Festival Programme 2012

21 February - 25 March 2012

The festival theme is:

Music From Latin America




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Title of the 2012 Festival:

Music From Latin America

Tuesday, February 21
Flamenco sin Fronteras. Spain, Venezuela
Paco Peňa Dance Company

Flamenco without borders

Spain and Venezuela are linked by a common language – in dance and music.
“The legendary Paco Peňa starts at the main source, Spain, for the origins of Latin American music and dance. Relaxed Afro-rhythms from Caracas melt with the percussive fever of Iberian flamenco guitar. Six musicians, two singers and four dancers have a lighthearted spontaneous competition between Spanish and Latin American traditions.
Paco Peňa was named “guitarist of the year” by America’s “Guitar magazine” for five consecutive years

$115, $85, $55

Thursday, 23 February
Flamenco Sin Fronteras Spain, Venezuela
Paco Peňa Dance Company

Flamenco without borders

(Second performance)

This production was first performed at London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre in July 2010. More performances followed in Ireland , Turkey, Belgium, Holland, Australia (Sydney , August 2011), and in the Town Hall of N.Y.City (February 2011)
"Paco Peňa has long been in the enviable position of surrounding himself with nothing but the best. That’s exactly what he has done for Flamenco sin Fronteras. Every one of the dancers, singers and musicians is a standout” The Times, London.

$115, $85, $55

Friday, 24 February
Eglise Guttierez, soprano. Cuba
The Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra,
Ligia Amadio, conductor. Brazil

A night at the Opera, Gran Teatro de la Habana

A remarkable soprano who sings beyond the capabilities of most Bel Canto sopranos .
She has sung at the Covent Garden Royal Opera House.
'“E. Gutierrez is a lovely and appealing young woman utterly sincere” Opera News, June 2011
'‘E. Gutierrez has a light, soft soprano that floats up to delicate top notes…..the results are dreamily beautiful.” Financial Times, Nov. 2011

Eglise was proclaimed artist of the year 2009 at the Savolina Opera festival, Finland
Ligia Amado is Brazil’s most popular lady conductor “During the performance she is extraordinarily inspiring and reliable. Her musicality is outstanding and her temperament fiery and lyrical.” Martha Agueritch

Opera arias from Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi, Saint Saens


$110, $79, $59

Saturday, 25 February
Cristina Ortiz, piano. Brazil


Impressions of France and Brazil

This piano recital is by the world renowned Brazilian pianist Cristina Ortiz . She is equally accomplished in the repertoire of Debussy and Villa-Lobos. It will be sheer joy to listen to her.
“ One of the great strength of this pianist – apart from her faultless technique and intelligence- is that she has such a passion in her playing that the listener feels included. There is never a barrier between Ortiz and the audience, such as you can feel with some performers. There is a sense of fun as well as artistry” The Manly Daily Newspaper, Sydney.

$79, $59, $45

Tuesday, 28 February
Ana De La Vega, flute. Argentina
Gianluca Marciano, piano. Italy

The National Museum

Ana’s Magic Flute


The Argentinean born, Australian flautist Ana de la Vega, with a fast rising International career, is accompanied at the piano by no less than the Festival’s Music Director and Italian conductor Gianluca Marciano.
The program of the evening includes popular pieces by Schubert and Poulenc as well as Piazzola tangos....



Thursday, 1 March
Jose Feghali, piano Brazil

Viva Brazil!

A superb piano recital by this Brazilian pianist of Lebanese descent.
A real virtuoso!

Beethoven’s Pathétique and a mixed repertoire of Latin American music ending with the Grande Fantaisie Triomphale, a triumphal fantasy by the American composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk, based on the Brazilian National Anthem


Saturday, 3 March
Dario Schmunck tenor, Argentina
Gianluca Marciano, piano. Italy

Canciones Argentinas y Arias De Opera

This great international Argentinian tenor started singing in a rock band! At the age of 23 he became a member of the chorus and converted to Bel Canto. In 2009, he sang at the Royal Opera house with Netrebko and Garanča in I Capuleti e I Montecchi,”a performance to match musical heights with dramatic and emotional depth.
He will sing for us Opera arias as well as popular songs from Argentina, Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru and Mexico.

For the second time in this Festival, Maestro Gianluca Marciano has set his baton aside to accompany Dario at the piano.

