Havana Lyceum Orchestra

Havana Lyceum Orchestra

Havana Lyceum Orchestra

The Havana Lyceum Orchestra was founded by Pepe Méndez in 2007. Sarah Willis describes them as "one of my favourite orchestras in the world".


    "In 2007 in Havana the statue of Mozart was unveiled to celebrate his 250th birthday. Pepe Méndez conducted an ensemble of his student friends to celebrate. Johannes Honsig-Erlenburg, the president of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation, was at the concert and was so impressed that he asked Pepe how he could help. Thus the Havana Lyceum Orchestra was born, founded by Pepe and made up of his friends and fellows students from ISA (Instituto Superior de Artes) and the ENA (Escuelas Nacionales de Arte). The Mozarteum Salzburg together with Eusebio Leal, a Cuban historian, at the same time founded the Lyceum Mozartiano de La Habana, a cultural centre for classical music.

    Since then the orchestra and Pepe Méndez have grown together to become an internationally recognised ensemble and one of my favourite orchestras in the world. They tour and record, and their love of music and life is infectious. In 2016 the orchestra turned professional with the help of the German Balthasar Neumann Ensemble. One of their conditions to play a concert is that there is a big salsa party afterwards!"

    - Sarah Willis