This music series features the hottest Latin-American music from the 16th to the 21st centuries. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, WXXI is pleased to present Fiesta! with Elbio Barilari, airing Wednesday, September 19 through Friday, October 5, 2012 at 2 p.m. on Classical 91.5/FM-HD91.5-1. Hosted by Elbio Barilari, a faculty member of the University of Illinois at Chicago, the series travels through the hidden pleasures of Latino concert music, including the magical rhythms of Silvestre Revueltas and Heitor Villa-Lobos and the power of symphonic tango. Plus, it shares little-known treasures from the Latin-American Baroque, and celebrates classical guitar through the music of Agustin Barrios, Antonio Lauro, and Leo Brouwer.
Born in 1953 in Montevideo, Uruguay, Barilari studied at the Conservatório Universitario and with Coriún Aharonián, Graciela Paraskevaídis, and Héctor Tosar before continuing his education in Brazil with Eduardo Bertola, Hans-Joachim Koellreutter, Gilberto Mendes, Joaquín Orellana, and Conrado Silva at the Cursos Latinoamericanos de Música Contemporáne. He subsequently studied in Germany on an invitation from the Deutscher Musikrat, with Milko Kelemen, Helmut Lachenmann, and Dieter Schnebel; he was also mentored while in Europe by Luciano Berio, Konrad Boehmer, Otto Donner, and Misha Mengelberg. As a clarinetist and saxophonist, from 1994 to 1997 Barilari led the Barilari Quinteto and organized Planeta Blues, the first Uruguayan blues band to tour Europe and to record a compact disc; during the 1990s, he also led the fourteen-piece La Banda Oriental.
Since settling in the United States in 1998, Barilari has lectured at the University of Chicago and the Instituto Cervantes and given workshops in Chile and Paraguay; he is currently on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Barilari has published a novel (Lugares Comunes, 1987), four collections of short stories (Posibles Versiones , Fuera de la Nada , Alarmas y Excursiones  and La Mitad del Infinito ), and a book on Uruguayan folk and popular music (Aquí se canta, 1982, co-authored with Juan Capagorry). He has also served as music critic and columnist for the newspaper El País as well as editor-in-chief for La Raza, the leading American-Hispanic weekly, and director of its monthly publication Arena Cultural.