As the 8 Cuerdas Duo, American soprano Sarah Cullins and Colombian guitarist Daniel Gaviria combine their classical training and experience with their love of traditional Latin American and Spanish rhythms and folklore, exploring the multiple musical identities of Latin America and the origin of many of its influences, the Iberian Peninsula. Whether recreating a soulful Argentinian milonga, bringing out the percussiveness of the Latin American Chacarera, or drawing on the intense passion of flamenco, the duo leads much of their classical repertoire into the world music realm, creating a wide variety of sounds and atmospheres.
Already a favorite with Vermont audiences, 8 Cuerdas is now known for lively performances that juxtapose impossibly soft lullabies with high-powered zarzuela arias. Their concerts combine such well-known favorites as Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras and Rodrigo’s Aranjuez, Ma Penseé with works by up-and-coming composers from Latin America and centuries-old melodies from Spain, all guided by short dynamic explanations of the repertoire to bring audiences even closer.
Named for the eight “strings” that make up their two instruments and the artistic unity that this husband and wife team bring to their performances, the Burlington, Vermont-based duo recently moved to the Green Mountains from the Andes Mountains of Bogota, Colombia, where both Sarah and Daniel had busy careers as soloists and chamber musicians as well as educators. Sarah performed regularly with the country’s major orchestras in operatic, symphonic and oratorio repertoire and developed and led a nationally-renowed voice and opera undergraduate program. Daniel was a winner and finalist in solo guitar and chamber competitions, presented numerous outreach concert as a member of Quarteto +1 and the Vitart Trio, and is a sought-after Suzuki-method teacher for students of all ages. Here in Vermont, Sarah continues her solo career as a frequent guest with the Oriana Singers, and in 2014 will make her debut with the Vermont Youth Orchestra and the Opera Company of Middlebury. She is also a member of the voice faculty of the University of Vermont.
In addition to concerts, 8 Cuerdas offers masterclasses on Latin American art song repertoire (for classical singers), Latin American guitar repertoire (for classical guitarists), and Latin American traditional rythms (for any musician and/or general public).