The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra presents a children’s program about the life of Juan García Esquivel

In partnership with Orlando Science Center

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra is happy to announce a commission of a new children’s program around the life of Mexican composer and musician, Juan García Esquivel. Entitled “Esquivel! Space Music from Planet Earth”, the program was created by duo Rodrigo Castro and Magnolia Orli. Accompanied by musicians of the Orlando Philharmonic, the narration of the story will be done by Fredy Ruiz, done in partnership with the Orlando Repertory Theatre. The program is conducted by the Orlando Philharmonic’s own Principal Viola Dr. Mauricio Céspedes.

“This has been a most exciting opportunity to compose original music as part of a collaboration with the OPO,” said Rodrigo Castro. “The degree of creative freedom that the entire team offered us is truly unprecedented. Composers can oftentimes find their creative drive somewhat confined by project stipulations, but with the OPO I was allowed to express myself to the fullest extent. Working with the production team felt very organic and full of opened doors. I am always happy to share some of the essences of our Hispanic musical culture, by way of my compositional language, and hope that the audience will connect with the messages of identity, originality, and innovation, which I aimed to convey in this piece. We thank you all for this honor and send our best regards to the audiences that will hear our work come to life for the first time.”

The world premiere of this work took place on March 17, 2021, at the Orlando Science Center to their Spring Break Camp students in grades pre-k through 5th. On Saturday, March 27th, a public performance will be held at the Orlando Science Center at 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Admission to the performances is free with paid admission into the Orlando Science Center. The Orlando Science Center will provide pre- and post-performance activities for those in attendance. More information on the performances can be found here. A recording of the full program will also be distributed to Central Florida schools for use in classrooms.

“What is the universal language that connects us all? Music! It is one of the most profound forms of communication,” said Magnolia Orli. “To share Juan García Esquivel’s story is not only to speak about his music or his life. The narrative encompasses a message about coming from afar and into a new, different place, and making something out of that experience. It is about sharing and communicating those aspects of our life that make us unique and special, and which may inspire our fellow beings. To remember where we come from will determine who we will be. Legacy is key to this story and space is the metaphor for our sense of belonging.”

This program was funded through the 2020 Pabst Steinmetz Foundation Grant Award.