--From EL ECONOMISTA
July 14, 2019, 9:31 PM
THE DISTINCTION WAS AWARDED BY LA SOCIEDAD MAHLER MÉXICO
The Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco is recognized as the best in Mexico
The Jalisco Secretary of Culture, Giovana Jaspersen, emphasized the function of the group in fomenting social development.
Because of its excellent musical quality in the interpretation of the works of renowned composer Gustav Mahler, prior to this Sunday afternoon’s concert (the final offering of the ensemble´s second season) the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco (OFJ), under the baton of Maestro Jesús Medina Villarreal, was distinguished by the Sociedad Mahler México with that organization’s award for the Nation´s Best Symphony Orchestra.
Just so, the Filarmónica de Jalisco has become the first orchestra to receive the highest distinction that the above-mentioned organization presents on an annual basis since it was first formed in the year 2000. Earlier recipients of the award were prominent orchestral conductors, promoters of academic musical study, and those who had been associated with the collective memory of impeccable performances of the works of the Austrian composer, such as Sir Simon Rattle, director of the Berlin Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel, director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, or Mexico´s own Eduardo Mata, who had been Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (Mexico City) and who until his death was Honorary President of the Sociedad Mahler.
“This orchestra, with this new administration, has reached an extremely high level; the quality is astounding. One notes the group´s maturity, because it is not the result of the hard work of one individual but of the entire orchestra, together,” Francisco Bricio, president of the Sociedad Mahler México, told El Economista, minutes before taking the stage at the Teatro Degollado to present the award.
Onstage, he directed his attention specifically to the musicians in the orchestra when he said, "To adequately interpret the music of Gustav Mahler is not simple. Many years of ensemble training are required to arrive at a body of sound that is heard as a block, in perfect balance. These are all attributes of your orchestra…Even though, so far, the Filarmónica de Jalisco has not yet achieved the goal of being one of the world’s select orchestras that has performed the complete Mahler symphonic cycle (although it’s getting very close), what we have heard up to today has been of a quality that is unprecedented in Mexico.”
Recognition must be given, he emphasized, to all of the musicians in the orchestra, but also to the orchestra´s staff, and to the direction of Maestro Jesús Medina as well as the work of previous conductors.
The Orchestra´s Social Purpose
Also present at the ceremony was Jalisco´s Secretary of Culture, Giovana Jaspersen, who spoke with this newspaper prior to the event.
“The recognition that our orchestra has received makes us proud and enthusiastic. The Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco is our nation´s highest quality orchestra, of international stature. And we aren’t the only ones saying this; our guest soloists and guest conductors are saying it, too. Now that the Sociedad Mahler has decided to award this distinction to our orchestra, we are obliged to keep the orchestra growing and improving,” proclaimed this public official.
She added that complementing the OFJ´s project planning with a social mission was one of the priorities of her administration. The result of this mission has been the incorporation into the OFJ programing of the works of outstanding female composers such as Fanny Mendelssohn, and the participation of female artists, as in the case of Russian pianist Sofya Gulyak or Jalisco soprano Anabel de la Mora.
“Another of our goals has to do with the promotion and diffusion of the prodigious talent in our own state and country. We have included composers from Jalisco in our programming, because we want the orchestra to promote such talents as José Rolón, Eusebio Ruvalcaba or José Pablo Moncayo, who make us feel very proud,” she said.
“However, in addition, the musicians of the OFJ are part of the Ecos, Música para la paz project, which has to do with schools for musical formation in various towns throughout our state. During a four-day period, members of the orchestra have worked directly with talented youngsters-- who deeply admire these musicians, our musicians--who have become their point of reference,” she added.
This important developmental experience for the young musicians of Ecos will have an especially significant closing ceremony: a presentation in the Teatro Degollado this coming July 29th, where the OFJ musicians will be their “audience”.
Founded in 1965, with 54 years in existence and 500 active members, some music lovers and some musicians, the Sociedad Mahler México is the second-largest, oldest and most active in the world, behind only the Internationale Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft Wien (Vienna), founded in 1955 with famed orchestral conductor Bruno Walter as president. Mahler Societies can also be found in the United States, Asia, and throughout Europe.