Alberto Ginastera: Variaciones concertantes

Virtual Event


Watch Music Director Jaime Martín lead the musicians of LACO in Ginastera‘s Variaciones concertantes at The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall on June 26, 2021.

Ginastera’s masterpiece features almost every instrument in the Orchestra as a soloist, which gives the chance to highlight LACO’s virtuosic musicians.



This episode of SummerFest 2021 is sponsored by the Alan G. and Jane A. Lehman Foundation.
The appearance of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall was made possible by a leadership gift from Terri + Jerry Kohl.


Alberto Ginastera

Variaciones concertantes


Margaret Batjer


Tereza Stanislav

assistant concertmaster

Josefina Vergara

principal second violin

Cheryl Norman-Brick

acting associate second violin

Hana Kim

violin II

Andrew Shulman

Principal Cello

Armen Ksajikian

Associate Principal Cello

David Grossman

Principal Bass

Sandy Hughes

Acting Principal Flute

Diana Morgan


Claire Brazeau

Principal Oboe, Allan Vogel Chair, Endowed by the Henry Family

Joshua Ranz

Principal Clarinet

Michael Thornton

Principal Horn

David Washburn

Principal Trumpet

Alex Iles

acting principal trombone

Elisabeth Zosseder

acting principal harp

Ted Atkatz


Ryan Sweeney

personnel manager


Alberto Ginastera was an Argentine of Spanish and Italian descent. Studying both in Buenos Aires and in the United States, his musical influences were varied, including the native tangos of Argentina and the quintessentially American style he encountered while studying with Aaron Copland in the 1940s. His output – like that of many composers – is interpreted as encompassing three chronological and stylistic categories. The “Objective Nationalism” period (the 1930s through 1948), is characterized by an uncomplicated use of Argentine folk elements. The next period, called “Subjective Nationalism,” lasted from 1948 to 1958. In this period and the last, “Neo-expressionism” (1958-1983), Ginastera began to integrate folk elements in a more obscure fashion. Rather than quote or arrange authentic folk materials, he strove instead to create a musical atmosphere indicative of his homeland.

Ginastera composed the Variaciones concertantes in 1953, during his middle period. It was a tumultuous time for Ginastera, as difficulties with Perón’s rule led to the composer’s resignation as the head of the Music Conservatory of the National University of La Plata. Regardless of the troubles he was having with the government, Ginastera’s appreciation for the music of his homeland never waned, and these folk traditions continued to inspire his work. In Variaciones concertantes, one of the most striking musical effects is the harmony of the open-string guitar, here played by the harp. It is this opening gambit that forms the basic thematic material for the work. Eleven variations follow the initial statement, and in each variation, one instrument is singled out. For each, Ginastera based the musical material of the variation on the idiomatic qualities of that instrument. There are embellishments that appear throughout, including motor-like tapping notes and jazz-inspired flourishes. The last variation, an appropriation of the malambo, a gaucho dance, is colorful and energetic, a suitable end to our tour through Ginastera’s Argentina.

-Christine Lee Gengaro, Ph.D.

About LACO SummerFest 2021

LACO SummerFest began as a response to the lack of in-person concerts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting July 2020, LACO released five special musician-curated programs bi-weekly, utilizing COVID-19 safety guidelines for film and television production in Los Angeles County. These 30-minute broadcasts allowed LACO to connect and engage with supporters while also building an online audience.

We are continuing SummerFest in 2021, featuring performances from our first in-person concerts in 15 months since the pandemic at The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Huntington Library.


How to Support

Viewers who wish to support LACO and the artists on screen are encouraged to visit or call (213) 622-7001, EXT. 4.