American composer Gabriela Lena Frank’s 2001 work, Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout is the centerpiece of the program, and also the inspiration for this concert as a whole. Frank says of her piece that it “draws inspiration from the idea of mestizaje as envisioned by Peruvian writer José María Arguedas, where cultures can coexist without the subjugation of one by the other. As such, this piece mixes elements from the western classical and Andean folk music traditions.” Sphere Ensemble took the mixing of classical and folk music traditions as a point of departure for the rest of the program, and are excited to present an eclectic program that will travel from the Andes to Romania and Colombia to the United States.
From Romania, a rarely performed work by Violeta Dinescu and the rollicking stylings of folk band Taraf de Haïdouks. From the United States, the jazz influenced Three Preludes for piano by George Gershwin, songs by bluegrass virtuosi Punch Brothers and the late Amy Winehouse, and music by Tito Puente, legendary percussionist of Puerto Rican parentage who popularized Afro-Cuban and Caribbean dance music. From Colombia, a world premiere of a piece by Jorge Alejandro Medellín Becerra, uncle of Artistic Director Alejandro Gómez Guillen. Also, all five of our in-house arrangers are contributing new, custom-made works for this concert that cannot be heard anywhere else. Join Sphere Ensemble for a string orchestra performance experience unlike any other!