Five facts about Venezuela


By Bobbi McCollum

According to the World Fact Book’s Web site, 23,916,810 people live in Venezuela. Karen White, dean of the College of Fine Arts, says four of those people belong to an award-winning chamber music group that will be performing at UNO Sept. 7 as a part of the Ecoutez! series.

The Avila String Quartet combines the talents of violinists Louise Higgins and Carlos Rubio, violist Meghan Casper and cellist Carlos Izcaray. The group takes its name from Caracas, the mountain range that surrounds the capital of Venezuela.

The quartet will be performing works by South American composers including Villa Lobos and Piazzola. These composers are noted for their folk themes and syncopated rhythms. The concert will also feature standard quartet repertoire by Haydn and Shostakovich.

“Ecoutez! was established to offer concerts of the highest caliber to the students of UNO,” White says. “The series has become known in Omaha for presenting young and emerging artists who are at the start of their professional career.”

White explains that performers are chosen through recommendations from the Department of Music’s faculty or through work with professional agents who can help find emerging talent. The 2002-03 Ecoutez! series will feature an array of music styles and performers, including pianist Stephen Prutsman and jazz saxophonist Dave Pietro.

“We look for contrast in musical styles and instrumentation in selecting artists for the series,” White says.


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