Call 201.251.3622 or email: booking@owlsong.com

en-USes-ES

buy the CD

Rosas para Ernesto Lecuona

Rosas para Ernesto Lecuona

Rosas para Ernesto Lecuona

Rosas para Ernesto Lecuona

Rosas para Ernesto Lecuona

Comments From HUBERAL HERRERA

"Approaching the music of Ernesto Lecuona would seem an easy task. Nothing could be further from reality. I waited many years for an interpreter able to understand, assimilate and express the work of this composer with the seriousness, vehemence and sensuality it requires. Qualities I learned at the side of the maestro [Ernesto Lecuona].

When I met Ana María Ruimonte, I understood immediately that she was the artist I had been waiting for, and we worked at it. The result has been this phonogram that I consider spectacular. All who hear it can share the excitement.

-- Huberal Herrera, 1 August 2017, Central Havana, Cuba
High Resolution Images
Ana María Ruimonte 2 - click for hires Ana María Ruimonte - click for hires Soprano Meets Contrabass - postcard version click for hires Soprano Meets Contrabass 2 - click for hires Alan Lewine 8x10 - click for hires
Ana María Ruimonte
click for hi-res
Ana María Ruimonte
click for hi-res
Soprano Meets Contrabass
click for hi-res
Soprano Meets Contrabass
click for hi-res
Alan Lewine
click for hi-res
One Sheet (PDFs)

NOTES FROM HUBERAL HERRERA

Approaching the music of Ernesto Lecuona would seem an easy task. Nothing could be further from reality.  I waited many years for an interpreter able to understand, assimilate and express the work of this composer with the seriousness, vehemence and sensuality it requires.  Qualities I learned at the side of the maestro [Ernesto Lecuona]. When I met Ana María Ruimonte, I understood immediately that she was the artist I had been waiting for, and we worked at it. The result has been this phonogram that I consider spectacular. All who hear it can share the excitement. -- Huberal Herrera, 1 August 2017, Central Havana, Cuba

Media

prolific composer

ERNESTO LECUONA – BRIEF BIO Ernesto Lecuona y Casado (August 6, 1895 – November 29, 1963) was a Cuban composer and pianist of worldwide fame. He composed over six hundred pieces.  

Born in Guanabacoa, a suburb of Havana, Cuba, Lecuona studied at the Peyrellade Conservatoire in Paris under Antonio Saavedra, Maurice Ravel and Joaquín Nin. He graduated from the National Conservatory of Havana with a Gold Medal for interpretation when he was sixteen. 

He had his New York City debut in 1916 at Aeolian Hall. Lecuona’s hit zarzuela, María la O, premiered in Havana in 1930. He was a prolific composer of songs and music for stage and film as well as the concert hall. 

His works consisted of zarzuela, classical works integrating Afro-Cuban and Cuban rhythms, suites, symphonies and many still popular songs. These include Siboney, Malagueña and Andalucía (popularized in the States as The Breeze And I).  His Always in my Heart (originally Siempre en mi Corazón) was nominated for an Oscar for Best Song in 1942, but lost to White Christmas. (His cousin Margarita Lecuona wrote Babalú, popularized in the United States by Desi Arnaz of The Lucy Show fame.) 

Ernesto Lecuona died in Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands, his father’s homeland, and is buried in Hawthorn, New York not far from the Hudson River. 

As Huberal Herrera says: I met Ernesto Lecuona in person in the 50’s. He was a tall man, his hair was black, with expressive eyes and a man of few words, but nice and accessible. In his house, where he was always surrounded by friends, there were often spontaneous performances where someone sang and others played piano. Once I was there and when he asked me, I sat to play... Afterwards, he sang my praises and asked me what I did.  I told him that I had three university degrees, in legal specialties, and that I had also just finished my piano studies.  

He said he was impressed, especially since I was quite young at that time. Since that day, we started a great friendship... He gave me the opportunity to perform his pieces... he gave me advice that until today continues to add to my understanding of his pieces, and he favored me with a present of some handwritten original pieces that I felt fortunate to premier.

