‘Music for the environment’: Italian Embassy hosts Green Embassy Concert by Instituto Reciclando Sons 


Music, art, sustainability, and solidarity will be the themes on the at the Embassy of Italy in Brasilia this June 10 at 8 pm as it hosts the 'Concerto Embaixada Verde' by the students of the Orchestra and Choir of the Instituto Reciclando Sons, presenting a repertoire of Italian and Brazilian music 

Active in the Structural City area, until recently the largest open-air landfill in Latin America, the Institute offers music education courses in contexts lacking educational opportunities. 

"The Instituto Reciclando Sons is a commendable reference structure, promoting cultural and recreational activities for children and young people exposed to serious social, health, and environmental challenges," says Ambassador Francesco Azzarello. "The Italian Embassy in Brasilia is particularly pleased to participate in a project of Italian cultural valorization, which is part of the broader context of the follow-up to the first 'Green Embassy Week', which took place last March." 

The Embassy welcomed, in parallel with the concert, around one hundred children and young people aged between 6 and 18 years, protagonists of the specific monthly program "Educação Ambiental Lixo Zero" launched by the Embassy. They experienced, through games, learning basic techniques of home composting and visited the facilities of the Diplomatic Headquarters for the treatment and disposal of waste, benefiting from the explanations of specialized employees. 

The concert program will begin with the  National Anthem of the Italian Republic followed by the National Anthem of the Federative Republic of Brazil and renditions of, "Oh, my nights of love," by Carlos Gomes (Maria Tudor opera), "Watercolor," BY Toquinho (in Italian and Portuguese),  "La Misión," by Ennio Morricone, "Watercolor from Brazil," BY Ary Barroso, and "The Prayer," by Carole Bayer Sager/David W. Foster (in Italian and Portuguese). 

It will be a beautiful moment of art, culture, sustainability, and solidarity, said the Insitute on Instagram. 

.The event will also be available on the Embassy's YouTube channel ( 

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 Brazil's Bicentennial Concert, an Ode to a Glorious Past

Maestro Claudio Cohen conducting the Bicentennial \concert.
B4DMagazinePhoto by Welf Herfurth

By Sonya Pruss

Happy were those Brazilians who were able to attend the Concerto Bicentenário da Independência do Brasil this June 7 in Brasilia’s Eber Vasconcelos Auditorium at the Memorial Batista Church, celebrating an event that took place as far back as 1822– an occasion worth noting, Brazil’s declaration of independence.

B4DMagazinePhoto by Welf Herfurth

Long before the scheduled 20h of the concert, there were long lines of people at the entrance to the music hall. Children, the young, and the older waited patiently. There were many parents with small kids as it filled up gradually. As the beginning of the concert neared, the crowd grew more and more until it filled the auditorium’s capacity.

Malcolm Forest
B4DMagazinePhoto by Welf Herfurth

The organizer of the extraordinary event was Musician-Historian Malcolm Fores, coordinating with the Secretary of State for Culture and Creative Economy of the Federal District. The concert was performed by the National Theater Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of maestro Claudio Cohen; soloist Alvaro Siviero; the choir ‘Ad infinitum’ and the Chamber Choir of the Memorial Batista Church.  

Maestro Cohen and the Orchestra
B4DMagazinePhoto by Welf Herfurth

B4DMagazinePhoto by Welf Herfurth

B4DMagazinePhoto by Welf Herfurth

Musicians and choristers were conventionally and appropriately dressed for the event in classic, elegant dresses and suits, mostly in black. But distinctive features could be seen with some musicians -- body tattoos and, yes, pandemic face masks, in an interesting combination of classic and modern.

High-ranking officials from government and civil society, the military and the church, and diplomats were in the audience along with an eclectic mix of citozens who love music, history, and art. The dress of the audience was also diverse, ranging from elegant pieces complemented by appropriate jewelry to casual– jeans, comfortable blouses, and sneakers sporting body tattoos to face masks, again. In keeping with the times, there were also unusual hairstyles and 2022 coiffeurs and hairdos. Interspersed in the audience were cheerful children of all ages. All in all, a lovely picture of contemporary Brazilian society in one place.

