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Friday, February 23, 2024

Costa Rica Holiday Cheer: Christmas Concerts

The traditional Christmas Concerts presented by the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica (OSNCR) and the National Symphonic Choir are set to commence this Friday, December 8, in the community of San Isidro de Coronado. The performances will feature the talents of 140 artists, including musicians and choristers, all under the direction of Costa Rican conductor Ramiro A. Ramírez.

A total of six presentations will be held across four provinces of the country, in public spaces, and open to the public free of charge.

The schedule for the concerts is as follows:

  • Friday, December 08, 7:30 p.m., San Isidro de Coronado Church.
  • Sunday, December 10, 11:30 a.m., San Rafael Arcángel Parish, Atenas.
  • Tuesday, December 12, 7:30 p.m., Centro de Convenciones de lo Alto, San José de la Montaña, Barva.
  • Wednesday, December 13, 7:30 p.m., Alajuela Cathedral.
  • Thursday, December 14, 7:30 p.m., San Diego de Tres Ríos Catholic Church, La Unión.
  • Friday, December 15, 7:30 p.m., San Miguel Arcángel Parish, Escazú.

This year’s musical program will showcase compositions by renowned artists such as Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Costa Rican composer Carlos Guzmán. Additionally, the national soprano, María Jesús Castro, will grace the stage as a guest soloist.

Ramiro A. Ramírez, the guest conductor, expressed, “These Christmas concerts are a beautiful way to conclude a musically intense year for the Orchestra and Choir. We aim to bring the audience closer to exquisite selections of the repertoire, featuring works by Chabrier, Tchaikovsky, Handel, and the heartfelt Costa Rican Christmas carols of Brunilda de Portilla orchestrated by Carlos Guzmán,” he said.

The Symphonic Choir, marking its fiftieth anniversary in 2024, will preview this significant milestone by performing two movements from its debut in 1974, Schubert’s ‘Mass in G,’ fittingly for this season with a text celebrating the fulfillment of messianic promises: ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosana in heaven.’

Soprano María Jesús Castro will enchant the audience with a movement from Mozart’s ‘Great Mass in C minor,’ which speaks of the incarnation of Christ through the Virgin Mary. Everyone is invited to attend and revel in the music.

Rehearsals for the Christmas concerts are scheduled from December 5 to 8 at the Centro Nacional de la Música (CNM) in Moravia. This series of concerts will mark a total of 79 performances by the OSNCR in 2023, with 52 of them offered free to the public.

“Christmas concerts are always highly emotional, providing a time for reflection and celebration. Most activities offered by the National Music Center are free and cater to the entire Costa Rican family.

We extend an invitation to join us not only for these concerts but also for the events planned by the orchestra and choir in 2024, a year that will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the National Symphonic Choir, featuring three season concerts and the return of the Opera,” Ricardo Chaves Cordero, alternate general director of the National Music Center, expressed.

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