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NMSU music professor, conductor releases new album


New Mexico State University assistant professor of violin and NMSU Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor Simon Gollo is releasing a new album, “Chausson,” featuring the music of French romantic composer Ernest Chausson (1855-99).

The album was recorded in Granada, Spain and was “a very big production,” Gollo said, that took many years to complete and included rehearsals and production in New York City and other cities in both North and South America.

The album includes Chausson’s “Concerto Op.21” for violin, piano and string quartet and “Chanson Perpétuelle op.37,” featuring Gollo as violin soloist, piano soloist John Novacek, violinists Benjamin Sung, Ingrid Capparelli Gerling and Randolph Kelly, cellist Maki Kubota and soprano Mariola Cantarero.

Written between 1889 and 1891, the concert, Gollo said, is unique in the chamber music repertoire. It premiered March 4, 1892 in Brussels, Belgium.

Gollo, a native of Venezuela, grew up in Europe, where he learned to love the music of France, including the compositions of Chausson. Gollo moved to the United States eight years ago.

“I had to work very hard and I got the position at NMSU and I am so grateful to my colleagues and my department and the whole structure of NMSU,” Gollo said. “I feel at home.”

Gollo is founder and artistic director of the Aruba Symphony Festival and Academy and several other international music festivals.

“I feel that my international background is an asset for our community,” said Gollo, who plans to start an international music festival in Las Cruces, to focus in particular on the talents of musicians in Las Cruces, El Paso and Juarez.

Las Cruces, he said, is “a very beautiful town that could (benefit from) even better cultural development. Now we have to place Las Cruces in the international picture,” he said. “We can be a music city.”

Gollo, who founded the Las Cruces Youth Orchestra in 2018, said he is especially committed to enhancing music education and participation for the city’s youth.

“I want to share with young people,” Gollo said. “It is difficult sometimes to have big dreams,” he said. “This recording is for a big achievement in my career. I hope for sure people will understand I’m here to support my community. I am here to support education.”

The album will have June 19 worldwide distribution, under the IBS Classical label, Gollo said, and will be available via all digital platforms. Visit https://ibsclassical.es/product/chausson/,  http://ibsclassical.es/digital/ and http://ibsclassical.es/physical/.

The album debuts, Gollo said, as people are waiting and excited to return to live concerts.

“How important it is to attend the concert, creating memories of ‘yes, I went to the concert and it was a beautiful moment and it was a beautiful memory for all of us,’” he said.

In the meantime, enjoy the beautiful music of a French composer as interpreted by a young and talented Venezuelan violinist who now makes his home in Las Cruces, accompanied other great musical artists.

Contact Gollo at sgollo@nmsu.edu.