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Robert Xavier Rodríguez

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Piñata (1991),
G Schirmer Inc
Sub Category
Large Orchestra
Year Composed
5 Minutes

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Score Score

Programme Note
Composer note:

A short, festive crowd-pleaser, Piñata — Concert Overture for Orchestra, blends Mexican folk music, samba rhythms, contemporary symphonic techniques, and American jazz. The score includes quotations of two actual Mexican piñata songs, Hora y fuego and En las noches de posadas, which are traditionally sung at fiestas, such as birthdays or at Christmas time.

After a bustling introduction, the music graphically depicts the swaying piñata, a brightly decorated clay pot filled with candy suspended on a string (in this case, two solo violins). As the excitement builds, there is a series of mighty orchestral whacks at the piñata, which eventually breaks open in a triumphant coda. The work may be presented in concert form or as a ballet.

— Robert X. Rodríguez
Jointly commissioned by the El Paso Symphony and the Dallas Symphony, Piñata is regularly performed on subscription, youth, and family concerts across the United States.

  • 05 FEB 2013
    Dayton, OH
    Dayton Philharmonic
    Neal Gittleman, conductor
  • 05 FEB 2013
    Dayton, OH
    Dayton Philharmonic
    Neal Gittleman, conductor
  • 17 NOV 2012
    Plano, TX
    Plano Symphony Orchestra
    Hector Guzman, conductor
  • 05 OCT 2012
    Little Rock, AR
    Arkansas Symphony
    Philip Mann, conductor

    Other Dates:
    5 November; 22 January 2013 - Little Rock, AR
  • 08 OCT 2011
    Boca Raton, FL
    Florida Atlantic University Symphony Orchestra
    Laura Joella, conductor
  • 19 FEB 2010
    Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
    Filarmonica de Jalisco
    Hector Guzman, conductor
  • 19 FEB 2010
    Jalisco Philharmonic
  • 20 JAN 2010
    San Diego, CA
    San Diego Symphony
    Philip Mann, conductor

    Other Dates:
    21 January - San Diego, CA
  • 11 NOV 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra
    Allen Tinkham, conductor

...the blockbuster of the concert, a kaleidoscope of color, rhythms, textures and dynamics, it elaborated on the hi-jinks of breaking a piñata. There [were] hints of Leonard Bernstein's jazzy show tunes, Latin Syncopation, massed brass, a riot of percussion with marimba, xylophone, blocks, bells, drums and a delicious violin duet in the strings that held the piñata. It left us wanting more.
Betty Ligon, El Paso Herald Post,1/1/0001
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