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In Santiago de Cuba Pablo Hernandez Research and Information Center Celebrates 6th Anniversary
The fact is that the Pablo Hernández Balaguer center is celebrating its 6th anniversary this year -- a reference center preferred by musicians, historians and researchers alike.

Speaking with the Sierra Maestra online journal, Director Yorisel Andino Castillo explained that the center, founded on November 8th, 2002, on the initiative of musicologist Maritza Puig Macías, treasures valuable information in the reference library. “We also want to inaugurate a museum”, she stressed.

Castillo holds a degree in sociocultural studies from the University of Holguín, “a city that changes people --and for the better!,” she stressed. After graduating in June 2006, she began to work at the Pablo Hernández Balaguer Center and later, at the Miguel Matamoros Music Center until January 2008, when she was designated director of the Pablo Hernández Balaguer Center.

Castillo has two librarians working with her at the center, Ana Pruna Santos and Silvina Díaz Cordiés. The first one is in charge of books, music scores and historical documents, while the other one is in charge of the discography and other related tasks. The two other members of the crew are sociologist Ronny Guasch Negrín and computer expert Ángel Ernesto Saborit.

After walking past the entrance to the Dolores Concert Hall on Aguilera Street, across from the Plaza Cultural and the Subway Aguilera in the old part of the city, there is the waiting room, where artists await their turn on stage.

Walk up the steps and then along the long corridor to the Pablo Hernández Balaguer Research and Information Center. Once there, you will find shelves of books, an archive of music scores, albums recorded at different times and valuable information on Cuban music. There is also a small ‘laboratory’, where Yorisel explained that over the past six years they have promoted exchange with musicologists in the province. Among they are Maritza Puig, Iránea Silva and Francesca Perdigón –all of them professors at the Esteban Salas Conservatory-, their counterparts from other provinces, historians Roberto Trembe and Oscar Montoto and authorities with the Cuban Institute of Music and the provincial Music Center .

“Being the director of this center represents a real challenge for me. Our job here is to do research into Cuban music and I’m not a trained musicologist. That is why I’m always studying, learning from the experiences of those who support our work. I took up the excellent work started by Maritza Puig and our goal is to continue it,” said Andino Castillo.

On occasion of the sixth anniversary, an exhibit of museum pieces was inaugurated with a brief outline of the center’s history and development. There was also a panel session on the work of musicologists in Santiago de Cuba. Panelists included Maritza Puig, Iránea Silva, Deysi Cué, philologists Taidis García and Pascual Díaz, researchers Dayamí Cué and Roberto Trembe. Closing the activity, the wind quintet of Santiago de Cuba played several pieces and the center’s founders and all those who have contributed to its development over these past six years received the well-deserved acknowledgment of their colleagues.

Workers at the Pablo Hernández Balaguer Research and Information Center refer to these past six years of work as just the ‘point of departure’ for an endless journey, since research and the mysteries associated with it never ends.


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