VIII International Classical Music Season Starts

Medellin’s Teatro Metropolitano is starting its 8th international classical music season today with Stravinsky and Revueltas. The music to be performed is as follows:

Lament For Twelve Double Basses
E. Tabakov

The Night of the Mayas
S. Revueltas

The Rite of Spring
I. Stravinsky
When: 6:00 pm.
Prices: $COP40.000, $COP30.000, $COP20.000 ($US 22.70, $US17.00, $US11.35) Such a deal!
Where to Purchase Tickets: Theater Ticket Box.
Presented by: Orquesta Filarmónica de Medellín
Information: 232 28 58 ó 262 55 00

On 13 March there is a performance by the Boston Brass.

This is just the beginning. Take a look at this link for additional performances between now and the end of April. These include RÉQUIEM DE GABRIEL FAURÉ and REQUIEM DE G. VERDI.


A Downtown Walk

Medellin’s downtown has two streets dedicated to pedestrian use.


Carabobo between San Juan and La Playa provides a nice corridor sheltered from the diesel exhaust of the the buses.  Lots of shops, eateries and something interesting at both ends. The portion of Carabobo south of San Juan is characterized by shops selling automotive parts. At the intersection with  San Juan you will find the Parque de la Luz and the goverenment complex called la alpujarra.

The architecture of the alpujarra  is interesting in its self. I am partial to the the sculptures of Rodrigo Arenas Betancur in any case and the work that graces the main plaza there is representative of his odes to human aspiration.

The north end of the pedestrian section of Carabobo includes both the Veracruz Church and the Museo de Antioquia. The La Inglesia de la Veracruz is, I believe the oldest church in the Medellin area and was started in 1682 by el Capitán Juan Céspedes de Hinestroza. The Museo de Antioquia houses a collection of art reflecting the cultural environment of Antioquia. They have an excellent permanent collection and host rotating shows of cultural and artistic significance. I love the place!

I also love the museums patio restaurant that overlooks the Botero Plaza.  Nubia and I often enjoy a snack or meal, just sitting watching the people in the plaza. There are lots of tourists both from other parts of Colombia and of international origin in the plaza and enjoying the restaurant. If you want to meet others visiting Medellin this is a good spot.

This entire walking route has the advantage of never being more than a few blocks from the Metro. Stations nearby include, from south to north, Alpujarra, San Antonio, and Parque Berrio.


The second pedestrian corridor is Junín. It can be accessed from the end of Carabobo by walking just two blocks to the east on La Playa. A turn to the left will take you on to Junin where you will find the original location of El Astor. This is a a great place for a snack on excellent pastries and confections. A bit further to the north on the left you will find the Versalles restaurant. Versalles has a great atmosphere typical of its heritage as a gathering place for intellectuals and artists. You never know who you may see here. The food also is good and the pastries sold at the entrance are excellent. I really like the Palitos de Guayaba (Guava Sticks). To date these are just $COP 1000 ( US$ 0.53 at today’s exchange rate) and IMHO the best treat buy in Medellin.

Just a few steps further you will find the Parque de Bolivar and Metropolitan Cathedral.  The park is a bit seedy but the cathedral is beautiful both outside and within. They have a pipe  organ well worth hearing if you get the chance.

Please take advantage of these pedestrian thoroughfares.  They will give you an insight into the vitality and commercial spirit of Medellin and introduce you  to many of the pleasures of the Center City.

Initiation Concert for The Restored Organ At the Metropolitan Cathedral

Yesterday’s initiation concert featuring the restored Walcker Organ in Medellin’s Metropolitan Cathedral filled this beautiful building with music. The grand instrument features 3,478 pipes and is said to be the largest and best pipe organ in South America. Originally constructed during 1932 and 1933, it was restored once around 1972 and again during the last year.

