With its 'Encuentros' edition, La Rioja Festival launches its residency programs, featuring a composer and a musician in residence in each edition. This is a way to support talented artists so that they can continue to grow artistically and professionally, taking part in multiple concerts, networking opportunities, and international coverage.


La Rioja Festival Resident Artist 2024

As part of its residency, Agarita will be one of the ensembles participating in La Rioja Festival with a special concert in a winery. Furthermore, we will have performances by its members in different concerts of the Festival, in collaboration with the remaining artists. They will bring music to the youth with special concerts for schools within the Sin Fronteras (Without Borders) program and will hold lectures that will be open to the public.



Sarah Silver Manzke, violin
Marisa Bushman, viola
Ignacio Gallego, cello
Daniel Anastasio, piano

About the ensemble

An innovative chamber ensemble dedicated to producing bold, collaborative musical events, Agarita offers a new way to experience classical and contemporary music. Founded by Daniel Anastasio (piano), Marisa Bushman (viola), Ignacio Gallego (cello) and Sarah Silver Manzke (violin), Agarita nourishes the local community through artistic collaborations, education, community engagement, and free, adventurous programming. With concise, eclectic performances that are “splendid – unified, spirited, and well prepared” (Greenberg, Incident Light), the young chamber group offers a new, open-armed experience for listeners.  

Rooted in San Antonio, Texas, Agarita works intimately with local artists of various genres to weave cross-artistic narratives for each concert. One program with lighting artist Chuck Drew turned the Granary at historic Mission San Jose into a kaleidoscope of color set to music; another with PharmTable chef Elizabeth Johnson paired musical selections with dishes for the audience; another with the educational arts institution SAY Sí wove students’ spoken word into the program. Other partnerships and collaborations have included the McNay and San Antonio Art Museums, bass singer Cameron Beauchamp from the Grammy Award-winning vocal group Roomful of Teeth, poet Laura Van Prooyen, sculptor Danville Chadbourne, members of the Escher String Quartet, jazz pianist Aaron Prado, writer and Guggenheim fellow Oscar Casares, San Antonio poet laureate Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson, the Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival, glassblower Gini Garcia, composer Nadia Botello (for a concert experienced inside of a pool), Clementine restaurant, the City of San Antonio, Opera San Antonio, and more. These concerts have taken place in 41 unique venues across all 10 San Antonio districts, all free of charge, making the music accessible to the whole of the San Antonio community.

In its 5th year, Agarita continues to expand its scope, reach, and impact. Between large-scale community concerts, outdoor shows with its portable concert stage the Humble Hall, and its new educational program Agarita Inspires!, Agarita is giving 46+ concerts across the year, including 30 educational programs for more than 15,000 young students— all free of charge. 

As a nonprofit organization, Agarita believes that the arts should be accessible to everyone in its community. Agarita presents free public concerts, performs at local schools, and offers opportunities for other artists through its collaborations. Follow Agarita’s upcoming projects and future performances at

Laura Vega

La Rioja Festival Resident Composer 2024

As part of her residency, Laura Vega has composed a piece for guitar that will be premiered at La Rioja Festival. In addition, we will listen to her works in most of this edition's concerts.

About Laura Vega

Born in Gran Canaria (Spain) in 1978, she begins her musical studies at age four, studying with Francisco Brito at the Music School of her native town.  Later she is accepted into the Conservatorio Superior de Música of Las Palmas, receiving composition lessons from Daniel Roca and Xavier Zoghbi. After graduating in piano, oboe and music theory, she pursues studies with José Luis de Delás in the University of Alcalá de Henares (Madrid, Spain) and with José Mª Sánchez Verdú in the Music School Soto Mesa (Madrid, Spain). In 2016 she completed her doctoral studies at the University of La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain).

Between her orchestral woks it stands out the Concerto for oboe and two orchestal groupes (commissioned by Autor Foundation, SGAE and AEOS), Imágenes de una isla for orchestra and gomero whistle (commissioned by the Council of La Gomera), the concerto for piano and orchestra, In Paradisum (commisioned by the 26th Canary Islands International Music Festival), Pater noster for choir and string orchestra, honorable mention from the 4th Sacred Music International Competition, Angel of Light, double concerto for percussion, string orchestra and harp (commissioned by SGAE Foundation and AEOS), Galdosiana for symphonic orchestra (commisioned by the Canary Islands Youth Orchestra and Spanish National Orchestra) and finally Light, Love and Ecstasy, concerto for guitar and orchestra (comissioned by the 39th Canary Islands International Music Festival).

Her catalog has over seventy works. From 2008 to 2011 she was chairwoman of the Las Palmas Composers Association (PROMUSCAN). From 2011 she has been member of the Royal Canarian Academy of Fine Arts. Between 2003 and 2021 she is teaching harmony and composition in the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Canarias. She is currently a teacher in the Conservatorio Profesional de Música de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.


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