The Center for the Americas is helping my colleague Jonathan Neufeld (Philosophy) host the visit of a visionary, stunning female musical composer. Gabriela Lena Frank’s music is deeply interconnected with her sense of identity as a mestiza, or person with mixed ancestry. She was born in Berkeley, California, to a mother of mixed Peruvian/ Chinese ancestry and a father of Lithuanian/Jewish descent. Inspired by the works of Bela Bartók and Alberto Ginastera, Frank is something of a musical anthropologist. She’s the dream composer for the sociologist engaged with issues of identity, race, gender, culture, and globalization…all of you are likely to find something within her narratives and music that will resonate. Moreover, she’s the hot new thing: at a recent conference with leaders in the Orchestra field, my mention of her name sent people in the room into an apoplectic fit.
Even though some of you won’t be able to travel across the country in time, I still wish to extend the invitation for you to join us, this Wednesday, at 630 in Turner Hall at the Blaire School of Music at Vanderbilt. The event is free and open to the public.
Also, here’s a link to an interview with Frank where she discusses in great depth her music and identity using her sociological imagination.