Music from Mexico

Enrico Chapela composer
Arturo Márquez composer
Ana Lara composer

Portland Symphony Orchestra
Eckart Preu Music Director
Ina Zdorovetchi harp

Release Date: February 9, 2024
Catalog #: NV6575
Format: Digital
21st Century

Produced with audio captured from two live concerts held at Merrill Auditorium in Portland ME, the Portland Symphony Orchestra presents a world-class recording featuring works by three living Mexican composers on MÁSCARAS.

The PSO makes their opening statement with a newly-revised version of Enrico Chapela’s 2017 work Rotor, an intense rhythmic etude, followed by Arturo Márquez’s Máscaras, a concerto for harp and orchestra inspired by ancient pre-Hispanic Mexican tradition. Ángeles de Llama y Hielo by Ana Lara follows suit, a nod to a 16th century German woodcut print and the cosmological philosophy that inspired it. Polished, authentic, and strong, the performances on MÁSCARAS reflect the Portland Symphony Orchestra’s rich musical energy and commitment to ever broadening its horizons.


Hear the full album on YouTube

Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Rotor Enrico Chapela Portland Symphony Orchestra | Eckart Preu, music director 11:33
02 Máscaras: Concerto for Harp and Orchestra: I. Máscara Flor Arturo Márquez Ina Zdorovetchi, harp; Portland Symphony Orchestra | Eckart Preu, music director 6:17
03 Máscaras: Concerto for Harp and Orchestra: II. Máscara Son Arturo Márquez Ina Zdorovetchi, harp; Portland Symphony Orchestra | Eckart Preu, music director 7:44
04 Máscaras: Concerto for Harp and Orchestra: III. La Pasión según San Juan de Letrán Arturo Márquez Ina Zdorovetchi, harp; Portland Symphony Orchestra | Eckart Preu, music director 5:57
05 Máscaras: Concerto for Harp and Orchestra: IV. La Pasión según Marcos Arturo Márquez Ina Zdorovetchi, harp; Portland Symphony Orchestra | Eckart Preu, music director 4:39
06 Ángeles de Llama y Hielo: I. Angel de Tinieblas Ana Lara Portland Symphony Orchestra | Eckart Preu, music director 7:13
07 Ángeles de Llama y Hielo: II. Angel del Alba Ana Lara Portland Symphony Orchestra | Eckart Preu, music director 5:37
08 Ángeles de Llama y Hielo: III. Angel de Luz Ana Lara Portland Symphony Orchestra | Eckart Preu, music director 3:59
09 Ángeles de Llama y Hielo: IV. Angel del Ocaso Ana Lara Portland Symphony Orchestra | Eckart Preu, music director 4:34

Special thanks to the Horizon Foundation and Davis Family Foundation for supporting this project, and to Transparent Audio of Saco ME.

Recorded April 2 & 4, 2023 at Merrill Auditorium in Portland ME
Producer & Engineer Brad Michel
Editing, Mixing & Mastering Brad Michel

Executive Producer Bob Lord

VP of A&R Brandon MacNeil
A&R Chris Robinson

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette
Production Manager Martina Watzková

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming, Morgan Hauber
Publicity Aidan Curran

Artist Information

Portland Symphony Orchestra


Founded in 1924 in Portland ME, the Portland Symphony Orchestra (PSO) has a long and illustrious history of bringing fine orchestral music to Maine and northern New England. It is an ongoing source of civic pride and artistic leadership, the largest performing arts organization in this city of 70,000 people. All volunteer at its start, the PSO now employs 83 professional musicians drawn from all six New England states. It performs nearly 40 concerts each season at Merrill Auditorium in Portland and at Seaside Pavilion in Old Orchard Beach. The PSO’s education and lifelong learning programs reach thousands of people across Maine every year, both in person and virtually.

Eckart Preu


Eckart Preu is the Music Director of the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra (CA), and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra (OH). Previously, he was the Music Director of the Spokane Symphony (WA) and the Stamford Symphony (CT), Associate Conductor of the Richmond Symphony (VA), and Resident Conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra and the American Russian Young Artists Orchestra. Also, Preu served as Music Director of the Orchestre International de Paris.

Enrico Chapela

Enrico Chapela


Born in Mexico City in 1974, Enrico Chapela Barba studied guitar and composition at CIEM in Mexico and received a master’s degree at the University of Paris. In the last 20 years, he has obtained recognition in national and international composition competitions including The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowships, the National System of Art Creators, the UNESCO International Tribune of Composers, the Alexander Zemlinsky International Composition Competition, and The Barlow Endowment for Music Composition Prize.

