Salon 2015-08-30 — Erin and Jorge Espinoza ‘Cello Duet

July 12, 2015 at 4:00 in Sterling, VA

Erin and Jorge Espinoza ‘Cello Duet


Cello Duo Jorge and Erin Espinoza will present a concert on Sunday, July 12th in Sterling, performing a program of music from the Baroque and Romantic periods and tangos from twentieth-century composer Francisco Canaro. Opening the program with a Sonata by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, the couple will fill the space with baroque harmonies taking the audience back to the time when Paris was the European hub of political ideas and cultural activity. Boismortier’s sonatas possess a buoyant confidence. Although defined by grace and deceptive simplicity, the music opens itself to the interpretation and virtuosity of the performers.

Borrowing from J.S. Bach’s violin repertoire, the couple will perform the Chaconne from the Partita in d minor. Considered to be one of the most beautiful and difficult movements from Bach’s violin sonatas and partitas, the duo plays an arrangement for two cellos. Violinist Joshua Bell has said the Chaconne is “not just one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but one of the greatest achievements of any man in history. It’s a spiritually powerful piece, emotionally powerful, structurally perfect.” Bell played this piece during his “busking” at the L’Enfant Plaza metro station.

Canaro’s tangos will introduce the second half of the program. Born into poverty in Uruguay, Canaro was working in a factory when he turned an empty oil can into his first violin. Performing in seedy bars initially, he ultimately forged a career that spanned many decades, and his orchestra was one of the most recorded.

The program’s finale features a suite for two cellos by David Popper. Born in Prague in 1943, Popper became one of the most famous cellists of his time. He wrote prolifically for the cello and his works include four concertos, the famous Requiem for three cellos and piano, and many highly virtuosic showpieces. The Suite for Two Cellos feasts on dance patterns and opportunities for wit – the second movement Gavotte is an example of saucily updated baroquerie. The charmingly deft B section of the dancing Scherzo is followed by a relatively strenuous, not altogether serious Largo espressivo, topped by a dancing finale.

Erin and Jorge Espinoza have performed concerts as professional cellists for eighteen years.   Originally from Northern Virginia and Chile, they enjoy playing recitals of classical and Latin American music and performing chamber music and orchestral repertoire in the Washington, D.C. area and in Las Cruces, New Mexico. They have graduate degrees in cello performance from Peabody Conservatory and degrees in cello from Carnegie Mellon University.


Erin Eyles Espinoza has concertized throughout the United States and in Europe, South America, and Asia and has performed with orchestral, opera, ballet, and chamber music organizations in the Washington, D.C. area for the past eighteen years. She has performed regularly at the Kennedy Center and toured with the National Symphony Orchestra. In Las Cruces, New Mexico, she performs with the Las Cruces Symphony, performs cello duo recitals with her husband, Jorge, teaches cello lessons and coaches music students.

Erin’s cello studio includes students of all ages and her experience working with students includes private lessons, cello ensemble and string coachings, and adult cello workshops. Erin has coached elementary through high school orchestra and chamber music students, judged at Solo and Ensemble Festivals in five counties, and taught cello lessons for twenty-one years.

Erin received a Bachelor’s Degree with honors in cello performance from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master’s Degree in cello performance from Peabody Conservatory.

Jorge Espinoza taught the Peabody Conservatory of Music undergraduate and graduate cello studio as an assistant teacher of Stephen Kates. He holds a Graduate Performance Diploma in Violoncello and a Graduate Performance Diploma in Chamber Music from Peabody Conservatory of Music.

He graduated with honors from Universidad Católica de Chile and received his Master’s Degree in Music Performance on full scholarship from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

He has presented masterclasses and workshops in the United States and abroad, including at Portuguesa-Acarigua, Venezuela, part of El Sistema.

Mr. Espinoza’s orchestral experience has included performances at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony and orchestras and chamber ensembles in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Symphony Hall. He has been a featured soloist and chamber musician, performing concertos, solo and chamber music throughout South America, the United States, Europe and Mexico.

Mr. Espinoza is a prizewinner of international and national competitions and awards.

An avid chamber musician, Mr. Espinoza’s interest in researching, performing and arranging folk music from Latin-America for string quartet and chamber ensembles has brought him to different cities in South America including Buenos Aires to pursue studies with great tango masters including Maestros Berlingieri, Marcelli, Requena and Plaza.

In 2014, Jorge Espinoza became Assistant Professor of Violoncello at NMSU and cellist of La Catrina String Quartet.