Gabriela Lena Frank in Collaboration

Gabriela Lena Frank in Collaboration



Joana Carneiro and Gabriela Lena Frank

Composer Gabriela Lena Frank has enjoyed a number of collaborative partners in her career.  In the next few months, many of those partnerships bear fruit. 

On April 26, the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, for whom Frank is a close advisor, premiered a new work entitled Holy Sisters: Part One with soprano Jessica Rivera, the San Francisco Girls Chorus and conductor Joana Carneiro. Frank credits Jessica Rivera with the initial idea for the piece which is a celebration of pivotal women from the Bible.  Joana Carneiro quickly conspired with Rivera and approached Frank to write a new piece with biblical texts arranged and reinterpreted by renowned Portuguese poet José Tolentino da Mendonça.  In the true spirit of collaboration, Tolentino is in fact Padre Tolentino, longtime confidante and priest to the Carneiro family. 

As the title of this piece implies, there will be a second part which has been commissioned by the San Francisco Girls Chorus and in which Frank sets texts by longtime collaborator Nilo Cruz, the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright.  The entire work will be premiered in May 2013.

Days later, on April 29, the Los Angeles Master Chorale and music director Grant Gershon partnered with Huayucaltia, an innovative Latin American folk jazz ensemble based in LA to present the world premiere of Frank’s The Singing Mountaineer. Walt Disney Concert Hall was awash in a colorful musical tapestry.

The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra will present Frank’s Raíces on May 4 with music director Jose-Luis Novo. Raíces (“roots”) is a musical musing in which Frank “gets” to claim heritage to her mother’s rich and ethnically diverse homeland of Peru. Frank jokes that she is an “American-born gringa-Latina” who has evidence of her heritage — her dark coloring, a wicked sense of humor, and moments of déjà vu upon hearing music from the Andean highlands.  She explores these deep seeded roots in Raíces.

Finally, on October 25 the Philadelphia Orchestra will present the premiere of a new work on one of their opening weeks with new music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.  Frank is writing a celebratory new work — commissioned for the inaugural concerts of their new music director.

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