The organizers and the wardens were at their best-- their experience in handling similar events was obvious, as was their kindness.

The anticipation of the audience could be felt in the air. The moment came when the presenter announced the musicians of the National Orchestra and the members of the two choirs, but the emotions erupted when the well-known maestro Claudio Cohen was announced.

B4DMagazinePhoto by Welf Herfurth

B4DMagazinePhoto by Welf Herfurth
B4DMagazinePhoto by Welf Herfurth

The opening piece was the Brazilian national hymn an excellent choice for the concert’s overture. The patriotic feeling was then aroused by the Abertura Independência by Dom Pedro I. 

What followed was Ludwig van Beethoven’s Concerto ‘O Imperador’ enhanced by the excellent performance of soloist, pianist Alvaro Siviero under the baton of maestro Claudio Cohen. The encore was inevitable.   

These two pieces formed the first part of the Concert.

After the short intermission the concert continued with another set of seven relatively short pieces titled A Jornada dos Principes, starting with Malcolm Forest’s Mater et Magistra, and it was followed by Abertura em Ré by Joao de Deus Castro Lobo’s. The audience seemed to enjoy both the music and the spiritual emotions that it  aroused.  

What followed was Abertura ‘Il Duca di Foix’ by Marcos Portugal, who was a Portuguese-Brazilian classical composer and organist during the late of 18th and at the beginning of the 19th century. 

The choristers took the stage again as a sign that something exciting was approaching. The sounds of Te Deum Laudamus by Dom Pedro I echoed and it was obvious that everyone was enjoying themselves– both on stage and in the audience. Gloria in excelsis Deo followed, another work by Dom Pedro I, for the glory of God and Heaven. The loud applause of the audience was just an additional reward for the musicians and the choir.

What to say about Malcolm Forest's Terra de Santa Cruz except that it simply captivates and enchants your senses. Both its words and music will be undoubtedly reverberate and resonate for a long, long time.

The final piece ‘Libertas, Brasil’, composed by the first Emperor of Brazil, Dom Pedro I, is probably justifiably related to his nickname Libertador. Since it is he who deserves the credit for Brazil’s independence and for this bicentennial celebration, it was apt appreciation for what he did for Brazil and Brazilian people.    

The concert ended with rapturous and warm applause to all participants equally– Maestro Cohen, soloist Siviero, Forest, musicians, choristers… even appreciation for the lady who interpreted the concert by sign language.   

Worth noting is that the careful selection of these 9 music pieces, including the Brazilian anthem, is what makes this concert unforgettable. According to their titles and content these pieces are quite suitable for the very theme of the concert: 200 years of independence of Brazil.

The composers of these compositions are the five great artists and musicians starting with Dom Pedro I, and ending with our contemporary Malcolm Forest.

Dom Pedro I, the first emperor of Brazil, is one of the five composers that have presented themselves this evening through his artistic works. But what nation could show off with such pride that it had an emperor who brought them independence and who composed musical works in honor and glory of the beloved country and people at the same time? None, except the people of the Brazilian nation.

Just as maestro Cohen masterfully conducted and directed the musicians and the chorus this evening, so did Dom Pedro I guide Brazil and the peoples of Brazil at that time, only without a score and without rehearsals. And he succeeded!

It is that heroic success that was lovingly commemorated at the Bicentennial Concert of the Independence of Brazil.

Sonya Pruss is a fmr. Macedonian diplomat residing in Brasilia

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Bicentennial Concert in Brasilia this June 7 is rich in history and music about Brazil’s heroic trajectory to Independence 

At left, the original Imperial Decorations and Emblem
ordered by Dom Pedro I with motto “Independência ou Morte”.

Commemoration is a tribute to Dom Pedro, Emperatriz Leopoldina, and their “immortal love” for Brazil 

By Milan Sime Martinic 


A bicentennial celebration evening of classical music entertainment will have the ancient sounds of a bagpipe melody played by clarinets acute in the air at Auditório Eber Vasconcelos in Brasilia this June 7, evoking the first musical instrument played in Brazil at the instant of discovery. It is a time-stopping moment in “Terra de Santa Cruz,” an original creation by historian and composer Malcolm Forrest celebrating the bicentennial of Brazil.  

