A child of Cuban exiles, Cuban American composer Armando Bayolo debuts at Carnegie Hall, fulfilling the dream his mother had to relinquish in order for him to be born in freedom:
Composer Armando Bayolo Makes Carnegie Hall Debut
Composer Armando Bayolo will make his Carnegie Hall debut, Sunday October 9 at 7:30pm, with the premiere of Lullabies, commissioned by clarinetist Marguerite Levin for Trio Montage at Weill Recital Hall. Premieres from Valencio Jackson, Jr., Allen Feinstein, Brian Balmages, and Joseph Ness will also appear on the program, entitled “Five Premieres Inspired by Five Decades.” Trio Montage includes Levin and collaborators Phillip Collister, baritone, and R. Timothy McReyolds, piano.
In preparation for this debut, Bayolo reflects on the perspective this brings to his work: “The musicians I’ve had the honor and pleasure to work with in New York have been some of the warmest, most welcoming and supportive musicians I’ve met in my career. I have enjoyed working with the New York music community over the past year and am thrilled, honored and humbled to have my music heard in Carnegie Hall in October.”
In making his Carnegie Hall debut, Bayolo is fulfilling the sacrifices and dreams of three generations of a musical family who barely survived Cuba’s mid-century political upheaval. Around the time that his mother’s family was granted permission to emigrate from Cuba, in 1967, the future Mrs. Bayolo was “invited” to become the Revolution’s protégé. The Castro regime would pay for her musical education and groom her to be a star of the concert stage, under the condition that she and her family remain in Cuba in perpetuity. The family obviously fled to Puerto Rico, and the young woman sacrificed her dreams as a concert pianist to build a new future for her family, learning English, and eventually marrying the senior Mr. Bayolo before moving to the United States.