Women’s History Month – Joan Tower


Joan Tower was a late-bloomer as a composer. Her first break-out composition, “Sequoia”, was written when Tower was 41. Tower’s music is closely tied to the Louisville Orchestra as the LO recorded several of her works for their “First Edition” series.

Joan Tower was born in New York, but moved to Bolivia when she was a child. The rhythmic music of that area can be heard in many of her compositions. Tower’s early music career was as a pianist. She co-founded the music group called the Da Capo Chamber Players in 1969. She wrote many works for the group to perform. She eventually left the group in the mid 1980’s as her composing career took flight. Tower was appointed composer-in-residence with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Tower became the first woman recipient of the Grawemeyer Award for music, awarded by the University of Louisville for her composition “Silver Ladders”, in 1990.

Five of Tower’s works were recorded by the Louisville Orchestra, including her concertos for clarinet, flute and piano. She’s also featured in the documentary about the Louisville Orchestra called “Music Makes a City”, which is currently being offered as a gift from WUOL if you pledge during our spring membership campaign.
Enjoy this interview with Ms. Tower as she discusses the challenges faced by the contemporary composer.

Women’s History Month – Jennifer Higdon


March is Women’s History month. WUOL will take this opportunity to present a blog series on women composers, beginning with Jennifer Higdon.

Jennifer Higdon is one of the most-performed American composers in concert halls today – male or female. In the 2008-09 season, Ms. Higdon had 49 performances of her large-scale orchestral works, putting just behind John Adams. Her Concerto for violin and orchestra won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in music. Her orchestral work blue cathedral is one of the most performed contemporary orchestral works and has received more than 400 performances worldwide since its premiere in 2000. The Santa Fe Opera and Opera Philadelphia have recently commissioned Higdon to write an opera based upon the best-selling novel, “Cold Mountain”, by Charles Frazier.

Born in Brooklyn in 1962, Higdon spent her first 10 years in Atlanta before moving to Tennessee. She took up the flute and was largely self-taught. In college she majored in flute performance but her interest quickly turned to composing. Higdon’s musical stylings could be referred to as neo-romantic. Her works are mostly tuneful with a bit of atonality at times. Musicians and audiences seem to appreciate her music as it is well-represented in concerts all over the world.

Enjoy this performance of Jennifer Higdon’s most popular work blue cathedral:

Fiesta! (Classical Music from Latin America)


Sundays at 8 pm

July 8
Five centuries of Latin American orchestral music, from the Baroque period to the present day. A fiesta of sounds from Cuba, Paraguay, Uruguay and Mexico

Alejandro Garcia Caturla: Tres Danzas Cubanas (Camerata de Las Americas/Joel Sachs)
Domenico Zipoli: Elevazione (Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra)
Jaurés Lamarque-Pons: Three movements from Concierto de Inviernio for Guitar and Orchestra (Eduardo Fernandez, guitar; Philharmonic Orchestra of Monteviedo)
Arturo Marquez: Danzon Numero Cuatro (Camerata de Las Americas/Joel Sachs)

July 15
Smiles and Tears

Mozart/D’Rivera: Adagio from Clarinet Concerto, Sombre un tema de Mozart (Paquito D’Rivera, clarinet) (Mi vida Saxual Dos) BW2018
Ruben Rada: Botija de mi Pais (Ruben Rada, voice) Dos BW2018
Federico Garcis Vigil: Variaciones sobre un Tema de Rada (Orquesta Filarmonica de Montevideo, Garcia Gigil, conductor) OFM 4
Alfredo Rugeles: Excerpt from Tanguitis (Martha Marchena, piano) Albany Records 242
Alfredo Rugeles/De Elias: Tanguitis (Sinfonia de la Juventud Vebezolano Simon Bolivar, Alfredo Rugeles, conductor) Private Collection
Elbio Barilari: Tango for Beethoven in G Major (Julie Koidin, flute; Wagner Campos, clarinet; Rick Ferguson, piano) Private Collection
Alberto Ginastera: Ollantay, Op. 17 (BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Ben-Dor) Naxos 8.570999
Oscar Lorenzo Fernandez: Excerpts from Batuque (Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela) Dorian 90254

July 22
Rarely heard orchestral works of the great tango master, Astor Piazzolla

Piazzolla: Suite for Oboe and String Orchestra (Andres Spiller, oboe; Camerata Bariloche)
Piazzolla: Tres Movimientos Sinfonicos (Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra, Gisele Ben-Dor, conductor)
Piazzolla: Suite Punta del Este (Camerata Bariloche)

July 29
Distinguished composers from Venezuela, Mexico, Panama, and Cuba

Theresa Carreno: Vals Gayo (Clara Rodriguez, piano)
Manuel Ponce: Concierto del Sur (Philarmonic Orchestra of the Americas,
Alondra de la Parra, conductor)
Roque Cordero: Eight Miniatures for Small Orchestra (Chicago Sinfonietta; Paul Freeman, conductor)
Jose White: Etude No. 6 (Rachel Barton Pine, violin)

August 5
Dazzling, colorful music based on literary sources, and related to Latin American Native and Afro-American traditions

Nicolás Guillén: Sensemaya (poem)
Silvestre Revueltas: Sensemaya (Aguas Calientes Symphony Orchestra)
Antonio Carlos Gomez: Son Giunto In Tempo, Il Guarani (Placido Domingo)
Carlos Rafael Rivera: Popol-Vuh (Four Mayan Scenes for Orchestra), (USC Thornton Symphony)
Elbio Bariliari: Alturas de Machu Picchu (Orchestra Philharmonica de Montevideo)

August 12
Romantic Music from Latin America and Spain! This hour will feature the violin concerto written by Jose White, the Cuban violinist who taught Yehudi Menuhin’s teacher George Enescu.