Sunday, 4 March
Delfos Danza Contemporànea . Mexico

Luminous Passages

Luminous Passages, from the repertoire of this exciting ballet Company.

Six dance pieces with a choice of great musical scores by the composers Antonio Vivaldi, Meredith Monk, Mario Lavista, Steve Reich and Maurice Ravel

$99, $65, $45

Monday, 5 March
Delfos Danza Contemporànea, Mexico

Luminous Passages

Second performance


You will enjoy the diversity, the poetic quality and the great physical work of the nine dancers in this ballet.
The Delfos Dance Company directs the Professional School of dance of Mazatlan, which is considered one of the most important dance centers in Latin America

$99, $65, $45

Tuesday, 6 March
Olivia Gorra, soprano. Mexico
Tbilisi State Opera Symphony Orchestra.Georgia
Gianluca Marciano, conductor. Italy


A night at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City

A Mexican soprano with Lebanese roots. Olivia will sing a repertoire of Bel Canto arias as well as popular Latin American songs.
“Olivia has a beautiful and marvelously expressive voice, in addition to great personal and musical charm” Carnegie Hall
“An absolute Diva, considered one of the best Mexican voices if not the best….
“ Olivia is a “bête de scene” as the French say, a stage animal of gigantic size.”
Alejandro Fernandez, music critic

$110, $79, $59

Wednesday, 7 March
Linda Bustani, piano. Brazil


The piano we love

Happiness, is to listen to Linda at the piano. She has come all the way from Rio de Janeiro.
“The best piano sound around for well over thirty years” Fanfare music magazine

Schumann and Chopin with the best of Latin American composers Villa-Lobos, Fransisco Mignone, Ernesto Nazareth.


$95, $65, $45


Thursday, 8 March
Ara Malikian and the Fernando Egozcue Quintet. Lebanon, Argentina


Late night jazz

“Ara Malikian is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant and expressive violinist of his generation. In possession of a personal style, forged from his own origins and rich musical experience” Paganini.com

He has assimilated the music of many cultures, the Middle East, central Europe, Argentina and Spain.
He has worked with film composers such as Pascal Gainge and Alberto Iglesias with whom he recorded the sound track for “Habla con ella”, the Academy award winning movie by Pedro Almodovar.


Friday, 9 March
Misa Criolla, Misa Tango

A Unique and Great event with two Misas inspired by the mysterious sounds of the Andes

Misa Criola, Ariel Ramirez with:

The Grupo Alturas. Peru
The Antonine choir Lebanon

Misa Tango, Luis Bacalov with:
Olivia Gorra, soprano. Mexico
Dario Schmunk, tenor. Argentina
Mario Pietrodarchi, bandoneon. Italy
The Antonine choir. Lebanon
Toufic Maatouk O.A.M, choirmaster. Lebanon
The Lebanese Philharmonic orchestra
Gianluca Marciano, conductor. Italy

“Virtuoso bandoneon player, Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi is absolutely extraordinary”
Luis Bacalov, the composer of Misa Tango will be present during the concert.


$45, $59, $79

Saturday, 10 March
Olivia Ghorra, soprano. Mexico
Antonio Menesses, cello. Brazil
Mario Pietrodarchi, Bandoneon. Italy
Luis Bacalov , piano. Argentina
Tbilisi State Opera Symphony Orchestra.Georgia
Alondra de la Parra, conductor. Mexico

Two concertos and a bolero

A very rare repertoire and star musicians:

Joseph Haydn: Cello Concerto in C major
Luis Bacalov: Triple Concerto: piano, soprano & bandonéon

Luis Bacalov, the composer of the music of the movie “Il Postino” will be playing the piano part in his Triple concerto
The concert will end with the Ravel Bolero.

The conductor will be Alondra de la Parra, Mexico’s most famous lady conductor “ The fire in her eyes flows through her hands and into the music” Olivia Giovetti, 2010



$115, $85, $55

Monday, 12 March
The Pan American Symphony Orchestra

Lewis Devree, cello
Octavio Brunetti , piano
Diana Le Grand, violin
Sergio Alessandro Buslje, conductor. Argentina

Rhythms from Argentina

A wonderful mixture of Pan American music, played by this Latin American orchestra, based in Washington DC, Conducted by the Argentinian Maestro Sergio Alessandro Buslje, founder of the orchestra.
It is the only orchestra in the United States that presents classical music from Latin America in every concert. It has premiered more than fifteen compositions from Latin America and highlighted the works of Latin American composers.

