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Traditional Venezuelan harpist to perform, offer master class at IU

Oct. 27, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- On a tour across the United States, virtuoso Venezuelan harpist Angel Tolosa and his ensemble, Ensamble A Contratiempo, will perform a free concert at the Jacobs School of Music Nov. 5 at 8:30 p.m. in Recital Hall on the IU Bloomington campus.

The concert, organized by the Jacobs School's harp department, offers Bloomington a rare opportunity to hear traditional Venezuelan harp music. The master class, also held in Recital Hall, takes place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the same day.

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, and considered one of the finest harpists of his generation, Tolosa's versatility lends itself to styles with great technical and rhythmic skill. In addition to traditional Venezuelan genres, he is accomplished in bossa nova, jazz, bluegrass and world music.

With his brother Josť Luis, Tolosa founded Ensemble A Contratiempo, which explores a variety of Venezuelan musical genres. The group has participated in numerous symposiums both within and outside Venezuela. 2011 performances take the ensemble to France, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, Chile and the U.S.

Jacobs School of Music student harpist Liza Wallace spent three weeks during summer 2011 in Venezuela, studying Venezuelan harp music. Her experiences there included sessions with Tolosa and his ensemble.

For a description of her time in Venezuela and an explanation of the musical styles of the country, visit her blog entry.