A child of his time, Chapela is interested in jazz, rock, electronic music, and Mexican danzón as well as classical music. These interests, along with his history of playing in a heavy metal band, influence his compositions and can be heard throughout his pieces.

Chapela has received commissions from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, Seattle Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, Cincinnati’s CCM Symphony, Nationaltheater-Orchester Mannheim, Cottbus Philharmonic, Deutsche Welle, Beethovenfest, Dresdner Sinfoniker, and others.


Arturo Márquez


Born in Alamos, Mexico on December 20, 1950, Arturo Márquez grew up listening to his father perform traditional waltzes and polkas and was soon inspired to begin studying the violin and composition. By 1970 he was a student at the Mexican Music Conservatory, working with Joaquin Gutierrez Heras and Federico Ibarra. A scholarship from the French government brought him to Paris to study with Jacques Casterède; he concluded his studies with a master’s degree at the California Institute of the Arts on a Fulbright Scholarship.

Until the early 1990s, Márquez’ music was largely unknown outside his native country. That changed when he was introduced to the world of Latin ballroom dancing. The movement and rhythms led him to compose a series of pulsating Danzones. The Danzones are a fusion of dance music from Cuba and the Veracruz region of Mexico. The most popular of the Danzones is the Danzón No. 2. It thrills audiences with its entrancing, seductive rhythms. The Danzón No. 2 was commissioned by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and because of its popularity, it is often called the second national anthem of Mexico.

Márquez works at the National University of Mexico, the Superior School of Music, and the National Center of Research, Documentation, and Information of Mexican Music. He and his family live in Mexico City.

Ana Lara

Ana Lara


Ana Lara is a vital personality in Mexican contemporary music. She is highly regarded as a composer, promoter, and programmer. Lara has worked as artistic director of contemporary music at Festival Internacional Cervantino (2007-2009) and created the Festival Internacional Música y Escena, which she directed for 13 years (1998-2012). Since 1989 she has produced the program Hacia una nueva música at University Radio (Radio UNAM) which is devoted to contemporary music. Since 2015, together with Jean-Paul Bernard (former director of Les Percussions de Strasbourg), she has created Afinidades Insospechadas, a platform for interdisciplinary works based on collaboration and academic education. She was the Cultural Attachée at the Mexican Embassy in France, and the Director of the Instituto Cultural de Mexico in Paris from 2016-1017.

Recent works include Au-delà du visible for string quartet commissioned by the Louvre Museum and the Quatuor Diotima, Malgré la nuit, for piano, percussion, and electronic commissioned by the CIRM. Callada Calma, composed to celebrate Mario Lavista’s 70 birthday for mezzo, flute, bass clarinet, and piano, and El Baile, musical theater commissioned by the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes. An evening of Lara’s chamber music was presented at Théâtre Gralin in Nantes by the Ensemble Utopik and was part of their project Rencontres Utopik (2014).


Ina Zdorovetchi

Ina Zdorovetchi


Ina Zdorovetchi is an American harpist of Eastern European descent. Over the past 25 years she has given hundreds of concerto performances, including many world/continental premieres. She has appeared with numerous orchestras around the world including The Boston Pops, Westdeutscher Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Köln, Jerusalem Symphony, Haifa Symphony, Portland Symphony Orchestra, Long Beach Symphony, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Chamber Orchestra, Brevard Music Center Orchestra, and many others. Highlights include giving the European Premiere of John Williams’ On Willows and Birches harp concerto, world premiere of Thomas Oboe Lee’s …bisbigliando… harp concerto (dedicated to her), and being featured as one of five soloists in the American Harp Society National Conference Gala Concert alongside some of the world’s most celebrated harpists.

As a recitalist and chamber musician she has been presented by Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, World Harp Congress, Celebrity Series of Boston, Savannah Music Festival, Rockport Chamber Music, and she was honored to give a solo recital at the residence of John Kerry, 68th Secretary of State of the United States, in front of a crowd of the world’s preeminent leaders. Her performances have been broadcast live on WDR Köln (Germany), Israel Broadcasting Authority, National Public Radio (USA), WGBH Radio Boston, Moldova National TV & Radio, and recorded for Sony, Naxos, Albany Records, BMOP/Sound and Portland Symphony TV, among others.

Over the years, she has received numerous awards and honors for her work, including the Alien with Extraordinary Abilities in the Arts title from the United States government, Outstanding Music Faculty of the Year from Boston Conservatory, Henry Cabot Award for Special Commitment of Talent from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, top prize and multiple special awards at the 17th International Harp Contest in Israel, and second prize at Cite des Arts Competition in Paris, France.

