The Arnoldo Herrera González Theater from Castella’s Conservatory, is located next to the Datsun-NISSAN Car Dealership in North Sabana, it is an exemplary educational institution, which seeks to belong to students, alumni, teachers, parents and the rest of the Castella community to provide a service to the wonderful country that feeds it with resources and the best people, and to the global community.
Arnoldo Herrera Theater, is the third largest theater in the country and for years it has given joy to students just like one more classroom from the Conservatory, and is also an art space for the people of Costa Rica.
Arnoldo Herrera González was a daily example for children and adolescents for over 43 years of effort, patience, delights and battles, of reinventing teaching as director Castella’s director.
When in 1953 he started the creation of an institution that bonded academic requirements with the artistic practice, few believed in the project. Thirty-eight years later, when his work was recognized with the Magón Award, approval was unanimous: Mr. Herrera deserved the award and more, and his students and alumni were assurance of it. As with other awards, we can list books, sculptures, paintings and compositions, the Arnoldo Herrera legacy allows a long list of illustrious graduates from Castella’s classrooms, all of them, in a kind of domino effect, have been teachers that multiplied and multiply Mr. Herrera’s teachings.
This conveying of feeling that Mr. Herrera practiced, he learned it in a household that promoted the expression of the senses, especially through the music. Son of composer Mariano Herrera and Catherine Gonzalez, from his early childhood began his musical instruction. At fifteen he was a music professor in Puntarenas and Tres Ríos and at 19 a scholarship enabled him to leave to Mexico, where he studied composition with Rodolfo Haffter and orchestra direction with Carlos Chaves.
Upon returning to Costa Rica in 1948, he led the National Symphony Orchestra, first as interim and then as a guest. At the same time, he started giving lessons in the Education Faculty at the University of Costa Rica, at the Normal School in Heredia and at Seminario High School. Many artists have had this inclination to education: almost none had undertaken as Herrera, the foundation of an institution like Castella.
Herrera recovered in 1953 the legacy of Carlos Millet de Castella, who donated 100 thousand colones and land, next to one side of La Sabana Park, the first facilities of the Castella were built. The main material was available: with the lessons the task began, by knowing how to reconcile the academic and artistic disciplines. Conciliation in freedom and in addition: forming inventive, critical, sensitive to the inner and outer self young people. That every boy or girl shall find “the bread that fits the size of their hunger, the shoe that fits”, he said later. Although it was an unusual project, crazy to many, the Education Minister at the time Uladislao Gámez authorized it and the “dream factory” became operational in 1954 with an initial enrollment of just 35 children. When Don Arnold died in 1996, inscription was over 1600 students, each of them a bit their son or daughter.
In addition to the immense work that was the establishment of Castella’s Conservatory, Arnoldo Herrera was orchestra director and a high value cultural promoter for the dissemination of the Costa Rican artistic music; he stood out as director of the Symphonic Orchestra of the National Radio and Television system from 1979, with which he completed 76 presentations. As founder and director of the National Opera in 1960, he led to a revival of the Costa Rican bel chant. Mr. Arnoldo Herrera died on March 4th, 1996.
Address: next to the Datsun-NISSAN Car dealership, in North Sabana, district: Mata Redonda, canton: San Jose, province: San Jose, Costa Rica. Zone postal code: 10108.
GPS Coordinates: 9.938008,-84.099183 (9°56’16.83″N, 84°05’57.06″W)
Phone:+(506) 2232-0265 / 2293 8334