José Francisco Vazquez: Romanza No.2 & Romanza No.3 (Ignacio Mariscal, cello, Carlos Alberto Pecero, piano)
Dionisio Aguado: Introduction and Rondo Op.2, No. 2 in A Minor (Eduardo Fernández, guitar)
Manuel Ponce: Trozos Romanticos – Romantic Sketches (Jorge Federico Osorio, piano)
José White: Violin Concerto in F-Sharp Minor (Rachel Barton Pine, violin; Encore Chamber Orchestra, Daniel Hege, conductor)

August 19
Music from the Latin American Music Center at Indiana University, Program 1 of 2

Music to be announced.

August 26
Music from the Latin American Music Center at Indiana University, Program 2 of 2

Carlos Gardel/ adpt.
Daniel Stein: Lejana Tierra Mía Argentina (Yuriria Rodriguez, vocal; Daniel Stein, violin)
Moises Moleiro: Joropo (Jasmin Arakawa, piano)
Carlos Vieco: Patasdilo (Traditional Pasillo) (Jorge Montilla, Jennifer Everhart, Salvador Oriola, clarinets)
Moises Simons: El Manisero (Son) (Jorge Montilla, Jennifer Everhart, Salvador Oriola, clarinets)
Miguel Matamoros: Son De La Loma (Son Montuno) (Jorge Montilla, Jennifer Everhart, Salvador Oriola, clarinets)
Guido Sanchez-Portuguez: Rapsodia En Bolero (based on: Noche inolvidable, Solamente Una vez, Sabor A Mi) (El Taller and the IU Latin American Popular Music Ensemble)
Rafael Otero/arr. Guido
Sanchez-Portuguez: Ódiame (El Taller and the IU Latin American Popular Music Ensemble)
Alfredo Rolando Otriz/arr.
Alfredo Rolando Ortiz: Tu Ventana (El Taller and the IU Latin American Popular Music Ensemble)
Lisa Wallace/arr.
Guido Sanchez-Portuguez: Benzinho Brazil/Choro (Bossa De Bloomington: Bugni-Rasmussen-Wittman Jazz Trio)
13 Altos E Boixos (Bugni-Rasmussen-Wittman Jazz Trio)
Oscar Lorenzo Fernandez: Batuque (Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela;Keri-Lynn Wilson, conductor.)

September 2
From the familiar music of Latin America to the hidden treasures of three popular composers – Juan Pablo Moncayo, Lorenzo Fernández, and Joaquin Rodrigo

Juan Pablo Moncayo: Huapango (Simon Bolivar Orchestra, Heri-Lynn Wilson, conductor) [fragment]
Juan Pablo Moncayo:Muros Verdes (Beatriz Balsi, piano)
Juan Pablo Moncayo:Viola Sonata (Christina Placilla, viola; Hector Landa, piano)
Juan Pablo Moncayo: Huapango (La Catrina String Quartet)
Lorenzo Fernández: Batuque (Simon Bolivar Orchestra, Heri-Lynn Nilsson, conductor)
Lorenzo Fernández: Três Invenções Seresteiras for Clarinet and Bassoon
(William McColl, clarinet; Arthur Grossman, bassoon)
Joaquin Rodrigo:Concierto de Aranjuez (David Burguess, guitar)

September 9
The music of two Cuban Composers, born over two hundred years apart — Esteban Salas, born in 1725, and Tania León, born in 1943

Esteban Salas:Vayan unas Especias, Tu Mi Dios Entre Pajas, Toquen Presto a Fuego (Teresa Paz, Ars Longa Ensemble)
Tania Leon: Inura (Son Sonora Ensemble, Dance Brazil Percussion)

September 16
Music inspired by popular Latin American musical genrés
Edino Krieger: Preludio e Fuga (Cantilena); Preludio e Fuga (Marcha Rancho)
(Alexandre Dossin, piano)
Abel Carlevaro: Aires de vidalita (Abel Carlevaro, guitar)
Moisés Moleiro: Joropo (Jazmín Arakawa, piano)
Ariel Ramírez: Triste pampeano (Polly Ferman, piano)
Agustin Barrios: Choro da Saudade (Odiar Assad, guitar)
Albert Ginastera:Popol Vuh: The Mayan Creation (BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Gisele Ben-Dor, conductor)

September 16
Chamber Music from three Latin American composers

Hector Villa-Lobos: String Quartet No.1 (Cuarteto Latinoamericano)
Carlos Gustavino: Sonata para Clarinete y Piano (Patricia Shands, clarinet; Lydia Artymiw, piano)
Roberto Sierra: Cancionero Sefardi (Judith Kellock, voice; William Helmers, clarinet; Lisa Fuller, violin; Scott Tisdale, cello; Stephanie Jacob, piano; Jeani Muhonen Foster, flute; Mark Scatterday, conductor)

September 23
Violinist Rachel Barton Pine and Elbio introduces her new Latin American recording called Capricho Latino.

Isaac Albeniz: Asturias (Rachel Barton Pine)
Manuel Quiroga: Emigrante Celtas, Terra! A nosa! (Rachel Barton Pine)
Eugène Ysaÿe: Sonata No. 6 in E Major (Rachel Barton Pine)
Luis Jorge Gonzales: Epitalamio Tanguero
Jose White: Etude No. 6 (Rachel Barton Pine)
Alan Ridout: Ferdinand (Narrated by Hector Eilsondo; Rachel Barton Pine)