Duo Crillio

Duo Criollo (Argentine pronunciation for Criollo: Cre--o--sho) was established in March of 2002 in Buenos Aires during Donna Clark's first visit to Argentina. The creation of this international duo team is a result of the research, travels, and commissions made possible through the Creative Renewal Fellowship awarded to Donna Clark by the Arts Council of Indianapolis and funded by the Lilly Endowment. Duo Criollo specializes in music native to Argentina. Their concerts include original compositions by Mr. Zambrana, music of Astor Piazzolla, new compositions for viola and guitar by other Argentine composers, and traditional tangos. In July and August of 2002, Duo Criollo performed it's inaugural concerts in Buenos Aires and on Radio National of Argentina. This was followed by a South American and US tour in 2003 and another US tour in 2004 including a New York debut concert. (See review below.) The duo is featured on a CD recently released by Centaur Records called "Una Viola Porteña". Duo Criollo is available for high powered formal concerts when Mr. Zambrana travels to the US to concertize.

Excerpts from the New York Concert Review, Anthony Aibel:
March 07, 2004 at the Roger Smith Hotel Penthouse Concert Hall

"In New York, one gets treated to all sorts of interesting instrumental combinations, and a viola/guitar duo, Dou Criollo, appearing at the Roger Smith Hotel recently, made an impressive addition to that creative diversity. Duo Criollo is a handsome mix of the dark, rich resonance of Donna Clark's viola and the exotic, intiamate colors of Sebastian Zambrana's guitar. They are both impressive musicians in their own right, and together, they form an excellent partnership.

Donna Lively Clark, whose major teachers were William Primrose, William Lincer, and Alan de Veritch, is a very impressive violist, with a knack for choosing inventive programs. She also chose the right partner in Sebastian F. Zambrana, a very gifted, first-rate guitarist. They opened with Zambrana's own composition, a 2002 commission, called Mirada Rioplatenses. There are many appealing characteristics; the intimate night music of the first movement, which recapitulates at the end, the hypnotic second movement, with its engaging ostinato figures against a pedal bass, and interesting effects, such as having the viola bow placed on the other side of the bridge.

5 Tanguitos for solo guitar, written by five different composers, showed Zambrana's smooth, facile technique and his natural affinity for rubato, color, and just the right atmosphere. Zambrana's Baila, also for solo guitar, had a pop song quality sometimes reminiscent of James Taylor, and utilized innovative harmonies. Piazzolla's Etude #4 for solo viola and guitar, and the viola adds a lovely lyrical quality to the more edgy, rythmic zest of the guitar. One has to applaud the unique Duo Criollo for presenting quality performances of fresh repertoire."