The Buenos Aires Cello Ensamble delighted us at the Year 9 to 12 Assembly
Who are they?
They are a group of 18 young cello students. Their average age is 20, with a range that goes from 15 through 24 years old. They are directed by Professor Nestor Tedesco, a lead cello soloist from the Colon Theatre’s Orchestra. The majority of the group members are students from the music conservatories where Professor Tedesco teaches.
This is the only group of its kind in Argentina. The Ensemble plays a variety of music and as a group replace all the voices of a string orchestra. That is, they play the parts of violins, violas, cellos and base. All music they play needs to be adapted for cellos only, a task that is carried out by the same student members of the group.
Seven years ago, the government of the city of Buenos Aires began a program called ZAP – Zona de Accion Prioritaria or High Priority Action Zones. This is a program through which some musicians from the Colon Theatre’s Orchestra began efforts to take music education to the poorer areas of the city. The program includes both offering lessons and loaning instruments to children interested in music. The program began in Villa Lugano and currently has expanded to Villa 31 in the Retiro area.
From the Villa Lugano program, Professor Tedesco identified a small group of talented and enthusiastic cellists. As a result, he saw the opportunity to further develop this group of young students from both the musical and personal values perspectives. Thus by volunteering his time and experience, he created an ensemble outside the existing music conservatory program. During the year 2006, he recruited more students to create a better balanced group that today adds up to 18 cellos.
The majority of the student members do not have the money for the appropriate up keeping of the strings on their cellos and bows. Some students do not even own their instrument. Many have technically outpaced the quality of their entry level cellos, which hinders their learning and performance capabilities.
What can we do to help?
St. Andrew's, through its CAS and Community Service programmes, is thinking of ways of promoting the Ensemble to support the development of these young talented musicians.