Gabriela Lena Frank: Composer here to stay
By Nicole Maguire '13
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 14:02
Grammy award-winning composer and pianist Gabriela Lena Frank will join students and faculty next year, part of a yearlong series of arts events supported by the Mellon Grant.
Frank has international roots—Lithuianian, Jewish, Peruvian and Chinese—and she has incorporated her heritage into much of her work. Most notably her album “Hilos,” which in Peruvian means “threads,” symbolizes her interwoven style.
“Hilos” quickly broke Billboards and was deemed a top 100 Classical Recording in 2011. Moreover, in 2012, she was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Small Ensemble Performance. Frank also received a Guggenheim Fellowship for her piece “Inca Dances,” which won the Latin Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition.
Frank was born in Berkeley, California and moved East during her graduate year, receiving her DMA in music composition at the University of Michigan. Frank, however, is not one to stay put.
“I think travel is so important, especially for composers,” she said. Frank has traveled and performed to both coasts, from the Philadelphia Orchestra to the Seattle Symphony.
“We’re storytellers. We’re uniting a lot of different things, and we’re coding it in music in order to give our impressions of the world.”
Frank’s ability to infuse her work with her personal heritage and identity makes her unique. She will offer students not only insights into composing, but also practices for making their work individual.
Frank will engage in an interdisciplinary arts symposium, conduct master classes and discuss artistic creation as it relates to gender, race, class and an artistic lifestyle.