Orchestra of St. Luke’s To Present ‘Music In Color: Celebrating The Life And Music Of Gabriela Lena Frank’

By Nicole Kuchta

Orchestra of St. Luke’s will dedicate its third season of “Music in Color,” a program which, according to the press release, aims to highlight the “works and lives of composers of color,” to American composer Gabriela Lena Frank. Frank is of Peruvian, Chinese, and Lithuanian Jewish descent. The program will be held in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s festival “Migrations: The Making of America.”

Frank, commissioned to write a piece by OSL in 2015, will return to curate the program, which will include Free School Concerts and five Free Community Chamber Concerts. The programs will include selections from the works of Frank, a piece by one of her inspirations, Chou Wen-Chung, and five new OSL-commissioned works by Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music rising composers Anjna Swaminathan, Matthew Evan Taylor, Marco-Adrian Ramos, Iman Habibi, and Christine Delphine Hedden.

Frank herself will perform on the piano during the Free School Concerts for New York City public schools, alongside Orchestra of St. Luke’s, led by Edwin Outwater. Selections are set to include Frank’s “Alborada” from “Quijotados,” “Himno de Zampoñas” and “Chasqui” from “Leyendas,” “Mujeres Cantando” and “Danza de Tingo Maria” from “Milagros,” “Serenata Serrana” from “Cuentos Errantes,” and traditional Andean songs. Performances will be held at Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture, Main Theatre.

Performance Dates: Mar. 19 – 21, 2019

During the Free Community Chamber Concerts, actor and playwright Kirya Traber will perform a narration that reflects Frank’s “belief in the power of music as a tool for civic engagement.” Members of the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble will perform. Selections will include Frank’s “Alborada” from “Quijotados,” “Himno de Zampoñas,” “Chasqui,” and “Coqueteos” from “Leyendas,” and “Danza de Tingo Maria” from “Milagros.” Also to be performed are Wen-Chung’s “Leggierezza” from String Quartet No. 1, “Clouds,” as well as selections by the five rising composers: Swaminathan’s “Duplicity,” Taylor’s “Dawn of a New Day,” Ramos’ “Capilla breve,” Habibi’s “Uproot,” and Hedden’s “Cuimhne.”

Performance Dates: Mar. 23 – Apr. 7, 2019