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.
Roger Zare (American, 1985 – ) – Mare Tranquillitatis
Zare is best known for his wind ensemble and orchestral works. He studied with Michael Daughterty and Morten Lauridsen. Like his teachers, Zare writes music of substance that’s also readily accessible to general audiences.
Healey Willan (Canadian, 1880–1968) – Introduction, Passacaglia, and Fugue for Organ
Willan emigrated to Canda from the UK in 1913. He wrote over 800 works, including operas and symphonies. Willan was an organist and a composer. From 1921 until his death the organist and choirmaster of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Toronto. He’s best known for his sacred works, both for choir and for organ.
Carlos Chávez (Mexican, 1899–1978) – Xochipilli
Chávez was a preeminent musical figure in his country. He continually worked to develop classical music in Mexico — as an educator, writer, conductor, and composer. His works often incorporate elements of native folk music. Xochipilli is the Aztec god of art and dance.
Carter Pann (American, 1972 – ) – Circumnavigator for Two Pianos
Pann studied with Samuel Adler, William Bolcom, and Joseph Schwantner (among others). Like his teachers, Pann strives to make his works readily accessible to new listeners — without compromising the complexity of his musical thoughts. A significant part of Pann’s catalog is for piano.
John Weinzweig (Canadian, 1913-2006) – Symphonic Ode
Weinzweig spent most of his professional life in Toronto. He wrote for film, stage, and radio. Popular music often finds its way into Weinzweig’s classical works. He was also interested in the music of the Inuits, which also became part of his musical language.