Last updateFri, 15 Jul 2016 8am

‘Phenomenal’ piccolo player to perform locally

Mariaceli Navarro, an accomplished Venezuelan piccolo player, teams up this summer with Tim Welch, well known Chapala area pianist, in a series of local concerts culminating in an international competition in San Diego, California.

The 20-something Navarro is a veteran of Venezuela’s prestigious Simón Bolívar Orchestra (directed by the renowned Gustavo Dudamel, who also directs the Los Angeles Philharmonic) and a product of that country’s legendary musical education program. She came to Guadalajara eight months ago to play with the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra.

The bonus for Ajijic music lovers will be the duo’s performances in two locations here: first on July 17, 10 a.m., as part of Sunday Mass at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, where Welch plays and directs; and later that week (July 21, 22 and 23) in the Extravaganza Festival at Jayme Littlejohn’s Bravo! Theater. 

(In San Diego in August, the duo will perform the works they are playing in Ajijic, along with others, in the Piccolo Artists Competition, where Navarro hopes to add another first-place prize to the five she has already received in Italy, Chicago, Peru, Venezuela and Guanajuato.)

The duo’s presentation at St. Andrew’s Mass includes the Concerto in C Major, RV 444 by Antonio Vivaldi and a composition commissioned specifically for the competition in San Diego in August. At the Extravaganza Festival a few days later, they play three movements from Robert Beaser’s “Souvenirs.”

Navarro and Welch will perform all these pieces and others in the first round of the international competition in San Diego. Since Navarro has done so well in previous competitions, Welch says he is confident they will make it to the last round, in which they play the “more-than-challenging” Piccolo Concerto by Israeli composer Avner Dorman.

“Mariaceli is a phenomenal musician,” he adds. “People sometimes think of the piccolo as too high-pitched, but with her, it’s gold. She makes it mesmerizing. That’s why she’s won all those competitions in first place.”

Navarro and Welch play at the 10 a.m. Mass, Sunday, July 17, St. Andrew’s Anglican Church and at the Extravaganza Festival: Thursday, July 21, 4 p.m.; Friday, July 22, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, July 23, 4 p.m. Tickets 200 pesos. Reserve at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit Diane Pearl or Mia’s Boutique.

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