‘Los Hermanos’ to provide nuanced perspectives on music, resilience, and international relations

Musicians Ilmar and Aldo López-Gavilán and filmmakers Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider will lead programming for Interlochen Arts Academy students ahead of a live screening of their award-winning documentary.

Top row, L-R: Aldo López-Gavilán and Ilmar Gavilán. Bottom row, L-R: Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider

Top row, L-R: Aldo López-Gavilán and Ilmar Gavilán. Bottom row, L-R: Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider

Musicians Ilmar Gavilán and Aldo López-Gavilán and filmmakers Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider will share lessons in art, history, and resilience with Interlochen Arts Academy students on Tuesday, Nov. 15 and Wednesday, Nov. 16. The two-day visit will feature history lessons, master classes, and a community meeting, culminating in a public screening of the documentary Los Hermanos.

Directed by Jarmel and Schneider, Los Hermanos offers a nuanced perspective on art, history, and international relations through the true story of two brothers: violinist Ilmar and pianist Aldo. The film follows the brothers as they prepare for their first collaboration as professional musicians after being separated for decades by the political tensions between the United States and Cuba.

“We’re always looking for ways to diversify our curriculum and create ‘mirrors’ that reflect our student population, and we felt like Los Hermanos is a perfect fit,” said Interlochen’s Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Esther Triggs. “Not only do the brothers exude musical talent: they also reflect the resilience that we hope to instill in our students through The Interlochen 5. They’re a wonderful example of how to overcome obstacles through art.”

Prior to the visit, the Los Hermanos team sent curriculum about the history of Cuba for Interlochen Arts Academy’s history faculty to incorporate into their lessons in the weeks prior to the screening. On Tuesday morning, Ilmar and Aldo will meet with Arts Academy history classes to discuss the material and answer student questions. Tuesday’s activities will also include master classes for the Academy’s chamber music and Jazz Orchestra students.

“The work of diversity, equity, and inclusion always begins with education,” Triggs said. “The brothers are eager to work with students—there’s a strong educational component to their work that is reflected in the curriculum they have created to share with high schools.”

The mini-residency will continue on Wednesday with additional activities for students in all artistic divisions. The brothers will meet with the Academy’s Latinx Student Union and DEI Student Voice Team before joining with Jarmel and Schneider for the all-campus community meeting. Aftwards, Jarmel and Schneider will lead programming for Film & New Media students in the DeRoy Center for Film Studies while the brothers will hold a music master class in Corson Auditorium.

The visit will conclude on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. with a public screening of Los Hermanos and live Q&A session in Corson Auditorium. Tickets for the event are $22 ($17 for students) and may be purchased at interlochen.org/concerts-and-events.

Ultimately, Triggs hopes Ilmar and Aldo’s story will inspire students to persevere in the face of adversity and use their art to promote unity.

“Coming out of the past two years, we saw a need to support our students in becoming more resilient,” Triggs said. “Through this experience—as well as others planned throughout the year—we can help students develop the resilience they need to go out into the world, be the creative artists they want to be, and create positive change.”

This activity is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Arts & Culture Council and the NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS.