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.
Juan Trigos (Mexican, 1965 – ) – Sinfonia No. 1
Trigos enjoys an international reputation as both a conductor and a composer. He’s written four symphonies, several operas, and many other works for chamber, choral, and large ensembles. As a conductor, he regularly programs and records new classical works by Mexican composers.
Joan Tower (American, 1938 – )Made in America
“Made in America” was a joint commission by 65 small orchestras. Tower describes the work as a set of variations on “America the Beautiful.” Because of the joint commission, the work was performed 65 times, with Tower traveling from city to city to present it. “Made In America” remains one of her most popular works.
Owen Underhill (Canadian, 1954 – ) – By Backward Steps
Flutist and composer Own Underhill is based in Vancouver. He’s considered one of the most significant living composers on the West Coast. Underhill is interested in electronic as well as acoustic music and studied both at Darmstadt and MIT.
Carlos Sánchez-Gutierrez (Mexican, 1964 – ) – Winik/Te’
Born in Mexico City, Sánchez-Gutierrez now lives in New York, teaching at the Eastman Scholl of Music. His influences are diverse, and his scores often complex. As he says, he ” use the same set of ears to listen to Bach, Radiohead, or Ligeti.”
Florence Price (American, 1887-1953) – Fantasie negre
Although she died in 1953, Price’s music is just now coming into its own. She studied with Goerge Chadwick and Frederic Converse in the early 1900s. Price often had to work as an organist to survive. She known for her arrangements of spirituals during her lifetime. Only afterward has her symphonic scores been reassessed.