Gabriela Lena Frank
Identity has always been at the center of Gabriela Lena Frank's music. Born in Berkeley, California, to a mother of mixed Peruvian/Chinese ancestry and a father of Lithuanian/Jewish descent, Frank explores her multicultural heritage most ardently through her compositions. Inspired by the works of Bela Bartók and Alberto Ginastera, Frank is something of a musical anthropologist. She has travelled extensively throughout South America and her pieces reflect and refract her studies of Latin-American folklore, incorporating poetry, mythology, and native musical styles into a western classical framework that is uniquely her own. She writes challenging idiomatic parts for solo instrumentalists, vocalists, chamber ensembles, and orchestras.
Jimmy López, named new composer-in-residence
Peruvian-born, California-based, award-winning composer Jimmy López joins the Houston Symphony during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons as the Symphony’s new Composer-in-Residence. Described as "one of the most admired among the younger generation of South American composers" (Chicago Tribune) and "one of the most interesting young composers anywhere today" (Chicago Sun-Times), López will play an integral role both onstage and in the community. Details about his involvement with Houston’s youth will be released at a later date.
Known for his unique working relationship with conductors, musicians and soloists, López has had his works performed by leading orchestras around the world. His music has been heard in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House; and at the Tanglewood, Aspen, Darmstadt and Donaueschingen Music Festivals. His first opera Bel Canto, commissioned by the Lyric Opera Chicago, premiered Dec. 7, 2015, to wide critical acclaim and was recently broadcast nationwide on PBS’ Great Performances.
López’ América Salvaje, a symphonic poem that blends South American and European musical traditions, was performed by the Houston Symphony under the direction of Andrés Orozco-Estrada Sept. 18, 2016, during the Symphony’s annual Fiesta Sinfónica program. Orozco-Estrada selected López as the Symphony’s new Composer-in-Residence because he believes the composer’s music is fresh, original and has wide audience appeal.