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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Next up at the Symphony: A piano virtuoso comes home

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Mérida-born Alfredo Arjona, now living in Texas, performs with the Yucatán Symphony Orchestra this weekend. Photo: Courtesy

Mérida, Yucatán — Program 2 of the current Symphony season represents a homecoming for a very accomplished pianist.

Mérida-born musician Alfredo Arjona and the Yucatán Symphony Orchestra offer a “Nordic Gala” concert on Friday and Sunday at the Teatro José Peón Contreras, as part of Season XXVIII.

Miguel Escobedo Novelo, the orchestra director, said the concerts will welcome a Yucatecan pianist of “refined sensitivity,” Alfredo Arjona.

In a press conference that also included Margarita Molina Zaldívar, president of the Patronato for the Orchestra; Juan Carlos Lomónaco, principal conductor and Arjona, Escobedo Novelo invited the the public to enjoy the performance of the pianist, who will show his skills learned from Leon Fleisher, Andras Schiff, György Sándor, John Perry, Abbey Simon and Emanuel Ax.

Lomónaco praised Arjona’s accomplishments and said that “for OSY it is significant to have a great piano virtuoso, especially if he is Yucatecan, because it fills us with pride.”

Arjona lives in Dallas, Texas, where he graduated from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.

He is currently a Doctor of Music in Piano Performance candidate at the University of North Texas.

About his participation with the Symphony of Yucatán, Arjona said that his goal is to establish a bond of communication between his music and the public.

Born in Mérida, Arjona did not begin playing the piano until he was 20 and studying at the University of Veracruz, where he had planned to become a chemical engineer.

Arjona went on to receive his Concert-Diploma at the prestigious Queen Sofía School in Madrid under Dmitri Bashkirov. 

Arjona’s first found acclaim in 1992 at the City of Xalapa Piano Competition and in 1994 at the Second Guanajuato Piano Competition. In 1996, he personally received the Queen Sofía-Cátedra Piano Award from the monarch herself.

The National Foundation for Culture and Arts in México has twice bestowed upon Arjona its prestigious grant for both his performances and research, and at SMU, he was elected by the faculty both to the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society and to receive the Roy and Sue Johnson Award in memory of Maurice Acers.

Arjona has given recitals in Madrid, Barcelona, Santander, Lisbon, Rome, Vienna, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Mérida, Xalapa, Cordoba, Orizaba, and Puebla, and he has been invited to perform with the Xalapa Symphony Orchestra, the Guanajuato Symphony Orchestra, the Jalisco Philarmonic Orchestra, the Yucatán Chamber Orchestra, and the Southern Symphony Orchestra.

He has also made multiple appearances at the Cervantino International Festival, the Su Majestad el Piano International Festival, the Santander Festival, Despertar del Mayab en el Siglo XXI, Primavera Cultural del Mayab and the Otoño Cultural Festival.

Arjona is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of North Texas.

Read about the entire Symphony season here.

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