Currently, she maintains a busy schedule performing as a guest with various organizations across the United States and serves as the principal harpist of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Portland Symphony Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and Boston Lyric Opera. As a former faculty member at Boston Conservatory at Berklee (Department Chair and Associate Professor), Brevard Music Center (Department Director), Wellesley College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and New England Conservatory Preparatory Division, she takes pride in an extensive teaching output, She has worked with students from across the globe who went on to be accepted to nearly all of the country’s most selective college harp programs (Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Yale University, University of Southern California, Rice University, etc.), perform as soloists with various orchestras in the United States and Europe, be featured at the World Harp Congress, and win prestigious competition prizes.

Educated in the United States, Romania, and her native Moldova, she holds degrees from New England Conservatory, Boston University, Boston Conservatory, Bucharest University of Music, and “Ciprian Porumbescu” Lyceum of Music (double-majoring in harp and piano). When not practicing or performing, Zdorovetchi enjoys spending her free time on a quiet Florida beach, voraciously reading about her favorite subjects: psychology, financial markets, and kinesics.


Orchestra Members

Charles Dimmick, Concertmaster
Amy Sims, Assistant Concertmaster
Susan Shipley
Holly Ovenden
Mina Lavcheva
Allyson Michal
Mark Paxson
Lisa Goddard
Xiao Fu
Mia Bella D’Augelli
Judith Lee
Courtney Cameron
Wilson Pedrazas
Jennifer Hillaker

Sarah Atwood, Principal
Sasha Callahan, Assistant Principal (Christine M. Thornton Chair)
Antoaneta Anguelova
Deirdre Oehrtmann
Matthew Watras
Clorinda Noyes
Luis Antonio Ibáñez
Yasmin Craig Vitalius
Callie Brennan
David Parry
Lidija Peno-Kelly
Yeolim Nam

Cara Pogossian, Principal (Sue & Hank Schmitt Chair)
Willine Thoe, Assistant Principal
Russell Wilson
Ann Stepp
Kimberly Lehmann
Harold Lieberman
Noriko Futagami
Sharon Bielik
Matthew Consul

Sein Lee, Principal (Katherine Graffam Chair)
Brent Selby, Assistant Principal (W. Brian Thornton Chair)
William Rounds
James Kennedy
Barbara Paschke
Richard Noyes
David Paschke
Joel Wolfe
Leo Eguchi

Joseph Holt, Principal
Brian Thacker, Assistant Principal
Anthony D’Amico
Margaret Metcalf
Nathan Varga

Lisa Hennessy, Principal
Alison Hale
Rachel Braude

Rachel Braude

Amanda Hardy, Principal (Clinton Graffam Chair)
Alessandro Cirafici
Julianne Verret

Julianne Verret

Thomas Parchman, Principal
Jan Halloran
John Korajczyk

John Korajczyk

Janet Polk, Principal (Judith and Jeffrey Kane Chair)
Ardith Keef
Margaret Phillips

Margaret Phillips

Lauren Winter, Principal
Kevin Owen
John Michael Flavetta
Nina Allen Miller

Joseph Foley, Principal
Elizabeth Rines
Dana Oakes

Liam Glendening, Principal
Greg Spiridopoulos
Cameron Owen
Mark Manduca

Cameron Owen

Don Rankin, Principal

John Tanzer, Principal

Nancy Smith, Principal
Richard S. Kelly
Gregory Simonds

Ina Zdorovetchi, Principal

Vacant, Principal (Elizabeth Edney Nanovic Chair)

Eva Tartaglia, Director of Artistic Operations
Andrew Greene, Production Manager
Brian Shank, Librarian
Martin Webster, Personnel Manager

Carolyn Nishon, Executive Director


The word “record” has two meanings. It can be a noun—an account of the past. Or it can be a verb—to set down or convert sound in permanent form. For the Portland Symphony Orchestra, this commercial recording is also a record. A record of a century of artistic growth under the leadership of talented conductors and concertmasters, and a showcase of the artistry of our musicians.

On the heels of releasing this milestone project, the Portland Symphony will celebrate 100 years of performing for our community of Portland and Maine. These 100 years have brought incredible moments and some incredible challenges, including a pandemic that shuttered concert halls across the world.

But during those pandemic years, the PSO found a way to play on, developing a close connection with the internationally-recognized production house PARMA Recordings. With their help, we recorded and streamed concerts, continuing to serve our community through music. This recording is the culmination of this relationship, preserving their artistry for posterity.

