This performance is an archival program, recorded in November of 2017, in the format of an audio presentation.
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About the Program:
“Latin America: a Miracle of Faith” is a program made up of works written in Native American languages in the 300 years of colonization between the arrival of the Spaniards and the Latin American wars of independence. These works show an interesting take on well-known aspects of the Christian faith, sung from the point of view of the colonized. In some of these pieces, we see an amazing juxtaposition of Native American religious imagery transposed into the icons of Catholicism. Some of these songs highlight the idea of guilt and penance, while others are desperate pleas for release – they were, after all, composed in the midst of a bloody conquest, coinciding historically with the Inquisition in Latin America. The religious faith expressed in some of these pieces attests to a story of colonization that is quite different from what occurred in the United States and Canada.
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About the Artists:
Founded in 2017, Border CrosSing envisions fundamental change in classical music culture, so that every concert, every audience, and the artists on stage truly reflect the cultural reality in which we live. Our work provides opportunities for people from different communities to understand each other in new ways through our multi-lingual Puentes concert series, educational programs in schools, and collaborations with Minnesota’s most important cultural organizations, including The Schubert Club and Minnesota Orchestra.
Ahmed Fernando Anzaldúa El Samkary is a Mexican conductor and pianist of Egyptian descent. Early in his career, he was the awarded the first prize at the Maria Clara Cullel International Piano Competition. He’s since then avoided participating in competitions in favor of championing the works of new composers and exploring his musical heritage. Ahmed is a recognized authority in Latin American and Spanish music, particularly the compositions of Federico Mompou and Miguel Bernal Jiménez. He regularly collaborates with composers to premiere new works, including Helmut Lachenmann, Paul Lansky, and Arturo Marquez. His most recent recordings include Carteles, recorded for FMM, and Contemplating Weather, on Bridge Records. Ahmed holds Master’s degrees in Piano Performance and Choral Conducting from Western Michigan University, where he taught before moving to Minnesota, and carried out postgraduate work at the Queen Sofia College of Music in Madrid, Spain. He received a doctorate in Music Conducting at the University of Minnesota, under the mentorship of Kathy Romey. Apart from his work with Border CrosSing, he is co-editor of the Justice Choir Songbook and is Director of Music Ministries at Unity Church – Unitarian in St. Paul, Minnesota.