La Vida Loca, by flutist Matei Ioachimescu and pianist Alfredo Ovalles, brings new life to chamber music for flute and piano. Performing modern arrangements of popular and beloved songs from Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, Cuba and Brazil, these two outstanding musicians have taken South American passion and temperament and dressed it in new, fresh clothes.
Stories about life, forbidden love, celebrations of nature, and South American joy of life, are paired with inventiveness, sensitivity and explosive virtuosity in order to make the audience dance, sing and travel to a continent full of colours and passion.
With the new program, La Vida Loca – “Bridges”, Romanian virtuoso flutist Matei Ioachimescu and Venezuelan versatile pianist Alfredo Ovalles, both international soloists based in Vienna, create a completely new world that nevertheless feels familiar. They are out to test the boundaries of what a flute and piano can do – mixing classical, jazz, rock, contemporary and folk music.
“We find ourselves in a world more fragmented every day. But Matei and I have taken it as an inspiration, putting together new arrangements of folk music from Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, as well as new compositions created specifically for this program, managing to erase all musical and geographical borders.” (Alfredo Ovalles).
The dazzling virtuosity, the charming sense of humor and the warmth of the Venezuelan and Romanian personalities combine to bring a program filled with color and passion, sure to stay in the audience’s mind for a lifetime.
“His playing moved the audience deeply, after each concert there were people in
tears and the ovations were unusually long. Matei Ioachimescu is one of the
greatestflutists, I have ever heard.” Kalevi Aho (composer)
Matei Ioachimescu is one of the most renowned Romanian flutists. he is already considered one of the finest musicians of his generation, having received awards in several music competitions (as a soloist and as a member of different chamber music ensembles) and grants worldwide. One of them is Yehudi Menuhin Foundation (Vienna). After graduating with honours from the University of Music and Performing Arts, he held the solo flute position of the “George Enescu” – Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra. Afterwards he relocated the base to Vienna as a soloist.
He performs regularly on the international stage as a soloist or in his own chamber music projects, interpreting baroque, contemporary and cross-over repertoire, in concert halls such as Konzerthaus Wien, Suntory Hall, Conservatorio Santa Cecilia, Budapest Music Center or Ateneul Roman. And he is praised by audiences and music critics for his “adventurous and enchanting” performances.
Matei´s debut CD “Lumiére” (Quartz Media, 2014) with the pianist Catalina Butcaru includes music by french fin de siècle composers, received highest critical acclaim. “… (the artists) bring the lights of Paris closer to the listener in an exceptional recording distinguished by refined and original interpretations” (Petra Gherasim, musicologist).
In 2013, he holds the title “Ambassador of Integration”, awarded to him by the Austrian Secretary of State for his engagement in numerous artistic projects of great importance for the intercultural exchange. Matei is also an avid pedagogue, organising and teaching masterclasses and workshops across Austria, Poland, Croatia, Hungary, Romania. He is a jury member of several international music competitios in Romania and Croatia.
Alfredo is one of the most active soloists and chamber musicians from Venezuela. Having performed in places as diverse as Belarus, Germany, Spain, Poland, Romania, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, he had the pleasure of playing in halls such as the Berliner Philharmonie, the Wiener Konzerthaus, Wiener Musikverein and London’s King’s Place etc.
He studied in the United States in the Baylor University School of Music, later on moving to Vienna, Austria, at the University of Music and Performing Arts. In parallel to his studies, Alfredo was active in the competition circuit, receiving awards such as the first prize in the VIII International “Franz Schubert” Competition in Bulgaria and the second prizes in the IV “María Clara Cullell International Piano Competition” in San José de Costa Rica and the 14th Osaka International Music Competition in Japan.
A strong advocate for contemporary music since he was a young boy, he is always trying to test the limits of the piano as an instrument and looking to combine it with percussion instruments and expand it with electronic sounds. Due to his never-ending desire for musical experimentation, Alfredo devotes a big part of his time working with composers and performing premieres of pieces written for him or in collaboration with groups like Diaspora Duo, Green Thing Ensemble, and The Black Page Orchestra.