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It is said that she wrote her first poems between the ages of seven and eleven and that almost when she was a teenager she ventured to show some of her verses to the outstanding writer and pedagogue Mirtha Aguirre. It was thus that Rafaela Chacón Nardile opened the doors of the literary universe. Born on February 24, 1926, in Havana, she became an outstanding personality in the world of literature in Cuba, "a woman determined to serve, a lady of nobility and extraordinary wisdom", as described by writer Leonardo Depestre Catony.
The outstanding intellectual studied teaching and then a degree in Pedagogy with outstanding results. This led her to work as a teacher at the Normal School for Teachers and in summer courses at the universities of Havana and Las Villas.
But Rafaela had in herself, along with teaching, the gift of literary creation. That is why her first productions appeared in the pages of the Gaceta del Caribe, Noticias de Hoy, El Mundo, El País, and in the magazines Lyceum and Bohemia.
In 1948, at the age of 22, she published her first collection of poems. Some time later she would receive a letter from Gabriela Mistral in which the Chilean praised the work and expressed that it was the best collection of women's poems that had reached her in years. "Its quality and femininity have captured me", commented the Nobel Prize winner in Literature in that letter, whose full text was reproduced in the second edition of the notebook, in 1957.
The work in the lyrical world of the "Rafaela de Cuba", as Mistral called her, accumulated more than 30 titles, which were translated into English, French, Italian, Czech, Russian, Romanian, Portuguese, Swedish, Esperanto and even Braille.
She designed and developed interesting pedagogical experiences in the field of visual arts, aimed at children with physical limitations. In 1971, under the auspices of Unesco, she founded the Creative Expression Group and, at the request of that international organization, she headed the Reading Promotion Clubs in Cuba, which had a great impact on the education of blind and low vision adolescents.
Tireless in her educational work, Rafaela organized children's workshops for the study of José Martí's work, while encouraging them to practice and learn about the different manifestations of art, considering this an unavoidable part of the education of children and young people.
The outstanding educator and writer was awarded the Alejo Carpentier Medal and other distinctions for her work. When she passed away on March 11, 2001, she left behind a lyrical production that included the following volumes: Viaje al sueño (1948 and 1957 in an expanded edition), Del silencio y las voces (1978), Coral del aire (1982), Una mujer desde su isla canta (1994), Vuelta de hoja (1995), Mínimo paraíso (1997) and Del íntimo esplendor (2000).
With simplicity and talent, always intoxicated with love, Rafaela Chacón Nardi, as highlighted in her work, managed to arouse the praise of leading literary figures such as Mirtha Aguirre, José Antonio Portuondo, Ángel Augier and Nicolás Guillén. The latter compared her to "a star on the night grass, detached from the sky by the storm". The National Poet, placed her next to Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda and María Zambrano, saying that her verses were stark: "poetry in the flower of words, exposed to the elements, like a simple event of nature".
Taken from September 5th
English version Hector Hdez.
For the first time since its creation, the Avantti Woodwind Quintet from Cienfuegos will perform outside the province, at the "A Tempo con Caturla" Chamber Music Festival, which in 2021 will have an international character. The invitation came from the president of the Organizing Committee of the event, Maikel Iglesias.
With almost twelve years of professional career, this ensemble has included in its repertoire traditional Cuban music themes by authors such as Benny Moré, Miguel Matamoros and María Teresa Vera. Among the international classics performed are pieces by Argentine Astor Piazzola and Tchaikovsky.
In his presentations, Avantti assumes as habitual practice the interaction with other artistic manifestations, so far the visual arts and theater. As it happened during his last concert, last December 20, at the A Cuestas hall in Cienfuegos.
Maikel Iglesias, also a musician and director of the Villa Clara Male Choir, also confirmed the presence in the Festival of the Diademas Flute Orchestra, the Cantores de Cienfuegos Choir and the Chamber Orchestra of this province.
"In the 24 editions of the Festival, the presentations of the Flute Orquestra Diademas and the Cantores de Cienfuegos choir have been marked by excellence," he said.
So far, musicians and ensembles from Cuba and some 20 countries have confirmed their participation in the Chamber Music Festival "A Tempo con Caturla", to be held online from March 2 to 7, based in the central province of Villa Clara.
