madrid.
Ángel Gil-Ordóñez (Madrid, 1957) has been giving all he’s got for years as director of the PostClassical Ensemble in Washington, an unorthodox orchestra where the members have a didactic and contextualized way of interpreting classical music.
The film [Redes] (1936) had been restored at the initiative of Martin Scorsese, but the soundtrack required an exhumation effort. And it is where Maestro Ángel Gil-Ordóñez intervened, rebuilding the score and the orchestral version until endowing it with a protesting impulse.