When deciding which works to include in this project, the PSO used our commitment to diversify our repertoire as a guiding light. The three composers on this recording show the variety of the contemporary classical musical language of Mexico.

Enrico Chapela’s music is immediately identifiable. Fusing Mexican popular culture like the traditional danzón with modern popular musical styles such as classic rock, jazz, and electronic, his music projects percussive energy. Chapela’s Rotor was composed for large orchestra in 2017 and features the colorful playing, rhythmic precision, and energy of the PSO.

Arturo Márquez is probably the most known Mexican composer, hailing from a family of Mariachi and folk musicians. The sounds of the dance halls in Mexico City influenced Márquez’s rhythms, melodies, and harmonies. In this concerto for harp Máscaras (“Masks”), Arturo Márquez creates music that is uniquely appealing and full of color. Virtuoso harpist Ina Zdorovetchi has a multilateral career as a soloist and chamber musician. She is also the Principal harpist of the PSO, Boston Lyric Opera, and Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Representing the high-caliber talent in the ranks of the PSO, Zdorovetchi is a brilliant and virtuosic master of the instrument, tackling this most challenging of concertos for the harp.

Ana Lara is the major female composer in Mexico. Drawing from influences from her Mexican heritage, Bach, Penderecki, and Lutoslawski, she creates compelling soundscapes that will intrigue even the first- time listener. Her Ángeles de llama y hielo (“Angels of Flame and Ice”) evokes powerful images of four Angels (Darkness, Dawn, Light and Sunset) and goes to the very depths of the human condition.

With this recording we aim to enrich the musical landscape in the United States. American orchestras and conductors will benefit from this recording as a reference for future live performances. A commercial recording project is a monumental endeavor, and to succeed it takes the efforts of the entire orchestra organization. I am grateful to the full staff, as well as the committed board of the Portland Symphony, our loyal audience, the talent of our musicians, and our sound engineer, GRAMMY-award winning Brad Michel, for making this recording a reality.

— Eckart Preu, Music Director

The work on this Portland Symphony Orchestra program, Rotor, is from 2017. However, the composer has substantially revised it for this recording, making this, in effect, the world premiere of the newest version of the piece. The title is taken from the name of the metal band in which Chapela played when young. He calls the work an homage to that band, and dedicates it to his dear friend Pancho Guzmán, former singer of the band Rotor.

Rotor lasts about eleven minutes. It is a rhythmic étude for orchestra, without being so named. A series of brief episodes, joined together by percussion interludes, builds to an intense climax and the end of the piece. The episodes begin softly, often in the lower instruments, and build in volume as instruments are added, until interrupted by percussion. There is a general feeling of growing tension through the work. Chapela employs a wide range of orchestral color, asking the strings to play with the wood of their bows, the brass to use a variety of mutes, the winds to play at extremes of their range or with “flutter-tongue” technique. The piece a series of metal riffs. It is a romp, albeit a strenuous romp, for the modern symphony orchestra.

— Martin Webster, PSO Orchestra Personnel Manager & Grant Writer

Masks have been present in Mexican culture in all traditions, from pre-Hispanic times to the present; they have witnessed religious and profane [secular] ceremonies, helped to perform countless rituals—social, spiritual, and even political. In 1994, Chiapas Indians rose up in arms, seeking justice for their people. The most significant symbol of this movement was the mask that represented the suffering of the indigenous peoples of Mexico. Two of the movements of my harp concerto Máscaras (Masks) have to do with this fight. “Máscara Flor” (Mask Flower) is in honor of the infants killed in the slaughter of Acteal in 1997, when 45 members of a pacifist group, Las Abejas (The Bees), were killed by a paramilitary group called Máscara Roja (Red Mask). That year, I had a conversation with a little Indian girl from Chiapas, who told me about her attachment to nature in the form of a flower. The fourth movement, “The Passion according to Marcos,” is based on the text of Subcomandante Marcos, “Who has to ask for forgiveness and who can grant it?” Marcos addressed this manifesto to the world at large on January 18, 1994, as a rejection of the pardon that President Salinas granted to the Zapatistas of Chiapas.

The other two movements deal with two other “masks” in Mexican culture that have to do directly with our music. “The Passion according to San Juan de Letrán” is a danzón that takes the rhythm of the Mexican son [regional folk dance music of Mexico], as a longing for the lost music of Mexico City. San Juan de Letrán was one of the most musical streets from the 1920s to the 1980s. “Máscara Son” is about the deepest musical manifestation of Mexico, the son, which resists dying and which fortunately has managed to stay at the heart of Mexico, even with all the changes in recent years. Máscaras was written in 1998–99 and was premiered by the harpist Lidia Tamayo, to whom it is dedicated.

