On February 21st, 2008, musicians from Brazil and other parts of the world came on stage to perform the opening concert of the Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they gave life to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, conducted by maestro Fabio Mechetti who has been its Artistic Director and Principal Conductor from the beginning. With its excellent artistic renditions and a dynamic calendar of events, the Philharmonic has become a strong point of reference in Brazil and has been gaining prominence and importance internationally.
Learn more about the history of the Orchestra:
Belo Horizonte is the home city of the Philharmonic and also the place where it performs regularly in five signature series, presenting great works of the world’s symphonic repertoire. Having the approach to a new public as its artistic goal, the Orchestra also brings to the city an event schedule featuring concerts at popular prices or free of cost, like Concertos para a Juventude [Youth Concerts], Clássicos na Praça [Outside Concerts] and Chamber Concerts. For children and adolescents, the Orchestra devotes the program Educational Concerts, which introduces them to the world of classical music.
Since 2008, Tinta Fresca Festival has been promoting the creation of symphonic works among Brazilian composers. At the heart of the Festival is the exchange of experience between household names and young people in search of their own voice in artistic creation. The project culminates with the production of a piece of work by the winner of each edition to be presented by the Orchestra in a future season.
The Conducting Laboratory is a pioneering initiative in the country that allows young Brazilian conductors to improve their techniques under the tutoring of the conductor Fabio Mechetti, who guides them through technical and rehearsal classes which can give them an opportunity to lead the Orchestra in a concert open to the public.
In a partnership with Naxos Records, three albums dedicated to Villa-Lobos were produced: The Guitar Manuscripts volumes 1, 2 and 3. The Philharmonic has also recorded an independent album featuring Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 9, The Great. The Orchestra also recorded the soundtrack for Dança Sinfônica [Symphonic Dance] (2015), specially composed by Marco Antônio Guimarães (Uakti) for the Brazilian ballet company Grupo Corpo.
Taking the road to the countryside of Minas Gerais is a tradition that lies at the root of the Orchestra’s origins. Since 2008, more than 50 cities in Minas have hosted events, from North to South.
The Philharmonic has toured the main cultural centers and venues in Brazil, including Belém, Brasília, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Goiânia, João Pessoa, Manaus, Natal, Paulínia, Recife, Salvador and Porto Alegre. Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are frequently visited as well.
In 2012, the Orchestra made its international debut in a tour that comprised five concerts in Argentina and Uruguay, featuring two sold-out performances at the prestigious Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
Denise de Freitas
Rachel Barton Pine