It is part of a carefully prepared, thoughtfully shaped, and history-laden Concerto do Bicentenario organized by Forest, representing the important multi-dimensional story of Brazil in a unifying and uncommon collection of the wonders through time and our relationship to self that classical music has to offer. 

Terra de Santa Cruz refers to the original name given to Brazil by its discoverer, the adventurer and nobleman Pedro Álvares Cabral. The bagpipes, an instrument that made its way to Portugal through the Romans, will blend into the full orchestra, the piano, and a mixed choir singing in different keys modulated through the hymn.  

It is a musical journey in time, to the moment of the processional parade with the natives to the first mass celebrating the Portuguese ritual of taking possession of the land in the name of the king of Portugal and the Order of Christ.  The piece, drawing from the Chant of the Templars- Da Pacem Domine, will put the audience right in the essential time when, through the profound effect of the bagpipe swirls and drums, “the Indians seemed to understand that something divine, related to God, the skies, and to heaven was happening,” explains Forest. 

The performance of the concert will be conducted by Maestro Cláudio Cohen and will also feature four original orchestral works composed by Dom Pedro himself as well as works by contemporary composers of Dom Pedro and his master, Marcos Portugal. 

Cohen is the former Conductor and Musical Director of the Brasília Philharmonic Orchestra and one of the most renowned conductors of Brazil, often participating in the main Music Festivals of Brazil and abroad; he is also a tireless advocate for the National Theater.  Widely recognized for this talent and stature. Cohen was born in the city of Belém in the state of Pará and is an honorary citizen of Brasilia. He has been recognized as one of the most prominent personalities of the capital.   

Master Conductor Cláudio Cohen. (Photo internet reproduction)

The maestro has conducted orchestras around the world including the Osterreischiche Symphoniker Linz and the Euro Symphony SFK in Austria the global epicenter of classical music, at the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa in Portugal, the Vogtland Philarmonie Orchestra in Germany, and the Sinfônica de Roma in Italy along with orchestras in the US, Mexico, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Quatar, the Czech Republic, Spain, Israel, Romania, and throughout Brazil. Cohen was recently recognized by Austrian Ambassador Stefan Scholtz with the Golden Cross Commendation of Science and Art of the Republic of Austria. 

Compositions by Dom Pedro I are important pieces in defining Brazil and its own experience. The Emperor Composer was the heir to centuries of the remarkable musical talent of the House of Bragança, a lineage of Portuguese kings, emperors, dukes, and princes who reigned in Europe and Brazil.  

 André Kirmayr as Dom Pedro Composing
 in the docudrama "A Journey of the Princes"
 celebrating the bicentennial of Brazil:

A gifted singer and instrumentalist, the emperor had a solid musical formation, played at least seven orchestral instruments including the piano, flute, clarinet, violin, contrabass, trombone, and the harp; he organized numerous concerts in which he himself played in the orchestra.  

Skilled and artful as a composer, Dom Pedro garnered recognition and praise in Europe. He wrote numerous pieces for orchestra and theatrical music, yet he his most inspiring success was in producing patriotic music; his most important compositions are the“Hymn of Independence of Brazil,” which was quick to gain popularity, and the “Constitutional Anthem,” which would become the Portuguese national anthem.  


Julia Zanatta as Dona Maria Leopoldina
and André Kirmayr as Prince D. Pedro

The program for the Bicentennial Concert in Brasilia features“Abertura Independência,” an orchestra piece composed by Dom Pedro in 1819. Work praised and conducted by Gioachino Rossini in Paris, October 30, 1831, followed by the beguiling effects of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 5. in E flat by soloist Alvaro Siviero, composed in Vienna around 1805 and dedicated to the Archbishop and Archduke Rudolf Habsburg, uncle of Dona Leopoldina.  

