Close Quarters: EPISODE 6

Contreras, Del Águila + Jofre

Virtual Event

Premiered on January 15

Curated by Juan Pablo Contreras, Episode 6 celebrates composers from around the Americas who reside and work in the melting pot of the United States, while their musical influences and flavors originate from their native countries like Argentina, Mexico and Uruguay. Also featured is the world premiere of Juan Pablo’s “Mariachitlán” for Piano Four-Hands.

Join us for a Pre-Broadcast Composers Roundtable hosted by Creative Advisor and Composer-in-Residence Ellen Reid. RSVP HERE.

Contreras, Del Águila + Jofre is sponsored by Anne-Marie + Alex Spataru. Additional support for this program comes from Evelyn + Stephen Block and Anna Rosicka + H. Allen Evans.


Mariachitlán (Mariachiland) pays homage to my birthplace, the Mexican state of Jalisco, where mariachi music originated. The work recounts my experience visiting the Plaza de los Mariachis in Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco, a place where mariachis play their songs in every corner and interrupt each other to win over the crowd.In Mariachitlán, traditional rhythms such as the canción ranchera (ranchera song) in 2/4 time (choon-tah choon-tah), the vals romántico (romantic waltz) in 3/4 time (choon-tah-tah), and the son jalisciense (Jalisco song) that alternates between 6/8 and 3/4 time, accompany original melodies inspired by the beautiful landscapes of Jalisco.

Near the end of the piece, a policeman “blows” his whistle in an attempt to stop the party. However, the crowd chants Mariachitlán, gradually increasing in intensity, and is rewarded with more vibrant music that ends the work with great brilliance. 

The original version of Mariachitlán (2016), scored for orchestra, won the 2016 Jalisco Orchestral Composition Contest and was nominated for a 2019 Latin GRAMMY® Award for Best Arrangement.

–Juan Pablo Contreras

Seducción is one of three related works written by Miguel del Aguila in 2007, (together with Seducción for violin/piano and Seduction Dance for flute/oboe/piano). These works share thematic material with each other and also borrow themes from the composer’s previously written Clarinet Concerto No.2 and Pacific Serenade. The works begins with a lyrical and sensuous, song-like introduction evoking the style of the Brazilian Chôro and it quickly gives way to a frantic, restless dance. From then on, the work is propelled forward by a series of ostinatos and rhythmically irregular themes. Rhythm is here the captivating (seductive), element which often relegates the melodic material to a secondary role. This Latin dance, written mainly on 13/16 meter, begins with a percussive, almost primal theme that becomes increasingly breathless and ever-more-intense leading the work towards a final passionate climax. A tour de force for all three performers, Seducción demands not only stamina but outmost rhythmic accuracy through constantly shifting meters. Seducción was premiered in 2008 by Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society Festival Ensemble in Madison, Wisconsin.

–Miguel Del Águila

Tangódromo 1 originally written for String Quartet and Bandoneón, was arranged specially for the LACO for Clarinet in Bb and String Quartet while quarantined in Taipei where I was on tour. I wrote this piece in 2013 in New York City for a performance we had scheduled with the Attacca Quartet, at the moment I was deeply in love with the Shostakovich string quartets, and the Piazzolla’s Five Tango Sensations so I might have gotten a lot of inspiration from these wonderful composers I admire.

–JP Jofre


LACO’s new premium streaming series – which premieres November 6 – presents a new avenue for classical music and a unique look at what the future can hold in balancing music, art and movement.

Close Quarters features classical music performances set to images and art created and processed in a first-of-its-kind digital studio at Wilhardt + Naud. Music Director Jaime Martín and Director and Designer James Darrah seek to create a digital series that celebrates collaboration in an age of isolation.

Learn More about Close Quarters

Close Quarters is a Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra original series and you can find it for free on Youtube, Facebook and our website. We’ve created a printer-friendly version of the Fall season broadcast schedule.

Learn More download the schedule now (pdf)!

How to Support

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