$95, $65 ,$45

Tuesday, 13 March
The Pan American Symphony Orchestra

Lewis Devree, cello
Octavio Brunetti , piano
Diana Le Grand, violin
Sergio Alessandro Buslje, conductor. Argentina

Fuga e Misterio

A second concert by this exciting orchestra, with another choice of Latin American music.

$95, $65, $45

Wednesday, 14 March
Cuarteto Latinoamericano (Mexico)

Four for Tango

The best of its kind and the most distinguished of Latin American groups.
They are three brothers and one colleague.
“….amongst the most fascinating and exciting string quartets I have heard in a long time, with vital, fresh, imaginative music and sensitive brilliant performances” The Washington Post.

A very upbeat program of Latin American music as well as music by George Gershwin and José Evangelista

$95, $65, $45

Friday, 16 March
Guadalupe Jimenez, soprano. Mexico
Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi. Italy
The Antonine University choir
The Lebanese Philharmonic orchestra
Gianluca Marciano, conductor. Italy


El Pueblo Joven. Bachianas Brasileira -
Villalobos Oblivion -Astor Piazzola Violentago

The great event of the year.

This Oratorio by Astor Piazzolla was conducted only once by the composer himself in Germany in 1975.
The suite from the Oratorio, written with Horacio Ferrer from Uruguay, was performed, in 2008 at the Italian Festival Torre Chiara

This Oratorio tells the story of a people living at the depth of 1001 meters under the bed of the Rio de la Plata, waiting to emerge to give life to a new generation of young Latin Americans.

About Pietrodarchi:
“I can’t explain the feet and the waving of the leg …. No one wrings more emotions from the music of Astor Piazzolla than Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi, and if these idiosyncrasies are the secret of his success then I encourage more musicians to give it a try” P.V.


$45, $59, $79

Saturday, 17 March
Tango Metropolis. Argentina

It takes more than two to tango…

A tango show with eleven dancers portraying life on the cosmopolitan streets of Buenos Aires : love stories, encounters and farewells, filled with intense moments of passion and seduction.



$115, $85, $55


Saturday, 18 March
Tango Metropolis. Argentina

It takes more than two to tango…

A tango show with eleven dancers portraying life on the cosmopolitan streets of Buenos Aires : love stories, encounters and farewells, filled with intense moments of passion and seduction.


$115, $85, $55

Monday, 19 March

Alexander Ghindin, piano. Russia

The Keys to Latin America

Alexander chose the title for this concert.
He has found 22 pieces, from different Latin American composers.
A real tour de force, which only a Russian can do!

Ghindin is the artistic director of four festivals, in Moscow, Perm, Minsk and the Swedish Royal Festival in Stockholm.
In 2006 he was named “ Honoured Artist of Russia”

After a concert with Ghindin in 2008:
“People not only leaped to their feet, but they shouted and they were pounding the benches…...It was wild and a delight to behold.” Buffalo News


$79, $59, $ 45

Tuesday, 20 March
The Assad Brothers. Brazil

Two guitars from Brazil

Sergio and Odair Assad play a great duo; they are known worldwide and play with great artists such as YoYo Ma, Gidon Kremer, Dawn Upshaw, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg.

“They have moved audiences and inspired guitarists around the world for over thirty years with performances of Latin American music and European classics, original compositions, deep musicality, almost telepathic guitar duo performances” San Francisco classical voice.
The record “YoYo Ma and friends: songs of joy and peace” won a Grammy 2010, best classical cross over.

$45, $59, $79

Wednesday, 21 March
The Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra
Ilych Rivas, conductor. Venezuela

The New Generation Takes over!

This is the kind of event you will never forget and will be proud to have been there.
The conductor is simply an astonishing young genius !
Born in 1993 into a distinguished musical family, he started studying with his father , (also a condutor), at the age of six. He has already conducted great orchestras: Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Verbier Festival Orchestra, Lucerne Symphony and has conducted Opera in Glyndebourne.
Wherever he goes, his performances are always sold out.

Villa Lobos, Piazzolla, de Falla, Respighi, Ginastera.

$95, $65, $45

Thursday, 22 March
Maraca. Cuba

Salsa Beat

The Cuban flautist, composer and director of the group Orlando Valle Maraca is definitely to be seen on stage , as he directs his highly talented 12 member group. Maraca, musician and director, was named a “visionary” by “Chicago Tribune en Espanol” 2003.

