The Financier Composer; Music Festivals to Boardrooms, Flugelman Scores

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 3, 2012 | Go to article overview

The Financier Composer; Music Festivals to Boardrooms, Flugelman Scores


Byline: Roland Flamini, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

As a boy taking piano lessons in Buenos Aires, Maximo Flugelman was happier improvising his own tunes than practicing the Haydn sonata assigned by his teacher.

This boyhood interest in creating music became what he called a festering curiosity, but he went first to the University of Geneva to study economics, followed by Harvard Business School for his MBA. Only then did he sign up for composition courses at the Juilliard School, where his teacher was the composer John Corigliano.

Today, Mr. Flugelman, who lives in Georgetown, is a highly unusual hybrid of money man and composer. He is a founding partner of a global finance company - Corfina Global Advisors LLC - that recently negotiated the acquisition of a university in Latin America for a U.S. client, and he composes music that gets performed.

I never resolved the two avocations; I just hoped the cocktail of music and finance would not be too mutually exclusive, he remarked in a recent interview. After all, [composer] Charles Ives also had a financial background.

So far, the cocktail seems to have worked fine.

Mr. Flugelman's first composition for orchestra, Symphonic Variants, won the Indiana University Contemporary Orchestral Composition Prize with a well-received performance by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra while he was still at Juilliard in 1982. Since then, his output has been steady, if not prolific. His compositions have been performed in settings as varied as New York's Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and the Breckenridge Music

Festival in Colorado and by orchestras ranging from the Berlin Symphony to the National Symphony Orchestra.

In June, his concerto for violoncello and orchestra was performed at the Castleton Festival in Virginia, conducted by the festival's organizer, Lorin Maazel. The richly textured work in two movements has a haunting, lyrical quality requiring some expressive playing by the soloist - in this performance, the young Israeli female cellist Inbal Segev - with a rousing, brilliant finale.

Mr. Flugelman even offered to compose a new cadenza for the performance - a few bars for the soloist to show off her virtuosity. I said sure, Miss Segev said. What arrived was a whole page of very complex fingering, she added.

I knew Maximo socially, but he's so modest he never mentioned that he was a composer, Mr. …

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