Beginning March 19, 2019, the Orchestra of St. Luke's will celebrate American composer Gabriela Lena Frank as the focal point of its 2019 Music in Color series. It opens with six orchestral-based free school concerts — March 19-21 — performed by the Orchestra of St. Luke's and conducted by Edwin Outwater, featuring Frank herself on piano. OSL's Music in Color programs continue with five chamber music-focused free community concerts — March 23, 24, 28, April 4, and 7 — performed by members of the St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble.
Each Music in Color free concert features a narration written and performed by actor and playwright Kirya Traber that will reflect on Frank's biography and musical influences, and highlight Frank's belief in the power of music as a tool for civic engagement.
Commissioned to write Rapsodia Andina No. 2 for OSL in 2015, Frank returns to help curate these programs, which include her works and a selection from a string quartet by Chou Wen-chung, one of Frank's inspirations. In addition, for the five community concerts, OSL will premiere five new works composed by Fellows of the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music and co-commissioned by OSL and the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music. The featured composers — Anjna Swaminathan (March 23, Flushing Town Hall, Queens); Matthew Evan Taylor (March 24, RestorationART, Brooklyn); Marco-Adrián Ramos (March 28, Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture, The Bronx); Iman Habibi (April 4, Harlem School of the Arts, Manhattan); and Christine Delphine Hedden (April 7, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island) — will be present at their premiere performances.
OSL Music in Color free community concerts are also festival partner events within Carnegie Hall's 2018-2019 festival, Migrations: The Making of America.
About Gabriela Lena Frank
Identity is at the center of composer-pianist Gabriela Lena Frank's music. Born in 1972 in Berkeley, California to a mother of mixed Peruvian-Chinese ancestry and a father of Lithuanian-Jewish descent, Frank explores her multicultural heritage through her compositions. Inspired by the works of Bela Bartók and Alberto Ginastera, Frank has traveled extensively throughout South America and her pieces incorporate Latin American folklore, poetry, mythology, and native musical styles into a western classical framework that is uniquely her own. Frank's music has been commissioned and performed by Orchestra of St. Luke's (2015), Kronos Quartet, pipa virtuoso Wu Man, Carnegie Hall, and the San Francisco Symphony, among others. She is a Latin Grammy-winner and a Grammy nominee as both a composer and pianist. Strongly committed to nurturing emerging composers of all ages and backgrounds, Frank established the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music in 2017, as a non-profit training institution that offers short-term retreats at her two farms in Mendocino County, CA. Gabriela Lena Frank's music is published exclusively by G. Schirmer, Inc.
About Kirya Traber
Collaborating with Frank is playwright, performer, and cultural worker Kirya Traber. A co-host of the PBS podcast series, First Person, Traber is lead Community Artist in Residence with Lincoln Center Education and a former faculty member of the New School for Social Research. Her poetry and writing have been published in several anthologies.
About Orchestra of St. Luke's Education & Community Programs
Orchestra of St. Luke's (OSL) is one of America's most versatile and distinguished orchestras. Now in its 44th season, the Orchestra performs a variety of musical genres at New York City's major concert venues and has collaborated with artists ranging from Renée Fleming and Joshua Bell to Bono and Metallica. Music in Color is OSL's annual initiative highlighting the works and lives of classical composers of color. The program was created three years ago to engage new audiences with classical music through dynamic, multidisciplinary concerts designed to be as entertaining as they are educational.