Orchestra and continuous pieces “Mater et Magistra and Praeambulum et Canzona” by Malcolm Forest 2022 will follow, from “A Jornada dos Príncipes,” a film commemorating the Bicentennial of the Independence of Brazil.  

The orchestra will continue the operatic opening with “Overture in D” by João de Deus Castro Lobo, one of the biggest names in religious music from Minas Gerais in the early 19th century along with pieces by Dom Pedro’s music teacher Marcos Portugal, the overture “Il Duca di Foix” and “Dramma per Música”, based on a libretto by Giuseppe Caravita, 1805, Lisbon. 

The choir and orchestra will follow with the joyous hymn “Te Deum Laudamus” by Dom Pedro, offered to King Dom João VI by his son the Royal Prince Dom Pedro d'Alcantara, Duke of Bragança. October 21, 1820.  

Conducted by Luíz Karam and compositor Malcolm Forest, “Terra de Santa Cruz” brings together the idea of the discovery with the sounds of the bagpipes and the traditions of Templars and the Order of Christ. At the end of the quarter, a tribute to Dona Leopoldina is an instrumental part of the Austro-Hungarian Hymn with the choir singing of liberty, in tribute to Dona Leopoldina’s role as the architect of the independence of Brazil 

The fourth original piece on piano, orchestra, and choiis “Libertas, Brazil” by Dom Pedro a fantasy about the “Anthem of Independence” an arrangement by Conductor Joaquim França Ramos inspired by the “Grande Fantasia Triunfal sobre o Hino Nacional Brasileiro.”  

The piece paints the scenario of Dom Pedro leaving Santos on the 7th of September in the difficult environment of two centuries ago.  In the beginning, there are sounds of nature, explains Forest, then the entrance of piano introducing a cadenza in bravura, where the piano builds to a brilliant climax by executing different figures, fireworks, and builds up with the choir then beginning to sing the Brazilian Hino da Independência, a rousing patriotic celebration of the declaration of independence. 

Bringing the evening to a grand closing is ”Glória in excelsis Deo” the fourth movement of the Missa de Nossa Senhora do Carmo” composed by Dom Pedro, presented as dedicated and offered to Pope Leo XII for having accepted his request to declare São Pedro de Alcântara “Patron of Brazil.” It was first executed on December 5, 1829, and it is considered Dom Pedro’s best composition, explains Forest. 


Malcolm Forest

Malcolm Forest, the filmmaker, producer, and director and the force behind the organization of the concert, is also a historian and Vice-President of the Historical and Geographical Institute of São Paulo; he is coordinator of the film production “Jornada dos Príncipes: Rumo ao Bicentenário da Independência do Brasil,”  a historical documentary bringing to life the reasons and events of Brazil’s proclamation of Independence by retracing the “heroic journey of the princes.” 

Specialized in composition and orchestration, Forest is knowledgeable and scholarly trained in guitar, theory, harmony, counterpoint, and musical phraseology. Besides his original compositions in the Bicentennial Concert, he has also composed and produced the soundtrack for the film “Frei Galvão, o Arquiteto da Luz” and is the composer of Hollywood's "Walk of Fame Anthem" as well as scores of records as a songwriter and singer.  

Forest has narrated various documentaries of the Rio Turismo series for TV Corcovado and the series Beautiful Brazil for the International Channel of Los Angeles, An visionary environmentalist, Forest is also the founder of AMAR an archeological and historical research NGO associated with UNESCO’s Planet Society that has been working to cover evidence of indigenous occupation and archaeological finds. Forest is developer of the project Brazilian Forests and is currently directing “The Journey of the Princes.”

The Bicentennial Concert will get underway at 8 pm, Tickets are free, but it is necessary for people interested in attending to RSVP at: For more information, please call (11) 98205-0942. 


Also commemorating Brazil’s bicentennial year this week, the Austrian Embassy is hosting the Austria-Brazil Commemorative Symposium at Rio de Janeiro’s Itamaraty Palace on June 7, exploring positive state-building and social development, political concepts and ideas for the post-colonial state, and Brazil’s influence in Europe. 


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