– Arturo Márquez

At the beginning of the 16th century, as frontispiece for a book on love by his friend Conrad Celtes, German artist Albrecht Dürer printed a woodcut with a philosophical theme, in which he represented the four winds as symbols of the four elements, relating them to the four seasons of the year and the four constitutions of man. Dürer was using an ancient cosmological framework. For thousands of years, humans had thought the number four to be the foundation of eternal Nature, perceiving the Cosmos as divided into categories of four: four seasons, four cardinal points, four directions to the universe, four ages of the world. . . There are four rivers in Paradise, four bacabes [Mayan deities] holding up the sky, four angels guarding the throne of God, four horsemen of the Apocalypse, and so on.

In this musical version, these angels are harmonically based on the four intervals of fifths—the fifth being a symbol of perfection. The ANGEL OF DARKNESS is characterized by deep, dense sonorities, with earthy textures generated by natural harmonies. These harmonies spread until they are fully present in the ANGEL OF DAWN whose arrival heralds the break of day. With the ANGEL OF LIGHT, the harmonies open completely; the work reaches its zenith, its noon. Finally, they blend in the ANGEL OF DUSK and become less concrete, less tangible, symbolizing the end having been reached. This last of the four angels ends where the first one begins: thus, the music strives to express the idea that life is the beginning of death and that death is at the same time a beginning and an end.

Each angel is also characterized here by a different orchestral element: the first angel by the brass, the second by the brass and strings, the third mostly by strings and woodwinds, and the fourth by percussion (with emphasis on the metallic instruments). Angels of light and darkness, of death and fulfillment, of dawn and dusk. Angels of Flame and Ice: “full of interior figures,” condensations of desire and terror, of love and discord.

– Francisco Serrano, Author of Ángeles de Llama y Hielo, Four Poems

Ángeles de Llama y Hielo
Four Poems by Francisco Serrano
English Translation by Laura Reinking

Ángel de Tinieblas
Imperious, glacial, like a bare blade of steel
he suddenly appears, dark in the place of shadows,
on the edge of silence, unrelenting, unvanquished,
terrible messenger of an existence that has not been reached.

He is a wind born of the void to gnaw at the body
(body itself) to leave it in an instant, intact.
Prisoner perhaps of an excessive bliss,
there is no passion in the angel: He is the stranger.

An acrid air precedes him, a limitless fog,
coalesced shadow, breath of the Breath.
Being of silence, angel so sad, do you grieve for us?

Do you take for yourself what you need, or get back what is
Will this flesh sustain you when death
finally breathes under your incomprehensible light?

Ángel del Alba
Is there no place for the angels to spread their wings?
He sparkles in the loose breeze of first light,
indelible, a face kneaded
from water and fire and air and salt.

He hovers over time, like a flowing sky,
wings and skin undulating at the edge of bright water.
With very gentle hands, a sketch of gold on each finger,
he reached toward light that fulfills its promise.

Angel, sacred vessels of Being, luminous condensation of the
divine space: In your grace everything is about to be born.
Would you deign to hear a prayer addressed in your name?

The world is like rain and does not support you.
The angel has no roots: He moves among us
detached from the earthly heart, like a hostage.

Ángel de Luz
Angels, birds of the abyss, are they so different from us?
A breath of crystals coming from afar,
a superior command, shining and hidden,
sheer love unlimited within the boundaries of the spirit.

Maybe your diaphanous nature is not inaccessible to us.
In the exact center of the heart,
beyond pleasure and grief,
you exist alongside anguish, like an act of love.

And if we shouted, would you hear us?
If you descended upon us, could we keep silent?
We can only guess at your strength, at your pitiless mediation.

The song of the earth is the trace of his passing;
The white light of noon is shadow.
He is stillness.
He does not last.

Ángel del Ocaso
Like windows opened on an untended garden,
a wasteland beneath the open sky,
angels see with their eyes closed,
shadows of a body in search of its form.

They wander among us, sleepwalkers,
extravagant, like faceless blind men:
Fire greedy for light, impenetrable fire surrounded by water.
Where they alight, dancing ceases.

Angels of dusk, messengers
of who knows what vacant and higher kingdom,
they turn into night with each one of us.

They stalk in the crevices of consciousness, formless,
at the threshold of time, in the crack between life and death,
while a dove flutters in the frightful amputated sky.