Pianist Manuel Matarrita to feature Latin American composers in Jan. 23 recital

Pianist Manuel Matarrita will perform at Northwestern State University on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. The concert is part of the Louisiana Piano Series International. Tickets are $15. Students are admitted free. Dr. Francis Yang and Dr. Christine Burczyk Allen are the organizers of the Louisiana Piano Series International.

He will perform works by Beethoven and Latin American composers German Darío Pérez, Evencio Castellanos, Wim Statius Muller, Beatriz Lockhart Mario Ruiz Armengol and

Remo Pignoni.

Matarrita is one of the most active Costa Rican pianists, as a soloist and collaborative musician. A two-time winner of the National Music Prize of his country (2012 and 2015), his performances have taken him to the most important venues in Costa Rica, as well as to other stages throughout Central America, the United States, Italy, Spain, Serbia, Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Peru, Brazil and Argentina. Matarrita studied at the University of Costa Rica, the University of New Orleans and Louisiana State University.

He is a professor of piano at the School of Musical Arts at the University of Costa Rica. He is currently the president of the Costa Rica Chapter of WPTA (World Piano Teachers Association). As a result of his special interest in Spanish and Latin American music, Manuel has published the book “Canciones populares costarricenses” as well as the recordings “Una milpa y buenos güeyes” “Confidências,” “Evocación” and “Flores del corazón,” which are all available in the major digital platforms. He was also the winner of the first prize in composition of the WPTA-ARGENTINA Piano Composition Competition in 2018.

Mattarita says popular music heritage has always been a prolific source of inspiration for artists. Consequently, Latin American vernacular dances have served as an attractive medium in which composers have displayed their creative vein, evoking their musical ancestors. The second part of his program offers a short but significant tour throughout some dance genres present in the piano repertoire of Latin America, shown here in works by authors from Colombia, Venezuela, Uruguay, Argentina, Mexico, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Curaçao and Costa Rica. Some of the rhythms recreated in these compositions, such as the waltz, certainly emanated from the European tradition, but they are musically colored with a particular way of expression, different in each country. Other regions, such as Argentina, offer a vast and inexhaustible spectrum of native and peculiar rhythms. The recital will also include an original composition “Desvaríos sobre La Botijuela,” which is a tribute to this Latin American tradition of piano dances and some of its most recognized exponents.