Maestro Angel Gil-Ordóñez, Spanish-born American conductor, founder of the PostClassical Ensemble — and our February cover model — spoke with The Georgetowner about his passion for music, what he loves about the D.C. arts scene and his upcoming projects.
PostClassical Ensemble, la plataforma musical creada por el director de orquesta español afincado en Washington y el musicólogo Joseph Horowitz, lleva dos décadas reinventando la música clásica en Estados Unidos.
[…] His latest album on the Naxos label is dedicated to composer Bernard Herrmann, author of the soundtracks for some of Hitchcock’s most famous films. The record offers the absolute first recording of Whitman, a radio drama whose music Herrmann composed in 1944 on texts of the great American poet.
The Ensemble’s latest innovative programming series, with the South Dakota Symphony, examines the controversial relationship of Native American and American identity through music.
Conductor Angel Gil-Ordoñez has always had a passion for music. So much so, that he convinced his parents to let him study music in college at the Madrid Conservatory of Music, as long as he would first study Engineering at the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid. He completed both degrees and then continued with his musical education and career.
Silence –it’s in the still seconds as a a conductor raises his arms. It’s also what Angel Gil-Ordóñez, music director of DC-based PostClassical Ensemble, calls the “condition” for sound. “As my teacher and mentor, Sergiu Celibidache, used to say, “Sound is not music,” he recalls. “Sound, under certain circumstances, can become music.”
I love conducting so much, a dream day would include rehearsing a Haydn symphony in one of my favorite spaces in Washington, the Coolidge Auditorium in the Library of Congress. When I conduct Haydn, I am the happiest person in the world. I love his sense of humor and simplicity. Everything is so clear, and at the same time so fine, so elegant. The Coolidge Auditorium is such an intimate space, it was made for chamber music.
El maestro madrileño cumple 25 años de carrera en Estados Unidos, donde trabaja como profesor en la Universidad de Georgetown y dirige desde 2003 el PostClassical Ensemble.
People respect you if you know what you are asking them to do. Then you have to be able to convey what you want. All simply. Through gestures and communication that goes beyond language. I think the orchestra is the most extraordinary achievement of humanity. Can you imagine something more sophisticated than that? One hundred people without verbal communication playing together for one hour? That goes beyond everything. Beyond thinking. To me [it] is the most incredible achievement. People making music together. It’s a miracle.
In March, 12 Georgetown University music students went to Cuba to work with musicians at Lyceum Mozartiano de La Habana. This Saturday, the Cuban musicians will return the favor, performing a free concert at Gaston Hall with their DC counterparts. Washingtonian spoke with Georgetown music director and professor Angel Gil-Ordóñez about the program.
One of Naxos’ April highlights is an all-Lou Harrison CD from the Washington, D.C.-based PostClassical Ensemble; the highlight of the CD is a recording of Harrison’s Concerto for Violin and 5 Percussionists.