Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Arturo Marquez - Renowned Mexican Composer

When our conductor introduced us to Arturo Marquez's music, it was obviously very different from the Mozart pieces that are the heart of our upcoming program. But one listen to Danzon No. 2 convinced me that this was going to be a big crowd pleaser.

Marquez, born in 1950, is a big name in Mexico, and his music is now widely played. He grew up with musical influences from his father and grandfather, and besides studying multiple instruments in his youth in Southern California, he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship and earned his MFA in Composition at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. He has won many awards, including the prestigious La Medalla De Oro De Bellas Artes de Mexico, the Gold Medal of Fine Arts of Mexico.

The music has the Latin rhythms that pulsate and move the piece along. The challenge for an (American) amateur orchestra is to give it life and keep it moving. Our dedicated band of about 35 players sunk our teeth into it again last night and our performance is improving. I'm hoping we have it ready to roll by concert time in three weeks. It's a beauty.

If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, it's the Castro Valley Chamber Orchestra's concert on Sunday, October 23 at 2 p.m.

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