The musical program included:

  • An improvisation by Wolfgang Seifen with prelude, adagio and fugue in the old German style.
  • Mendelssohn’s Organ Sonata Number 2 in C minor, opus 65, Thorsten Mader organ.
  • Giovanni Battista Pergolesi “Sabat Mater” with the Colegio Aleman Choir and Thorsten Mader organ.
  • An improvisation by Wolfgang Seifen with symphonic fantasy and fugue in the German Romantic style.
  • Schumann’s Four Sketches for pedal piano, Opus 58, Thorsten Mader organ.
  • Mozart’s “Ave Verum” with the Colegio Aleman Choir and Thorsten Mader organ.
  • Symphonic Triptych with Colombian themes, improvised by Wolfgang Seifen.

The restoration was conducted with significant participation by the Department of Antioquia, the City of Medellin, the German Government and Comfenalco. We anticipate hearing many more secular concerts as well as organ music during the regular services at the cathedral.

Metropolitan Theater Offerings in August

If you would like to download the Teatro Metropolitanos offering each month to get more details than I generally provide here please visit their program page. At this site you can download the current months offerings and sign up to receive email program notifications.To download the program .jpg  just click the button near the bottom of the page which says “Descarga Aquí Nuestro Programación.” This will be in Spanish. Please note that the prices are given under the subheadings: “Boleteria.”

2010 is the bicentennial year of Colombian independence and the theater is participating in the celebration with the following offering:

Bolívar: Fragmentos de un Sueño: This is based on texts by William Ospina and is directed by Omar Porras. It is described as an echo of contemporary history reflected from events in the life of Simón Bolívar. Performances are scheduled for the 13th, 14th and 15th.

On the 4th there is an homage to Jaime Llanos Gonzales a composer and performer of bambucos, pasillos and songs in other Colombian musical styles. The bambucos and pasillos are very traditional forms and include some of Colombia’s most beautiful music.This composer sang from roots here in Antioquia to all of Colombia.

On the 5th the Czech Trio will perform music by Suk, Mendelssohn and Dvorak.

On the 22ed A kids version of the Magic Flute is offered.

On the 23rd the British Carducci Quartet will perform works by Mozart, Glass and Schumann.

On the 20th, 26th and 27th the opera Lucia di Lammermor by Donizetti is on tap.

Medellin Museum of Modern Art

I made my first visit to the museum of modern art here today. It was a very enjoyable. The museum is locate in the Ciudad del Rio area just south of the Bancolombia building on the east side of the street. You can get there via the Metro to the Industriales station. It is a bit of a walk to the museum (I think somewhat less than a mile) so a cab from the station might be a good idea if your not in shape.

I am just getting to know this organization and will post more later. For now visit their web site for more information (in Spanish). Don’t hesitate to visit them in person. The current shows are very enjoyable.

Main Web Page

June 2010 Schedule

Presentations at the Lido during May 2010

I just got the schedule for May so we start near mid-month. Don’t forget these performances are presented by the City of Medellin and admission is free! The Lido is located downtown near the southeast corner of the Parque Bolivar.

13 May 2010 06:00 PM

Music: Concert by the Medellin Philharmonic Orcherstra

14 May 2010 7:00 PM

Music: Launch of the Tributo disk with Explosion Negra supported by a creativity grant from the Secretary of Cultural Citizenship

15 May 2010 7:00 PM

Dance: Folk Dance Show with Rapsodia Negra

16 May 2010 11:00 AM

Children’s Theater: “La Gata” with Corporacion Nuestra Gente

20 May 2010 7:00 PM

Theater: Galileo Galilei with Teatro Hora 25

21 May 2010 7:00 PM

Music: Opera RITA de Gaetano Donizetti with the Orquestra Sinfonia Universidad EAFIT

22 May 2010 7:00 PM

Music: “Illary 2010” Launch of a new production.

23 May 2010 03:00 PM

Closing concert of the Eighth Colombian Festival of Song and Enchantment.

27 May 2010 7:00 PM

Theater: “Dicha y Desdicha de la Niña Conchita” Colectivo Teatro Matacandelas.

