To hear Sharon Litwin interview Carlos Miguel Prieto on WWNO radio, click here.
Back in the swamp from an engagement in Lima, Peru and summer gigs in Costa Rica and Chicago, among many other destinations, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s Music Director, Carlos Miguel Prieto, returned this week to rehearse with the LPO musicians in the Mahalia Jackson Theatre in Armstrong Park. He is waiting on his family to join him on the weekend, pretty much trapped, as they are at this writing, on the 11th floor of a beach apartment in Acapulco without power and with minimum groceries, thanks to not one, but two hurricanes wreaking havoc on Mexico.
But, Carlos says, no worry; they’re all right and will be here on Friday in time for Saturday night’s first concert of the 2013-2014 Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra season. The concert will feature two all-time symphonic favorites known for their lyrical melodies, orchestral drama, and virtuoso playing: Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto.
Carlos Miguel is thrilled that the first guest artist of the LPO’s 23rd season is Israeli-American violin virtuoso Gil Shaham, someone the LPO has been trying to get to New Orleans for five years.
“Let me tell you about Gil,” Carlos Miguel explains. “He is really one of the top names in classical music today. Wherever he goes in the main capitals all over the world, he sells out. I just worked with him two weeks ago in Mexico City and we were able to sell out two concerts pretty much based on his visit.”
While the Prieto family calls Mexico City their primary residence, New Orleans truly is their second home. The three children, Anna, 9, Cecilia, 7 and Carlito, now 3, all attend school here when they are in town. The tri-lingual trio manages to do that because of an unusual but enlightened arrangement between their schools in Mexico City and New Orleans. When asked how he and his wife, Isabel, manage to sustain a family life, he says a description of how the children handle it could be a short story.
“Or perhaps a novel,” he says, laughing. “They actually lead a life of back and forth between Mexico City and New Orleans. They’re enrolled in two schools, in the French Lycee in Mexico and here in the Ecole Bilingue, which is a beautiful school. The schools communicate and they’ve been leading this life since they were very little.”
Fortunately for us, that lifestyle is likely to go on for quite a while, since Carlos Miguel Prieto has re-upped for five more seasons.
For more information about Saturday’s concert and the LPO’s upcoming season, go to www.lpomusic.com.