"The Organizing Committee of the A Tempo con Caturla Chamber Music Festival and the Hermanos Saíz Association, after analyzing the current sanitary conditions by COVID-19 in the national territory, have decided that the edition corresponding to 2021 will be held online and open for the first time to international participation," reads the announcement.
Fourth-year French horn student Kevin Bouza is the most recent member of the Avantti Classical Wind Quintet.
The twenty-fifth edition of the meeting will be attended by important exponents of chamber music in the world. Maikel Iglesias confirmed the participation of Russian pianist Dmitri Myachin, a graduate of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory.
With a solid professional career, Mychian has received important awards in international competitions and is currently the director of the Krylia Art Center in Beijing.
For his part, Italian accordionist and composer Marco Lo Russo, another figure who will be at "A Tempo con Caturla" posted on social networks that "The pandemic has stopped live concerts, but not music and above all it does not stop the warmth of the Cuban people".
This year, the Festival will be dedicated to the 115th anniversary of the birth of Alejandro García Caturla; 35th anniversary of the Hermanos Saíz Association; 100th anniversary of the Latin Institute of Music; 95th anniversary of the founding of the Villa Clara Symphony Orchestra and will celebrate the 80th birthday of Maestro Chucho Valdés, who will be the guest of honor.
Other personalities who will also be honored will be Maestro José Antonio Méndez Valencia, Youth Master Award of the Hermanos Saíz Association on his 70th birthday, and the Maestros Edesio Alejandro and Huberal Herrera, both winners of the National Music Award.
Regarding their participation in the event, the flutist and director of the Avantti Classical Wind Quintet, Carilin Palacios Llanes, said: "We are very proud of it, because we will be sharing with national and international musicians and groups of great quality and prestige. 'A Tempo con Caturla' will represent the launching of our classical music quintet to other stages and audiences, which is very important for us at this stage of our career."
The diffusion of the XXV A Tempo con Caturla Festival of Chamber Music will take place on the platforms Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Telegram; as well as on the television stations Telecubanacán, of Villa Clara, Canal Clave of Cuban television and the radio stations CMHW, FM Stereo and CMBF Radio Musical Nacional.
In the courtyard of the Leblanc Palace, Avantti records a repertoire of 5 pieces for its participation in the Festival A Tempo con Caturla.
(Taken from 5 de Septiembre)
English version Hector Hdez.
"Because Cubans have acquired real meaning in life, which begins with considering it undignified if not lived in freedom, when one does not live with decorum, when one does not live with justice, when one does not live for something, and for something great as Cubans are living at this moment....
"And it is best to say so without boasting, as those who are truly determined to do what is promised.
"May those who, lacking the most elementary common sense, dare to consider as possible any kind of invasion of our soil, understand the monstrosity of their mistake, because we could save ourselves many sacrifices. But, should this happen, unfortunately, above all given the misfortune of those who might attack us, let there be no doubt that here, in this land called Cuba, here in the midst of this people called Cuban, they will be obliged to fight us as long as we have a drop of blood left, they will be obliged to fight t us as long as we have an atom of life left.
"We will never attack anyone, no one will ever have any reason to fear us, but whoever cares to attack us must know, without fear of being mistaken, that Cubans of today are not in the year 1898 or 1899, we are not at the beginning of the century, that we are not in the decade of 1910 or 1920 or 1930, with Cubans of this decade, with Cubans of this generation, with Cubans of this era - not because we are better, but because we have had the good fortune to see more clearly, because we have had the good fortune to receive the example and the lessons of history; the lessons that cost so much sacrifice to our ancestors, the lessons that cost so much humiliation and so much pain to past generations, because we have been fortunate enough to receive that lesson - with this generation they will have to fight, if they attack us, until the last drop of blood....
"And unintimidated by the threats, unintimidated by the maneuvers, remembering that one day we were only 12 men and that, comparing our strength with the strength of the dictatorship, our strength was so minute and so insignificant that no one would have believed it possible to resist; but, we believed that we could resist then, as we believe today that we resist any aggression. And not only that we will be able to resist any aggression, but that we will be able to defeat any aggression, and that once again we have no other choice than the one with which we began the revolutionary struggle: that of freedom or death. Only now freedom means more: freedom means homeland. And our only choice is homeland or death".
Excerpts from speech delivered by Comandante en jefe Fidel Castro Ruz, March 5, 1960, during the funeral ceremony for victims killed in the explosion of the La Coubre ship in Havana Bay, a terrorist act committed by the United States.