Bach is for Dancing

child conductor

To honor the contributions made by the Latinx community in observance of Hispanic Heritage Month we wanted to pay tribute to Bach Society of Minnesota’s (BSM), Associate Artistic Director, Marco Real d’Arbelles, a conductor, violinist, and devoted husband and father.

A Nicaraguan native, Real-d’Arbelles grew up listening to the classic works of Bach and others with his grandfather and father. At that time, he had only heard the music as a recording. It wasn’t until he moved to the United States with his family that he saw the music performed live and by age 12 he was holding his first violin.

Formally trained in the modern conservatory style at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida; the focus of the musician was to play the notes as they were written, a more literal translation of the music, but his career path led him to discover that he could offer something more to classical music—passion.

Latin Americans are known for bringing passion, feeling, and emotion to their work. As an example, Real-d’Arbelles referenced Music & Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Conductor Gustavo Dudamel who has received accolades for drawing out dynamic performances from orchestras. Dudamel was a student of the immersive musical training program, El Sistema, in Venezuela where Real-d’Arbelles would later become the assistant conductor in 2011. Similar to Dudamel, Real’d’Arbelles would soon bring his unique take and cultural perspective to the classical music scene.

Real-d’Arbelles was appointed Associate Artistic Director of the Bach Society of Minnesota in 2018 and has had the most fun with the Bach Suites—making dances come alive. It is common for there to be dancing at Latinx celebrations, including Christmas, which is typically a more somber occasion in the United States. Real-d’Arbelles referenced Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and the dance rhythms that are introduced, although seemingly counterintuitive, it is these parts that he hopes to emphasize—interpreting Bach’s meaning to be one of joy.

You can see Marco Real-d’Arbelles perform with the Bach Society of Minnesota this season in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and B Minor Mass. He is also looking forward to the second year of BSM Mobile Mini-Concerts this spring, started last year in response to the pandemic, where he will be playing partitas, also known as dance numbers.

Learn more about Marco Real-d’Arbelles: About US