Letter to the Editor: Cello concert was rousing success

Grammy-winning classical cellist Zuill Bailey performs at the North Star Theatre. (Sept. 9, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times
Grammy-winning classical cellist Zuill Bailey performs at the North Star Theatre. (Sept. 9, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

A nearly sold-out house on Monday, Sept. 12, roared their approval as they quickly stood at the end of the last announced piece, yelling, “One more piece, one more piece,” over and over. Their demand was answered by “The Flight of the Bumblebee.” This time the audience literally jumped out of their seats, yelling and screaming their appreciation.

Zuill and Alfredo even seemed a bit surprised by the intense reaction to their performance. The performance consisted of music from around the world, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, the U.S. and Russia.

Zuill Bailey, a Grammy Award-winning soloist known internationally as one of the finest cellists in the world, is also one of the most active and sought after. He plays on a 326-year-old cello.

As the artistic director of the Sitka Summer Music Festival and recently named artistic director of the Juneau Jazz and Classics Festival, he arranges for artists from around the world to come to Alaska and perform, not just in Sitka and Juneau, but also Anchorage and, since they began touring in the 1980s, guest artists have appeared in 41 communities across Alaska. After almost 40 years, they returned to Cordova.

Alfredo Oyaguez, a native of Spain, is a graduate of Yale University where he earned a Master of Music degree and also a Master of Music degree in conducting. He has also done postgraduate studies with several very well-known piano instructors.

He has performed all over Europe and done concert tours in Asia and South America as a soloist and in collaboration with other artists such as Zuill.

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Currently, he is on the faculty of the Palma de Mallorca Conservatory in the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain and serves as the Artistic Director of the Deia International Music Festival and the Director of the Camerata Deia in Mallorca.

Shortly after their arrival on Sept. 12, they presented a short concert for the folks in respite care and others, including a number of staff, at the Cordova Community Medical Center, which was very much appreciated.

Before leaving on Tuesday, they performed for the students of Mt. Eccles Elementary, followed by a performance for Cordova Jr./Sr. High School students. The students sat in rapt attention throughout, followed by giving Zuill and Alfredo loud standing ovations.

A quick trip to Sheridan Glacier before their flight to Anchorage, caused them to gasp at the view at the top of the last pitch before they hurried down to the ice and lake below. Excitedly, Alfredo told me that he wants to come back to Cordova and bring his son. Zuill wants to come back too.

Ron Andersen
Cordova Arts and Pageants board member

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