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“This Behind the Music event will be an in-depth discussion illuminating the spirit and background of our unique program. We will examine the lives of the composers and history of each work, and we’ll explore how these composers were profoundly influenced by one another and their varied musical cultures. We’l also have some fun demonstrating Cuban percussion instruments and explore the possibilities and challenges of this unique instrumentation. The four of us, just like many of the composers on the program, are the closest of friends and influence each other greatly—so we’re in for a lively discussion of this vibrant music.”
—Michael Brown, curator
The Soul of the Americas celebrates the rich tapestry of musical influences across North and South America, featuring the works of seven iconic composers. Aaron Copland’s El Salón México and George Gershwin’s Cuban Overture were directly inspired by their travels to those respective countries. Leonard Bernstein was an ardent champion of Latin American music, including the music of Brazilian Heitor Villa-Lobos and Argentinian Alberto Ginastera. Osvaldo Golijov settled in the United States, but his music draws on his Argentinian roots. Samuel Barber was enamored with diverse musical styles, as seen through his nostalgic Souvenirs. Curated by Michael Brown and Nicholas Canellakis, who are joined by Orion Weiss and Ian David Rosenbaum, this program features unique combinations of piano, cello, and percussion and will take listeners on a sizzling journey through both hemispheres.