US orchestra to perform in Havana for first time in 85 years

Posted: 13-May-15 12:14

The Minnesota Orchestra will play concerts in Cuba for the first time in 85 years, following the easing of the travel ban recently lifted by the Obama administration. The U.S. orchestra last performed in Cuba back in 1930 and it will return to the island for two concerts at Havana's National Theatre on 15th and 16th May, 2015.

US orchestra to perform in Havana for first time in 85 years

An orchestra from the United States will perform in Cuba for the first time in 85 years after travel restrictions to the country were recently eased by the Obama administration.

The Minnesota Orchestra last played concerts on the Caribbean island in 1930 but it will now return for two concerts at the National Theatre (Teatro Nacional de Cuba) in Havana on 15th and 16th May, 2015.

It will be the first time a U.S. orchestra has performed in Cuba since the U.S travel embargo was enforced 55 years ago.

Kevin Smith, the Presi¬dent and CEO of the Minnesota Orchestra; explained;

"We are honoured to have received this invitation from the Cuban Ministry of Culture,”

“It will be the Minnesota Orchestra’s privilege to perform for audiences in Havana."

The concerts in Havana will be conducted by Osmo Vanska, a Finnish music director, and they will feature works by Beethoven, Prokofiev and Bernstein as well as pieces performed by the National Chorus of Cuba as part of the city’s International Cubadisco Festival.

Funded by board-member Marilyn Nelson, the event will also have exchanges with Cuban music students and a joint rehearsal with Amadeo Roldan Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Marilyn commented;

"We are thrilled that our orchestra will have the opportunity to make this connection in Cuba and represent our wonderful, inclusive community."

The tour was confirmed following the U.S treasury’s announcement last week that ferry services licences had been granted to U.S firms.

Though general tourism on the Caribbean island is still prohibited for U.S residents, they can travel to Cuba for educational, professional, academic and religious purposes via organised people to People to People programmes.

Havana is the capital city of Cuba and it is steeped in history and culture. The city boasts many tourist hotspots such as the Malecon, a promenade that runs along the main streets and offers beautiful views of the bay; the Catedral de San Cristobal; the maritime museum, Castillo de la Real Fuerza; the Old Town, a UNESCO site with restored buildings and the tourist square, Plaza de Armas.


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