Rio International Cello Encounter

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rice

The 15th annual Rio International Cello Encounter begins this weekend (August 9-24, 2009).   As always with this important festival organized by the great cellist David Chew, Villa-Lobos is a featured composer.  But in this Ano Villa-Lobos there are more performances than ever of his music.

The excellent RICE website (which you can browse to the excellent music of David Chew) includes information about the many concerts which will take place later this month, a majority of which include at least one piece by Villa-Lobos.  It also presents an exciting project called Villa in Cello, which will provide sets of 10 DVDs of music from the event to 400 schools, libraries, and musical institutions.  As a public librarian myself I applaud this inititative.  It's certainly in the tradition of bringing music to all Brazilians which Villa-Lobos pioneered in the 1930s and 1940s.

Another important initiative at this year's event is Projeto Cello Dance, which combines the beautiful melodic lines of the cello with dance.  There's been a real increase lately in projects which combine dance with Villa's music, and it's nice to see this trend continue.

So if you're in Rio this August, check out XV RICE.  There are some excellent YouTube videos from previous years' events; let's hope new ones turn up soon from this year's.