28 May 2010 7:00 PM

Music: Concert with the Brass Quintet directed by Fernando Pabon

29 May 2010 07:00 PM

Dance: Divas-High Heels and Wigs Corporacion Artisitica y Cultural Stars Swing Creativity Grant 2009

30 May 2010 11:00 AM

Music: Concert with the Medellin Music School Network

18th Festival of The Theater in the City of Itagui

The City of Itagui, a suburb of Medellin, is presenting its 18th theater festival between 02 May and 06 May. The venues are La Montaña Que Piensa in the Vereda El Pedregal, Sector Cacique and, the Auditorio Cultural del Sur located at Carrera 50A 37-85 in Itagui.

02 May

Dicha y Desdicha de la Niña Conchita

With: Teatro Matacandelas

At: La Montaña Que Piensa

Time: 7:00 PM

03 May

Dicha y Desdicha de la Niña Conchita

With: Teatro Matacandelas

At: La Montaña Que Piensa

Time: 5:00 and 7:00 PM

La Orgia

With: Fractal Teatro

At: Auditorio Cultural del Sur

Time: 7:30 PM

04 May

Cuentos de Javier

With: Sol y Luna

At: La Montaña Que Piensa

Time: 7:00 PM

La Sangre mas Transparente

With: Caja Negro Teatro

At: Auditorio Cultural del Sur

Time: 7:30 PM

05 May


Corporación Teatral Cenizas

At: Auditorio Cultural del Sur

Time: 7:30 PM

06 May

La Epopeya de un Soldado

With: Corporación la Tartana

At: Auditorio Cultural del Sur

Time: 7:30 PM

Teatro Pablo Tobon Uribe

05 May 2010

The theater has posted one event to date. This is a memorial performance of works by the poet Mario Benedetti. The poems as set to music will be sung by the soprano Tere Estrada F  with Felix Cordoba on the piano. Poems will be read by Cristina Restrepo R.

19 May 08:00 PM

02 May 2010

Still nothing on the May line up.

30 April 2010

We were out for a walk down town and decided to work our way up la Playa heading east of the down town area. When we got up to Carrera 40 we found the Teatro Pablo Tobon Uribe. This is a vintage theater which was the principal venue in Medellin prior to the construction of the Metropolitan. They continue to provide very high quality entertainment.

As this is the end of the month the program for May has not yet been posted either at the theater or on the website. I will keep an eye out and post it when it shows up.

Meanwhile you can see the theater’s main web page here, and a location map here .

At the Lido 22 April through 25 April 2010

Performances at the Lido are free of charge. This is a great service provided by the City. The Lido is located at the Parque Bolivar near the Metropolitan cathedral in the center city area.

Thursday 22 April 1600

Videos of the Medellin’s center city.

Friday 23 April 1900

Dance: Astrotango presents “Fragmentos”

Saturday 24 April 1800

Music: Concert by the Medellin Philharmonic Orchestra

Sunday 25 April 1100

Music: Concert by the Network of Music Schools of Medellin.

Francisco Cano Exhibit

We went to see the Francisco Cano exhibit at the Museo de Antioquia yesterday. I thoroughly enjoyed it as did my wife and a friend who went with us.

It is interesting to see a representative sample of the work of an artist´s lifetime in one exhibition. I had only seen a few of his best known paintings. This exhibit brings him to life as a professional who worked and developed over the years.

His landscapes show a Medellin radically different from today´s city. A couple of small canvases of La Playa illustrate a country scene with pastures along a rustic creek. Today la Playa is strictly urban habitat of steel and concrete and the stream serves as a storm drain beneath the street. Change made manifest.

I also was impressed by a painting of a fruit seller with a group of school girls in pinafores and other dresses that must be from the early 1900´s. They are pictured beneath a large tree with the sellers wares spread before her. If you changed the dresses of the school girls the scene could be from today. Somethings change slowly.

It was exciting to see Horizontes in person. I have seen many reproductions of it which are nice but the actual painting glows. Looking at this work amid the others I get the feeling that there was a great deal inside Cano which he never expressed in paintings. The power of this image, at least to me, surpasses all the rest of his works. I just wonder what else was there that we never will see.

If you want to see it go soon as it ends on 04 April.

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