The program was presented under the aegis of Opera Nova, and was further burdened by a master of ceremonies, Michael Riggins, who managed to mispronounce nearly every name. Music by the excellent local composer Carlos Rodriguez began the program: a short fanfare and some enterprising interaction for cello (Matt Cooker) and electronics. Along the way the Uruguayan-born Miguel del Aguila came on to perform two movements from his Piano Concerto, a loosely glued-together concatenation of hilariously inept zingers from a Rachmaninoff scrapbook.
Two nights later, across the street at the Hollywood Bowl, there was almost exactly the same piece again, this time under the name of the Piano Concerto by the Brazilian composer Hekel Tavares, who died in 1969. Brazil, Uruguay, Moscow Conservatory: The program notes this time went on about the self-taught Senhor Tavares drawing his poetic inspiration from the forms of Brazilian folk song, and this may very well be, but once again the Rachmaninovian clatter o’ershadowed all: the virtuoso plink-plank, the belly-flop landing on the third-related modulation. I think you can buy that stuff in squeeze bottles nowadays.