Maria Guinand: Spreading the word with her baton

by Victoria Aschheim

Maria Guinand, the award-winning Venezuelan choral conductor and university professor, is Harvard's Learning from Performers guest artist at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in Paine Hall. She is also the inaugural conductor-in-residence of the Boston Children's Chorus, a partner of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She has been dean of the Jose Angel Lamas Music School and of the Conservatory of Music Simon Bolivar, the central academic program of the Foundation for Youth and Children Orchestras in Venezuela. She presently conducts two choirs, the Cantoria Alberto Grau and the Schola Cantorum de Venezuela. As a leading interpreter of Latin American choral music of the 20th and 21st centuries, she has had choral conducting roles in the presentation of La Pasion Segun San Marcos (St. Mark's Passion) by Osvald Golijov, Golijov's Oceana, as well as John Adams' A Flowering Tree. Guinand, a graduate of Bristol University in England, is the recipient of the Helmuth Rilling Preis (2009), the Robert Edler Preis (2000), and the Kulturpreis of the InterNationes Foundation (1998).

Listen to Professor Guinand discuss her work, her collaborations and El Sistema, the Venezuelan youth education program much admired in the U.S.