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Ahead of his CSO debut, bass Nahuel di Pierro spoke at a pre-concert reception March 22 presented by the Latino Alliance in Symphony Center’s Club 8. He sat for a Q&A session moderated by Elbio Balilari, a composer, professor and host of “Fiesta Latin American Music,” a weekly show on WFMT-FM (98.7).

Born in Argentina, di Pierro explained that he was drawn to classical music, specifically opera, at a young age. The CSO engagement, in which he is a featured soloist in Schubert’s Mass in E-Flat Major, conducted by Riccardo Muti, marks just his second engagement in the United States. A specialist in Mozart and Baroque era works, di Pierro remarked that he was especially glad to be singing Schubert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, because he “has a passion” for the composer.

Schubert’s  Mass in E-Flat Major, he said, “is full of sadness” because the composer wrote it near the end of his short life. “Its lines for the soloist are very bel canto, very singable,” he said. “It’s an intimate way of speaking to God.”

The Latino Alliance’s next event, which will be hosted by the Association of Latino Professionals for America, will be a reception before the concert April 6 by Spanish sensation Diego El Cigala at Symphony Center. For tickets and more information, click here.