By August Zeidman
The Great Hall of the Sociëteit De Witte is, as the name would suggest, an impressive venue and one in which many diplomats and other distinguished members of society in The Hague will be familiar with.
On Tuesday, September 20, it was graced with the presence of many such esteemed figures at the behest of the Latin America Table of the Society and the Embassy of Ecuador for the occasion of a piano concert. Aarón Ormaza Vera is a virtuosic pianist from Ecuador who currently resides in the Netherlands and was invited to share his talents and a repertoire including some music of his country.
Ambassadors and Society members first met Bar Hall for some introductory drinks and an opportunity for conversation with friends and colleagues.
The ornate space and friendly atmosphere allowed everybody to unwind after busy work days. Then, when the appointed time approached, guests trickled up the grand staircase of the venue towards the Great Hall where they settled into their seats and eagerly awaited the show.
Opening remarks were offered by Ms. Sonia Meijer, chair of the Latin America Table at Sociëteit De Witte and H.E. Mr. Andres Horacio Teran Perral, ambassador of Ecuador to the Netherlands.
They thanked everybody in attendance and introduced the featured talent of the night. Aarón Ormaza Vera, who received his Bachelor degree in Ecuador in 2016, is now a student at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where he completed a second Bachelor degree and is now pursuing a Master’s in piano performance.
He is a very experienced chamber musician and has performed solo or in accompaniment with singers, strings, and other musical ensembles for over a decade. These performances have taken place in some of the most important venues in the Netherlands and in Ecuador.
He also briefly spoke, expressing his gratitude to Ambassador Teran Perral and the Latin America Table, and explained his background coming from musician parents who encouraged him and his brothers to nurture their mellifluous talents.
The programme began with a revue of some of the true classics of chamber piano: Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 “Waldstein” and Dubussy’s Préludes pour piano, Livre II: La Terrasse des Audiences du Clair de Lune. He performed these works masterfully and set the tone for the evening as the melodies filled the atmosphere.
Then, he moved into Sonatina No. 3 by Willem Pijper followed by a Sonatina by Kees van Baaren, two of the most influential Dutch composers of the 20th century. Finally, the setlist was concluded with the Suite en Cuatro Números by Luis Humberto Salgado and pieces by Gerardo Guevara, including Fiesta. With these, Mr. Ormaza Vera introduced the audience to some of the magnificent compositions from Ecuador, by composers they may not have previously known who masterfully wove together the beautiful melodic tendencies of classical piano with the energetic and evocative sounds of traditional music of Ecuador’s highlands.
At the conclusion of his final piece, Mr. Ormaza Vera received a standing ovation for several minutes and he was able to bask in the applause: a job well done. He and Ms. Meijer each offered some closing remarks, thanking everybody for their attendance and special thanks to the Embassy of Ecuador and Ambassador Teran Perral for organizing the event.
It was a moving performance and I see great things in the future for Aarón Ormaza Vera. Bravo, for a truly excellent evening!