Monday, January 13, 2014

José Pietri-Coimbre in Premiere of Sung Jin Hong's opera 'Breaking Bad — Ozymandias' on Jan. 26 & 27, 2014 as part of One World Symphony's 'Addiction'

One World Symphony

José Pietri-Coimbre will perform in the World Premiere performance of Sung Jin Hong's opera Breaking Bad — Ozymandias (2014) on January 26 and 27, 2014 as a part of One World Symphony's Addiction concert. The program will also feature music from Wagner's The Flying Dutchman, Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, and Berlioz's La mort d'Ophélie. Tickets are available online at

Can you please tell us a little about your heritage? Are any of your family members musicians? If so, what do they do? Any family rituals/routines, talents you'd like to tell us?

I was born and raised in the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico, before I came to the continental USA to pursue graduate studies in music. None of my immediate family members were professional musicians, but many of them pursued musical studies as amateurs to a certain extent mostly focused on classical music. Some continue to perform as a hobby mostly as singers in choirs, chamber ensembles, musical theater, etc. My late father, although not musically trained per se, had a great voice and had a great ability to accompany himself by ear with the guitar and also with piano. He also wrote a number of songs, mostly Christian songs, that have been used in Catholic/Christian communities in the Hispanic world. I now enjoy being able to pass on the musical legacy in my current household: my beautiful six-year old daughter Clara plays violin and sings — and has fun with it. 

Can you please tell us about the composer and the composition that you are performing? What makes the work special and what are you looking forward to the most when you will be performing it?

Sung Jin Hong, the composer of Breaking Bad — Ozymandias (2014), and I have been working for many years together. He is extremely energetic and creative and I have enjoyed witnessing the progression of his work as a composer since he started pursuing that aspect of his career. His opera shows a very personal, deep twist of the thoughts and emotions of the characters. One of the things that I look forward to the most is the challenge of bringing to life through music and words the contrast between the different states of mind of the character of Walter White. Sung Jin shows in his opera the drastic difference between Walter's tender, vulnerable moments and his ruthless embracing of the darkest feelings. 

Why would you recommend our public to attend One World Symphony's Addiction show on January 26 and 27, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. at Holy Apostles Church?

The musical selections for the "Addiction" program are very varied and yet share a connection that I think the audience will identify and feel part of. Also the music chosen is of great quality, and some of it of superb beauty. 

You have been a collaborative artist with One World Symphony in many projects. What has been the highlight of your One World Symphony career to date?

I have actually had two highlights with One World Symphony to this day. One is being a last-moment replacement for the main male role of The Cunning Little Vixen by Leos Janacek, the Forester. The opera is very difficult but also extremely beautiful, and I managed to learn the role in one week and sing it with score in hand for a semi-staged version. I couldn't have done it without the support from the fabulous cast and guidance from the stage director Adrienne Metzinger and artistic director Sung Jin Hong. The other highlight was being concertmaster for the performance of Richard Strauss' The Four Last Songs. I had wanted for many years to perform these songs, as they have always been very meaningful to me and among the top of the list of my all-time favorite classical-music works.

What made you decide to become a musician?

The pursuit of my musical understanding and artistry has defined and re-defined- for the better - who I am and how I see the world since I was very young. When the time came to make a career choice decision I could not see myself doing anything else. I think I feel and "see" clearly what is being expressed in most music, and I continue to enjoy developing this ability as both a performer and a teacher.

Puerto-Rican born José Pietri-Coimbre has distinguished himself as an orchestral, chamber music, and solo violinist, and as a vocal soloist. He made his operatic debut as the Forester in One World Symphony’s critically-acclaimed production of Janácek’s The Cunning Little Vixen in May 2010. He later performed Dancairo in Bizet’s Carmen, Chevalier in Poulenc’s The Dialogues of the Carmelites in 2011 and scenes from Peter Grimes in 2012. As a violinist and violist, he has held principal positions at One World Symphony, Puerto Rico Sinfonietta, the National Orchestral Institute Orchestra, Bronx Opera, and the Queens Philharmonia. A founding member of Cuarteto Ensue–o, he is dedicated to the performance of Spanish and Latin American art music of instrumental and vocal genres. Mr. Pietri-Coimbre performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician at the Con Vivo Chamber Players concert series in Jersey City, NJ, and as violinist and tenor for the Luci Toscane Music and Cultural Arts Festival, in Italy and in Wisconsin. He has performed at the Chamber Music Live Series at Flushing Town Hall and the Lefrak Concert Hall, and at in several notable music festivals. He served as concertmaster as part of the Siena Summer Session for the Music and the Arts in Italy and Switzerland.

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