It seems that, little by little, the Athens of Cuba began to awaken from its lethargy, provoked, among other factors, by the long period of time that the José White Concert Hall was closed.
Located in the heart of the historic center of Matanzas, the institution was always linked to the cultural life of the City of Poets. “In its beginnings it was a house where theater was done. At the request of the governor of the city, it later became the headquarters of the Artistic and Literary Lyceum of Matanzas, since 1863.
“From then until the present has traveled through different stages, among which is its sixteen-year period closed to the public, waiting for a remodeling that was concluded thanks to the management and efforts of a group of artists and builders,” he said. Lourdes Fernández Valhuerdi, musicologist and teacher.
After many avatars, and by January 28th, 2016, many matanceros were suspicious of the concreteness of their restoration when, at last, the Matanzas Literary and Artistic Lyceum awoke, after their lethargy of more than a decade.
Like all human work rehabilitation had defenders and detractors. The truth is that, thanks to the constancy and quality that prevailed in the process, the building was nominated to opt for the National Restoration Prize, a selection endorsed also by its significance from the historical and cultural point of view, the architect Ramón Recondo Pérez, principal designer of the restoration.
“I am not only referring to its importance given the property that occupies this prestigious cultural center, but also because of the legacy and traditions that surround it as one of the works of greater historical values in the national context. It is worthy to recognize the work of the anonymous people who worked in this work.
It is an exquisite place of culture where we breathe the matancerity, our identity. In addition it should be noted that the first danzón, The Heights of Simpson, by Miguel Failde was premiered there. “
Sergio Roque, at the head of the restoration of the property in its last stage, more than the physical space that occupies, sees in the room his second home. “Every corner of the room was touched by my hands. Many artists got involved in the project to save that place. Our goal was always to try to rescue the neoclassical beauty of the room. “
Among the main attractions that distinguish the building stands out the exact conjugation of its traditional style with airs of modernity, which brings a renewed image, extended the leader of the ATENART group, in charge of the responsibility of giving back the splendor of yesteryear to the property.
At this point no one has doubts about the importance of the José White Concert Hall to maintain the cultural pulse matancero. A task that has borne fruit, but that does not yet conclude, explained Roque Ruano. “There is still a large mural of 46 square meters that I am already doing in earthenware and the completion of the whole of the source that carries a sculpture, which is in the phase of completion.”
“We already have the room, better conditions to carry out our work, but we can not settle for that. One always has to dream of the feet on the earth and seek excellence, that each concert is better, that the programming of each month has a higher artistic level so that it satisfies the taste of the public matancero and that it becomes a beacon for all the country. This is just the starting point, “added the teacher.
Controversial and, in my opinion, necessary, the installation of a recording studio in the building, even when it has excellent acoustics, will increase its use values, “a space that very few know the merits that can reach and, I believe, a formidable project to provide a recording service to the musicians of Matanzas. Only the equipment is missing, even the acoustic and technological analysis was done for that purpose. I believe that the study of recordings can raise the prestige and the artistic atmosphere, while at the same time they will enrich the musical quality of the Concert Hall “, emphasized Sergio Roque.
Although the actions planned in the White Room have not yet been concluded, Recondo Pérez argued the main achievements of the restoration. “The permanent headquarters of the Symphonic Orchestra of Matanzas is a work that, although it spent too much time to see it with the excellent conditions that it shines today, we can value that its quality is exceptional, with a welcome both of public and personalities who It is a great achievement for the matanceros and for the country.