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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.
About the Host:
Composer Abbie Betinis writes music called “inventive, richly melodic” (The New York Times), “superb, whirling, soaring” (Tacoma News Tribune), and “the highlight” of the program (Boston Globe). With over 50 commissioned works for ensembles such as Cantus, the New England Philharmonic, and The Rose Ensemble, Abbie is also a two-time McKnight Artist Fellow, and has won grants from the American Composers Forum, ASCAP, and Jerome Foundation, and at age 31, was listed in NPR Music’s Top 100 Composers Under 40. Abbie has been a Composer-in-Residence with New York State School Music Association, The Rose Ensemble, The Singers-Minnesota Choral Artists, and Schubert Club. In 2019, she will be the American Composers Forum’s ChoralQuest composer, visiting schools around the U.S. to write new choral music with middle school singers.
Originally from Wisconsin, Abbie is a graduate of St. Olaf College (B.A.), the University of Minnesota (M.A.), and holds a diplôme from the European American Musical Alliance Institute in Paris, France. She lives in Minnesota, where she is Adjunct Professor of Composition at Concordia University-St Paul and executive director of Justice Choir.
View the Frequently Asked Questions about the Courtroom Concerts.
Seating is limited and first come first served. Doors open at 11:30. Please call if you are attending as a group of 10 or more (651.292.3267).
Schedule & Programs Subject to Change