Maraca was nominated for “Best Salsa Album of the year” for 2003, the winner of many awards in Cuba, at Cubadisco and in EGREM voted “Best Fusion Album” both in 1999 and 2001. The group was also voted for “Best Latin Jazz album” in 1995, and “Best Recording” in 2003.


$99, $65, $45

Friday, 23 March
Maraca. Cuba

Salsa Beat

Maraca is considered one of the most popular names in Latin and Afro-Cuban Music, from salsa to Latin jazz. His music is a fusion, of jazz improvisations, energy, dances from the Caribbean and popular Cuban music. (Matching cocktail drinks will be served during both concerts.)

$99, $65, $45

Saturday, 24 March
Virgina Tola, soprano. Argentina
Julio Alex Munoz, piano. Spain

I sing for you Argentina

Since she won the Operalia competition in 2001, Virginia Tola sings regularly operatic duets with Placido Domingo. She took part in Domingo’s recital in Zouk in July 2011. She returns to Lebanon with an intimate program of much loved Latin American songs in which she excels.


$95, $65, $45

Sunday, 25 March
Maurizio Nader, piano. Mexico
The Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra
Gianluca Marciano, conductor. Italy

Grand Finale

The Mexican pianist Maurizio Nader is a passionate piano virtuoso. He has chosen to play two favourites: the first is the famous Warsaw Concerto by the composer Richard Addinsell . The music is from the 1941 movie ‘dangerous moonlight” later known as “suicide squadron” The second favourite is Gerschwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.
After the intermission, the orchestra will play Walid Gholmieh’s Dawn Symphony, his sixth and last symphony. A moving tribute to the founder of the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra.
The concert ends with an upbeat piece , Leonard Bernstein’s famous Mambo!

$115, $85, $55

HAVE FUN ! It’s Festival time.... Fiesta time !.
The interactive OFF program is for you.
You are invited to cook, sing and dance,
just enjoy yourself...


Delicious food.
Three Chefs Michel Hatouni, Lisiane Haddad and Gilda Silva will teach you recipes of the best brazilian dishes.
Dates: 29 February. March 7,14,21. Time: 11h00-13h00. Place: Il Giardino open kitchen.
To subscribe: $180



Get involved, join the Festival Choir.
Maestro Edouard Torikian PhD in Musicology will be your choirmaster.
The repertoire will include the most popular Latin American songs; you’ve surely heard them before. It is just a matter of singing together. Don’t worry about scores or reading music, it is easy!!
Dates: February 6, 10, 13, 17, 24, 27. March 2,5,10, 11 From 6 p.m.to 8 p.m.
March 10 From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
March 11 Concert at 8.30 p.m. The concert will be followed by dinner.

To subscribe: 200$

$200 Choir Classes

$58 Choir Concert

RHYTHMS, Made in Brazil !!

Roberta Meireles, Gabriel Meireles and Kevin Safadi, will teach you to dance the samba and play on Brazilian percussion instruments.
Dates: February 23,25,26,28. March 1 From 6.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
March 3: Gala and Soirée d’Or dinner at 10 p.m.

To subscribe: 180$



Roy Achkar will be your professional coach for dancing the Salsa .
Dates: March 6,8,9. From 6.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
March 10: Gala and Soirée d’Or dinner at 10.00 p.m.

To subscribe: 160 $



You’ve got to be two to tango! Come with your partner and learn the secrets of this sensual dance!
Dates: March 12,13,14, 15,16, 17. From 6.00p.m. to 7.30 p.m.
March 17: Gala and Soirée d’Or dinner at 10.00 p.m.

To subscribe: 300 $ per couple


Gala dinners to follow the Festival performances, in presence of the artists

Saturday February 25

Following  the " Impressions of France and Brazil "

Buffet dinner in
"Les Glycines"



Saturday March 3

Following  the " Canciones Argentinas y Arias de Opera "

Buffet dinner in
"Les Glycines"


Saturday March 10

Following  the " Two Concertos and a Bolero "

Buffet dinner in
"Les Glycines"


Saturday March 17

Following  the " Tango Metropolis"

Buffet dinner in
"Les Glycines"


Saturday March 24

Following  the "I sing for you Argentina "

Buffet dinner in
"Les Glycines"




Al Bustan Festival