The recordings on this CD rescue these really beautiful songs from oblivion, as they are rarely sung recently.  They were chosen with exquisite taste by this soprano, AnaMaría Ruimonte, to further enrich the vast repertoire of Ibero-American musician.

soprano and mezzosoprano

Ana Maria Ruimonte, born and raised in Madrid, Spain, is a classical singer experienced inroles as both soprano and mezzosoprano and so is often referred to as The Spanish Mezzo & Soprano.  

She obtained her degree at the Escuela Superior de Cantoof Madrid in 2006, and studied further in Nuremberg, Philadelphia and New York.

Ana Maria Ruimonte sang Une immortelle of Requiem de Fleursby Büsser and a program called Ciclo de Voces Iberoamericanas at the Auditorio Nacional de Música of Madrid broadcast by Spanish National Radio (RNE). 

She also sang Ciclo de Vocesat the Teatro Reina Cristinaof Málaga and sang La Vida Breveby Falla with the Coro Nacional de España at Lincoln Center in New York.  

Ana Maria Ruimonte performed Rosas para Ernesto Lecuonain concert with the pianist Huberal Herrera in Havana and Santiago de Cuba as part of the International Festival Cubadisco in both 2016 and 2017, and in January 2017 recorded the program with Maestro Herrera in Havana leading to a limited Cuban release requested for consideration for the distinguished award Cubadisco.   

Since relocating to the US in 2013, Ana María Ruimonte created the Baroque theatrical multimedia spectacular El Carro del Amor based on her 2014 CD Arded Corazón Arded (Burn, Heart, Burn).She also conceived and recorded a 2015 CDAlma y Vida de Mujer (The Soul and Life of a Woman).With bassist/arranger Alan Lewine and MagicOwl (Búho Mágico), she sings the concerts titled 9 Centuries of Music in About An Hour and Sephardic Treasures (CD expected 2017).

They have performed these programs and others in Israel, Cuba, Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands aswell as throughout the United States.  Ana María Ruimonte sang “Romeo”in Bellini’s I Capuleti e I Montecchiat Opera America inNew York City as part of her Manhattan Series, “Frasquita” and “Carmen”in Bizet’s CarmeninNew York, and Maddalena in Giordano’s Andrea Chénier for Concert Opera of Philadelphia.  Ana María Ruimonte also has a master’s degree in chemistry and serves as President of Owlsong Productions Inc.

world's leading interpreter

Huberal Herrera, born in Mayarí in Holguín province of Cuba in 1929, is acknowledged as the world’s leading interpreter of the piano music of Ernesto Lecuona, to the extent that in Cuba he is known as El Lecuonista.  

He completed his musical studies at the Hubert de Blanck y Amadeo Roldán conservatories in Havana, and later studied Spanish music in Madrid with maestro Juan Bernal. 

Maestro Herrera also has a doctorate in Law, with Masters Degrees in Administrative and in Diplomatic and Consular Law from the University of Havana. During his nearly 60-year career, Huberal Herrera has appeared in concert outside Cuba many times, throughout the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe, as well as in Egypt, Lebanon, China, Korea, and the USA.

Huberal Herrera was a founding member of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC), has received the Distinction Nicolás Guillén, and has received nearly every medal and distinction awarded to musical artists in Cuba, including the Gold Medal for National Culture, the Raúl Gómez García Medal", Medal of Literacy, the Commemorative Medal on the 40th Anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Revolution, and the Distinction La Giraldilla, the "Punta de Silex", Gitana Tropical, and Prize of Honor at Cubadisco 2009. He also taught for 26 years, receiving the Diploma of Merit and Gold Medal several times.   

Maestro Herrera has been much recorded.  His version of Lecuona’s La Comparsa was included on the Virgin Records compilation in 2000 The Best Cuban Album in the World . . . Ever!. 

Huberal Herrera recorded the complete piano works of Ernesto Lecuona in 1999 for Spain’s General Society of Authors (SGAE) released to much acclaim on the Autor and Decca labels. "Huberal Herrera is a brilliant pianist possessing a beautiful sound like the greatest virtuosos of that instrument, who interprets the Cuban music as we always want to hear it."   -- Gonzalo Roig, composer, Cuba.