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Stravinsky was comfortable traveling all around the world, even on a boat!
Archives: June 2017
Courtesy of Eddie Arruza
Chicago Tonight correspondent Eddie Arruza, from our partner public television station WTTW, has a vintage LP of his mother, Olga Arruza, playing piano. The album, titled, “Olga Arruza: Plays The Ethnic Music of Cuba” pays homage to the music from the Arruzas’ native Cuba.
Olga Arruza was an accomplished classical pianist in Cuba before she moved her family to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1966.
“She [Olga] always referred to us as refugees and I guess that we were, because we left a country that we didn’t want to leave, but had to leave,” Eddie says.
People in Cincinnati welcomed the Arruza family with furniture, a place to live, and even an upright piano.
“From then on, it [the piano] really just played a role in my life and it cultivated what would later become my love of classical music,” Eddie explains.
In Cincinnati, Olga taught Spanish and piano at a high school. As a mom, she frequently took Eddie to Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra concerts. Eddie fondly remembers going to see Vladimir Horowitz perform, and getting to meet him backstage after the concert.
“We spent about an hour with Vladimir Horowitz, just chit-chatting and laughing, and it was a wonderful time,” he says. “This was the kind of influence I had growing up, and it shaped the person that I am these days as far as my love for music.”
When Eddie moved to Chicago, he took advantage of Chicago’s vibrant arts scene.
“Chicago was Cincinnati on steroids when it came to music because of all of the great big and little groups that perform here,” he says. “And, of course, I instantly had to start going to the CSO [Chicago Symphony Orchestra] and Lyric Opera.”
One of Eddie's last memories with his mother was attending a concert performance of “Otello” by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, starring Luciano Pavarotti.
“She [Olga] was just dazzled by the sound that came from that stage, from the orchestra, from the stage, from Pavarotti,” he says. “I just remember looking at her and seeing this sense of delight and awe on her face. That’s one of the last memories I have of going to a concert with her [Olga], and I’ll cherish that forever.”
Courtesy of Eddie Arruza
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