In June 2014 I visited the Sinaloa Symphony Orchestra for the Arts (OSSLA) for the second time as guest conductor. The first occasion had taken place two years earlier, in 2012, just over a decade after its founding. Today it has celebrated its twentieth anniversary. In the 2014 program, the splendid “Concerto for Orchestra” was premiered in Sinaloa, fifty years after its creation, written by the Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994). On that occasion, and given the novelty, it was not clear what to expect, and yet the capacity was total, and the ovation was unforgettable. The challenge represented by a somewhat reckless proposal was successfully overcome, and two more premieres completed the program, the absolute premiere of a composition by the young Sinaloan Víctor Taboada, and “Minder is meer”, in its orchestral version, of my own authorship, the work that opened the concert.

The case of Lutoslawski’s concerto is special. It is a kaleidoscopic bouquet of sound textures that is innovative to this day. The value of programming this work implies a remarkable effort of diverse logistical and production factors, in addition to the artistic merits required of all its performers. Eight years after that premiere, and now as the orchestra’s chief conductor, I wanted to approach the challenge again, in a context in which the audience attending the Pablo de Villavicencio Theater in Culiacán is increasingly curious and demanding, and is largely made up of young people who are avidly seeking aesthetic discovery, in this case -and I dare to say this- by the hand of one of the most solid orchestras in the country. Therefore, tonight, we will perform for the second time the “Concerto for Orchestra”, closing the first concert season 2022 of the OSSLA. On this occasion, the program is completed by another great work, which at the time was a watershed in the history of music. It is “La mer, trois esquisses symphoniques pour orchestre” (The sea, three symphonic sketches for orchestra), by Claude Debussy (1864-1918), a work premiered in Paris in 1905, and which today is considered one of the most emblematic works of the 20th century. As part of this full and challenging symphonic gala, the OSSLA will begin the program with a song by Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943), composed in 1896, originally for piano and baritone, and transcribed for orchestra by William McDermott in recent years. The song is entitled “Spring Waters” and precedes the maritime mood that will follow with Debussy’s masterpiece.

This effort concludes the first 2022 concert season of the OSSLA, which included 19 symphonic concerts, 10 chamber music concerts, all of which were attended by a total number of approximately 20 thousand people in 5 venues in Culiacán: Pablo de Villavicencio Theater, The MIA Institute, the Auditorium of the University Autonomy of the UAS, the Museum of Art of Sinaloa, the Gilberto Owen Library; plus a couple of concerts at the Conjunto Santander de Artes Escénicas, at the beginning of the year, in the city of Guadalajara.

It was without a doubt a dynamic season that included works by close to 30 composers from the last five centuries, and which included symphonic music, extraordinary concerts, including children’s music, popular music, and even opera. An effort of a great artistic, technical and administrative team of the Sinaloa Institute of Culture, and the Government of the State of Sinaloa, led by Governor Rubén Rocha Moya.