Elbphilharmonie Talk with José Antonio Méndez Padrón

The Cuban conductor talks about the flourishing music scene in his country, about his own career and the unusual project »Mozart y Mambo«.

»There will always be music, regardless of a country's political and financial situation,«says Cuban conductor José Antonio Méndez Padrón. And he knows what he's talking about. As the son of a choirmaster, he grew up with music. In the Elbphilharmonie Talk he talks about the flourishing music scene in his country, where the chances of a professional musical training are still too low. He, too, almost opted for a career in baseball – »because it's kind of normal«, as he puts it.

He never imagined that he would one day be appearing at the Elbphilharmonie instead: »Three years ago I had the chance to sit in here on a rehearsal of the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble, and I immediately fell in love with this beautiful concert hall,« he recalls.

The trained singer and conductor, whom everyone affectionately calls »Pepe«, is appearing at the Elbphilharmonie together with »his« Havana Lyceum Orchestra and horn player Sarah Willis. On the programme is the remarkable concert project »Mozart y Mambo«, which combines classical works by Mozart with Cuban music. The result is a delight to listen to – and makes you want to dance as well.

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