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Alturas Duo

Avon, CT         

Praised by The Washington Post as playing with “marvelous virtuosity,” Alturas Duo is recognized as one of the most engaging ensembles performing chamber music today. Bringing together the worlds of South American folk, western classical, and contemporary music; guitarist Scott Hill and violist and charango player Carlos Boltes have performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe as well as Central and South America to great acclaim for venues and presenters such as Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, the Smithsonian Institute, the Historic Asolo Theater, Le Petit Trianon (CA), La Maison de Mai (Paris), the 34th International Viola Congress, La Guitarra California, and Music Mountain. As Christopher Zimmerman, Music Director of The Fairfax Symphony, notes: Scott Hill and Carlos Boltes as “the Alturas Duo are the quintessential 21st century artists.”

With its unusual combination of viola, charango, and guitar; Alturas Duo creates spirited and passionate programs moving with ease between the Baroque of Bach and South American melodies and rhythms learned through the oral tradition, and new repertoire written specifically for the duo. Such programming has earned Alturas Duo numerous awards from First Prize at the New England International Chamber Music Competition 2006 to the 2010 CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.

In addition to performing, Alturas Duo embraces its role as educators and music advocates, Alturas Duo has had the pleasure during its history to serve as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Chilean-American Foundation and as Artist-in-Residence for Intempo in Stamford, CT, an organization promoting music education through multiculturalism, with the goal of incorporating native South American instruments into different styles of music.

The 2019-20 concert season has Alturas Duo maintaining a busy schedule of performances, master classes, and lectures as well as premiering pieces by Ronald Pearl, Javier Contreras, Joshua Hummel, and Javier Farías. 

Their quest for new musical experiences has led Alturas Duo to exciting performances with guitarist and composer Horacio Salinas, charango virtuoso Ernesto Cavour, quena player Marcelo Peña, pianist Polly Ferman, bandoneón legend and Piazzolla bandmate Daniel Binelli, El Cuarteto Latinoamericano, the Voce Choir of Hartford, Choral Arts Society of Washington, and Fairfax Symphony Orchestra.

Working regularly with composers to broaden the repertoire has led to 50+ compositions featuring the guitar, viola, and/or charango in chamber music settings as well as works for the choral and orchestral worlds. Collaborations include Thomas Schuttenhelm, Dan Román, José Lezcano, Russell Nadel, and Raimundo Penaforte to name a few. Some of the more significant works Alturas Duo has commissioned and premiered include Javier Farías’ Oceana and El Vuelo de tu Alma, David Macbride’s ¡No mas muertes!, and Ronald Pearl’s The Places We Left Behind.  

Alturas has recorded for releases on the Brioso, Con Brio, and Ravello Records labels in addition to its collaboration with the Choral Arts Society of Washington for an award winning release of works by the celebrated Argentinian composer Ariel Ramírez, including Misa Criolla, for Naxos.

Alturas Duo was founded in 2001 while Carlos Boltes and Scott Hill were pursuing graduate studies at the Hartt School of Music. The name Alturas, Spanish for “heights,” is derived from the poem “Alturas de Macchu Picchu” by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.