We have an international mix of contributors to the #ClassicsaDay feed. July has significant holidays for two of the three countries in North America. So, at the suggestion of a Canadian contributor, July became #NAFTAclassics, marking Canada Day (July 1) and Independence Day (July 4). Mexico doesn’t have a July holiday, but we decided to be inclusive rather than exclusive.
For the month, I alternated between the three countries. Here are my posts for the first week of #NAFTAclassics.
Michael Torke (American, 1961 – ) – July for saxophone quartet
Torke has been described as a post-minimalist. His music often draws on elements of American history and pop culture. Torke wrote “July” to capture the feel of the month.
John Wyre (Canadian, 1941–2006) – Marubatoo
Percussionist and composer Wyre was born in the United States and immigrated to Canada. founded the Nexus Ensemble. He was also on the faculty of the University of Toronto and was the artistic director for World Drums. “Marubatoo” was written for the Nexus Ensemble.
Silvestre Revueltas (Mexican, 1899–1940) – Ocho X Radio
Revueltas was a composer, violinist, and conductor. He worked to promote contemporary Mexican classical music. “Ocho X Radio” was written in 1933 specifically for radio broadcast.
Joseph Vézina (Canadian, 1849–1924) – Mosaique sur des airs populaires canadiens
Vézina was a noted Quebec conductor and composer. He wrote three opéra comiques, and helped found the Laval University music school. His students include Henri Gagnon and Robert Talbot.
Gabriela Ortiz (Mexican, 1964 – ) – La Calaca
Born in Mexico City, Ortiz has become a major figure in Mexican classical music. And she has an international reputation as well. Among her many honors are a Fulbright Fellowship, a Banff Center for the Arts Residency, and first prize in the Silvestre Revueltas National Chamber Music Competition.