by Jarrett Hoffman
Composer and conductor Federico Garcia-De Castro was 12, living in his native Colombia, when a left-leaning politician named Bernardo Jaramillo Ossa was shot and killed at an airport in Bogotá.
“He was part of a whole political party that was exterminated one by one,” Castro said during a recent interview. “Estimates range from 3,000 to 5,000 people.”
Among all the killings, that one in March of 1990 left the biggest mark on Castro. “He was a very charismatic leader who was picking up more and more steam,” the musician said of Jaramillo. “I remember that I was very shocked and disturbed.” Years later, after seeing a documentary, he decided to write a piece in homage to that leader.
The new music ensemble Alia Musica Pittsburgh, which Castro directs and conducts, will perform his Memoria for soprano, violin, cello, guitar, and percussion this Sunday, October 27 at 7:00 pm at the Bop Stop. The free program also includes works by John Arrigo-Nelson, James Ogburn, Kerrith Livengood, and Bowling Green faculty composer Marilyn Shrude, and will serve as the season opener and kickstarter launch for the Cleveland Uncommon Sound Project.