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Pierre's Tuesday Blog

The Summer of the Sonata - Part Four

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Summer of the Sonata
Artist's Website

Violinist and conductor Guillermo Figueroa is our featured artist today in this installment of the Summer of the Sonata, which doubles as our monthly Once Upon the Internet feature.

Guillermo Figueroa is the nephew of Narciso Figueroa, considered to be the "Father of the Modern Danzas" and an important musical figure in Puerto Rico. On the island, Narciso formed the Brothers Figueroa Quintet which included his brother, Guillermo Sr. on the viola. The offspring of the Figueroa family have continued the family musical tradition. Guillermo Figueroa (Jr.,today’s artist) and cousins have formed the "Figueroa Quartet", which is considered the official chamber quartet of Puerto Rico. The quartet includes Guillermo Jr. and Narciso Jr. on the violins, Rafael Jr. on the cello and as pianist Ivonne Figueroa.

A renowned violinist, Guillermo Figueroa was with some of his cousins a string player in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Concertmaster of the New York City Ballet, and a Founding Member and Concertmaster of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, making dozens of recordings with this conductor-less ensemble.

As a conductor, Figueroa is Artistic Director of The Figueroa Project, an innovative organization that combines music with various other art forms. He is also Music Director of the Music in the Mountains Festival in Durango, Colorado and is the former Music Director of both the New Mexico Symphony and the Puerto Rico Symphony.

Today’s recording, issued by the Eroica label, was one of many to be offered on MP3.COM and preserves some live performances commemorating the 50th anniversary of Béla Bartók's death when Mr. Figueroa performed the first complete New York performance of the composer's violin sonatas. These three works represent two different stages of Bartók's creative life: the Two Sonatas for Violin and Piano, from his most radical and experimental early period, and the Sonata for Solo Violin, one of the four last great works written shortly before his death.

Happy Listening!


Guillermo Figueroa, violin

Béla BARTÓK (1881 - 1945)

Sonata for violin & piano No. 1 in C sharp minor, Sz. 75
Sonata for violin & piano No. 2 in C major, Sz. 76
(Robert Koenig, piano)

Sonata for violin solo, Sz. 117, BB 124 (edited by Yehudi Menhuin)

(Downloaded from MP3.COM on 11 April 2002)

Official Eroica page:
Internet Archive URL:

July 27th, 2012, "I Think You Will Love This Music Too" will feature a new podcast "London" at its Pod-O-Matic Channel. Read more July 27 on the ITYWLTMT Blogspot blog.