Located in the historic center of the city of Matanzas, José White Concert Hall was always linked to the cultural life of the City of Poets, considers the musicologist and teacher Lourdes Fernández Valhuerdi.
“For the history of Matanzas the property treasures a tradition that goes back to the 19th century. In its beginnings it was a house where theater was made. At a request of the Governor of the city, it subsequently became the main site of the Artistic and Literary Lyceum of Matanzas, since 1863. ”
Precisely, on August 1, 1968, José White Cultural Hall was inaugurated in the former Matanzas Artistic and Literary High School, in front of Libertad Park.
“Since then, the show has gone through different stages, including its period of 16 years closed to the public, waiting for a remodeling that was completed thanks to the management and efforts of a group of artists and builders.”
After many ups and downs, as of January 28th , 2016 many people from Matanzas distrusted the concretion of its restoration when, at last, it woke up after its lethargy of more than a decade.
At this point, after the people of Matanzas have enjoyed the best of Cuban concert music in the White Room, no one has doubts about the importance of the institution to keep alive the cultural pulse of Matanzas.
“A commendable work has been developed in the hall, based on the concert programs of great artists from the Cuban and foreign cultural scene, the rehearsals and performances of the Matanzas Symphony Orchestra, as the main place of the musical institution,” the professor added. .
The architect Ramón Recondo Pérez, main designer of the restoration, highlighted the significance of the room from the historical and cultural point of view.
“Not only I refer to its importance given the property that occupies this prestigious cultural center, but for the legacy and traditions that are contained in it being one of the works of major historical values in the national context. It is an exquisite place of culture where you breathe the fact of being in Matanzas, our identity. In addition, it should be noted that this is the place where the first danzón was officially premiered, The heights of Simpson, by Miguel Failde. ”
Among the main attractions that distinguish the building stands out the exact combination of its traditional style with the air of modernity, which gives it a renewed image, explained Sergio Roque, leading the restoration of the building in its final stage.
At this point no one has doubts about the importance of José White Concert Hall for Matanzas culture. A task that has borne fruit, but still not concluded. “We already have the room, better conditions to perform our work, but we cannot settle for that. You always have to dream with your feet on the ground and look for excellence, that each concert will be better, that the programming of each month has a higher artistic level so that it satisfies the taste of Matanzas public and that it becomes a beacon for the country. This is just the starting point, “said Fernández Valhuerdi.
Recondo Pérez argued the main achievements of the restoration. “The permanent location of Matanzas Symphony Orchestra is a work that, although it took too much time to see it with the excellent conditions that it currently has, we can appreciate that its quality is exceptional, with a reception both from the public and from personalities that they visit it, it represents a great achievement for people living in Matanzas and for the country.
“All of us who work in the restoration are satisfied with it. We must also thank the ATENART group for the exquisiteness in the completions. As an architect, I do not believe that there is another work in Cuba completed in recent times that reaches the details in the work of plaster, floors and decorations. A prime factor in its image is that it combines tradition and modernity. ”
From now on, the challenges will be greater in order to guarantee a stable and quality programming in order to rescue an audience that filled this place every day.