Symphony orchestra concerts will mark 75 years

The Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional celebrates this weekend the 75 years that it has been a cornerstone of the country’s social and cultural life.

The orchestra will recreate the program that it first presented Oct. 31, 1940, under the direction of invited conductor Hugo Mariani of Uruguay. There were 40 performers then.

The orchestra is special to expats, and many have volunteered as fundraisers for years.

As usual there will be two identical performances. One is Friday at 8 p.m., and the second is Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

The orchestra today has 72 members, most being Costa Ricans who started in the music system’s youth program. The director is the American Carl St. Clair.

Also featured will be the U.S. Trío Eroica with Erika Nickrenz at the piano,  Sara Parkins with the violin and Sara Sant’Ambrogio on the violoncello. They will present the Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Concerto for Violin, Cello,

Carl St. Clair and the orchestra

Carl St. Clair and the orchestra

and Piano in C major, Op. 56,” which more popularly is called the Triple Concierto.

The historic program from 1940 will be Beethoven “Coriolan Overture, Op 62,” and the  “Gran fantasía sinfónica sobre música costarricense” by Costa Rican Juan Fonseca. Also on the program is Ottorino Respighi’s “Pines of Rome.”

The Teatro Nacional always has been the orchestra’s home.

Many expats appreciate the bargain prices that range from 4,000 to 18,000 colons (about $7.60 to $34) colons with half off for seniors and students. Intermission wine not included.

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