The Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra’s New Traditions Diversity Series begins its season with a performance this Friday, October 1, at 7 p.m. at Angel Mounds State Historic Site, located at 8215 Pollack Avenue, Evansville, Indiana. Weather permitting, the event will be held outdoors.

Members of the Eykamp String Quartet (Jia-Rong Gan, violin; Michael Chu, violin; Mark Hatlestad, viola; & Graham Cullen, cello) will play works by underrepresented composers, Jessie Montgomery and Gabriela Lena Frank. Also, a work by W.A. Mozart will be performed.

Gabriela Lena Frank Selections from Leyendas-An Andean Walkabout
W.A. Mozart String Quartet No. 21 in D major K 575
Jessie Montgomery Strum

Jessie Montgomery (born 1981) was raised in Manhattan’s Lower East Side with her parents – her father a musician, her mother a theater artist and storyteller, who were engaged in the activities of the neighborhood and regularly brought Jessie to rallies, performances, and parties where neighbors, activists, and artists gathered to celebrate and support the movements of the time. It is from this unique experience that Jessie has created a life that merges composing, performance, education, and advocacy.

Jessie is an acclaimed composer, violinist, and educator. She is the recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award from the ASCAP Foundation, and her works are performed frequently around the world by leading musicians and ensembles. Her music interweaves classical music with elements of vernacular music, improvisation, language, and social justice, placing her squarely as one of the most relevant interpreters of 21st-century American sound and experience. Her growing body of work includes solo, chamber, vocal, and orchestral works.

She began her violin studies, at the Third Street Music School Settlement, one of the oldest community organizations in the country. A founding member of PUBLIQuartet and currently a member of the Catalyst Quartet, she continues to maintain an active performance career as a violinist appearing regularly with her own ensembles, as well as with the Silkroad Ensemble and Sphinx Virtuosi.

Gabriela Lena Frank (born September 1972) was raised in Berkeley, California with her mother of mixed Peruvian/Chinese ancestry and her father of Lithuanian/Jewish descent, so she explores her multicultural heritage through her compositions. Inspired by the works of Bela Bartók and Alberto Ginastera, Gabriela has traveled extensively throughout South America in creative exploration. Her music often reflects not only her own personal experience as a multi-racial Latina, but also refract her studies of Latin American cultures,
incorporating poetry, mythology, and native musical styles into a western classical framework that is uniquely her own.

Currently serving as Composer-in-Residence with the storied Philadelphia Orchestra and included in the Washington Post's list of the 35 most significant women composers in history (August 2017), identity has always been at the center of composer/pianist Gabriela Lena Frank's music. Before her current residency with the Philadelphia Orchestra, she completed her four-year tenure as composer-in-residence with the Detroit Symphony under maestro Leonard Slatkin, as well as a second residency with the Houston Symphony under Andrés Orozco-Estrada.

Gabriela attended Rice University in Houston, Texas, where she earned a B.A. (1994) and M.A. (1996). She studied composition with Sam Jones, and piano with Jeanne Kierman Fischer. At the University of Michigan, where she received a D.M.A. in composition in 2001. She currently resides in Boonville, a small rural town in the Anderson Valley, with her husband Jeremy on their mountain farm, has a second home in her native Berkeley in the San Francisco Bay Area.

W.A. Mozart (born January 27, 1756, Salzburg [Austria]—died December 5, 1791, Vienna), was an Austrian composer, widely recognized as one of the greatest composers in the history of Western music. With Haydn and Beethoven, he brought to its height the achievement of the Viennese Classical school. Unlike any other composer in musical history, he wrote in all the musical genres of his day and excelled in everyone. His taste, his command of form, and his range of expression have made him seem the most universal of all composers; yet, it may also be said that his music was written to accommodate the specific tastes of audiences. Wolfgang’s father, Leopold, came from a family of good standing which included architects and bookbinders. Leopold was the author of a famous violin-playing manual, which was published in the very year of Mozart’s birth. His mother, Anna Maria Pertl, was born of a middle-class family active in local administration.

At three he was picking out chords on the harpsichord, at four playing short pieces, at five composing. There are anecdotes about his precise memory of pitch, about his scribbling a concerto at the age of five. Mozart was a musician capable of playing multiple instruments who started playing in public at the age of 6. Over the years, Mozart aligned himself with a variety of European venues and patrons, composing hundreds of works that included sonatas, symphonies, masses, chamber music, concertos, and operas, marked by vivid emotion and sophisticated textures.

Admission is free for all New Tradition Diversity Series’ performances and they are open to
the public. For more information, call (812) 425-5050, Ext 316