Critics consider Ana Cervantes –daughter of a Nebraska (USA) mother and a Mexican father– “a physical, emotional performer, with extraordinary touch and mastery of tone and colour”; an artist of “commanding intensity,” “great interpretive qualities and enormous passion”.
Her special ability to function as interlocutor between cultures, her charismatic stage presence and imaginative programming which embraces both contemporary and traditional repertoires, have earned her the accolade “ambassadress for the music of Mexico”.
Irving Berlin is one of those who could easily have written a couple of songs, then retired to fame and great wealth. But like most highly creative people, his life was one of ceaseless creation, to the very end. Among his more than 900 songs are three which might be described as his Holiday Big Three: “God Bless America,” “White Christmas,” and “Easter Parade."
The Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz has found a great deal of success with her varied catalog of work. To try to define it in only a paragraph, or two, would be unfair and probably impossible. Likewise, her work defies any attempt to be pigeon-holed into a nationalistic or ethnic box. Yes, some of the catalog reflects her Mexican roots. But other titles speak in a musical language which should only be described as contemporary.
Is there something in the water? Or is it the famous pizza which contributes to the longevity of service by so many of the principal musicians of the famous Chicago Symphony Orchestra? The record must surely belong to trumpeter Adolph Herseth, who held the first trumpet chair for 53 years, extending his tenure another 3 years as principal trumpet emeritus until his retirement in 2004. Then there was Arnold Jacobs, principal tuba with the CSO from 1944 until 1988.
I first heard Van Cliburn live in 1969. He played a concert at Austin's Municipal Auditorium, a barn of a place, to a sold-out audience. I was, in the vernacular of the time, blown away.
As soon as the concert was over, I rushed down from my balcony seat to wait in the long line of well wishers for my opportunity to have my program autographed. By this time, Mr. Cliburn had actually come down into the audience. He was, in a sense, a man of the people.
The music world suffered a significant loss on Friday, February 22, with the passing of the German conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch. He was 89. His resume is beyond reproach. He is likely best known in the US through his 10 years as the Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra (he succeeded Riccardo Muti and was subsequently succeeded by Christoph Eschenbach). His remarkable career covered more than half a century.
Bravo to Lisa Phillips, author, blog journalist, arts and leadership educator, speaker and business owner for this reminder that arts education in our schools does much more than simply teach crafts, music and acting. There's also problem solving, creativity, confidence, and so much more that kids take away from these studies.
This month, KPAC celebrates thirty years in broadcasting. Our hosts are having some fun sharing "30 lists" - artists, music, movies, and recordings you might enjoy and help shape the great sound of your classical oasis.
Kicking things off is Afternoon Host John Clare with 30 Great Violinists! (They are in no particular order, and were chosen keeping in mind the artist was available to be heard on Spotify)