Friday, May 24, 2024

People of Note: Lehman Center Celebrates Valentine’s Day With Classical Mexican Music

Maestro Enrique Batiz celebrates Valentine's Day with the Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico
Maestro Enrique Batiz celebrates Valentine’s Day with the Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico

*With With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, the cost of flowers and candy will go higher. People will look to take their love ones out to a nice dinner. Babysitters will be called so married couples can spend some quiet time together. Love costs. However, if you want beauty and music combined, Lehman Center for the Performing Arts has renowned conductor and Musical Director, Enrique Batiz, directing the Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico this Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14th at 8:00 pm. With tickets prices ranging from $35, $30 and $25, you can even take your children, ages 12 and under, for the special price of $10.

The Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico (Symphony Orchestra of the State of Mexico) was founded in 1971 through the initiative of the government of the State of Mexico and Maestro Enrique Batiz. It was formed with the purpose of promoting unity and identification for the citizens of the state of Mexico through music. And indeed the orchestra has become a cultural gem and a source of pride in the city of Toluca where it is based. The orchestra features a wide range of music which includes traditional Spanish and Mexican music as well as the classics. Music lovers can hear Verdi and Beethovan, and included within the Lehman Center program, the audience can enjoy “Three Spanish Dances” (Enrique Granados), “Noches en los Jardines de Espana” (Manuel de Falla) and “Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68” (Johannes Brahms).

Piano soloist Irina Chistiakova
Piano soloist Irina Chistiakova

Led by acclaimed conductor and musical director Enrique Bátiz, the performance will feature rising star piano soloist Irina Chistiakova. The Symphony Orchestra of the State of Mexico is noted for its endeavor to carry its musical message to all the corners of its country and municipalities of its state. In fact, Enrique Batiz, the Orchestra’s chief conductor, musical and artistic director, who has the double heritage of Mexican and Polish, has been repeatedly honored and is considered one of the most famous conductors in Latin America. Born in Mexico City, Batiz began playing the piano at 8 years old. He attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and then continued his studies at Julliard School of Music in New York City. He began touring extensively in the United States in1964 as a pianist, and from 1965-1971 toured throughout Europe both as a soloist and featured performer with major orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic and the London Symphony.

In 1971, Maestro Bátiz founded the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México and was its conductor and musical director for 12 years (1971-1983) before moving to the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra for seven years (1983-1989). In 1990, he returned to the Orquesta Sinfónica, where he continues to this day. The enthusiastic conductor has guest conducted over 500 symphony orchestras worldwide and has a musical catalogue that ranges from classical to contemporary music.

Joining the Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico on the Lehman Center stage February 14th, is the renowned Irina Chistiakova. Ms. Chistiakova was born in Moscow, Russia, and in 1996 was admitted into the piano program at the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatoire for Music. A child prodigy, she began performing Chopin as a soloist at the conservatory’s Grand Hall. By the age of eleven, she had already played concert halls throughout Russia, Germany and France and had won awards as both a soloist and in a duet with her older sister Galina, also a talented pianist, including a Double Laureate in the Russian “New Names” Competition.

In 2000 Irina was the star of the Irene Langemann film “Russlands Wunderkinder” and was also featured in Langemann’s follow-up film “The Competitors: Russian Children Prodigy 2.” She won many prestigious awards and piano competitions, even a gold medal. Irina graduated with honors from the Moscow State Conservatoire in 2013 and when she is not touring and recording, she is doing her postgraduate studies there and at the University of Arts in Berlin, Germany. As a result of her musical brilliance, Enrique Bátiz invited her to become a regular guest soloist with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México.

Lehman Center

Interested parties can purchase tickets by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 (Monday through Thursday, 10am–5pm), or through online access at Lehman Center is located at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West in the Bronx, NY and is accessible by the #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd. and is off the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway. Parking is $5.

Deardra Shuler is a well published journalist who has profiled celebrities and written about people of note for many years. In addition to her column at, she is the host of her radio show “Topically Yours” on Interested parties can acquire info regarding Deardra through, Linked In,, Facebook and Google. Contact her via: [email protected]m.

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