An article about the work and life of Gabriela Ortiz (CRF 2009) recently appeared on CSOradio by Brian Wise. The composer reflects on her many influences from Rufino Tamayo’s paintings to the celebration of  Día de Muertos to historical narratives that show the intersections of different cultures.

An upcoming CSO Sessions virtual concert will feature Ortiz’s Denibée-Yucañana, a four-movement tribute to Tamayo, the Oaxaca-born painter whose work was strongly influenced by his Zapotec heritage as well as European styles. 

“Though Ortiz is pleased by the growing awareness of Mexican repertoire, she sighs when her music occasionally turns up in ‘fiesta’-themed concerts, more evocative of margaritas and frivolities than the nuanced themes that fuel her imagination.

‘This is the stereotype of Latin American composers,’ she said. ‘But Latin American music is enormously wide in terms of its aesthetics. You could find people who write in a very nationalistic way, or people who have a very different aesthetic, influenced by European schools or technologies.

‘Twenty-first century music shows us that we have so many different traditions and aesthetics and so many different ways to express ourselves.'” Read the full article here.

Photo by Martierene Alcántara.