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U-M’s “Mestiza Music" film receives public screening, will air on PBS


A film that documents a unique multi-cultural musical event that took place at the University of Michigan in 2014 will receive a public screening at the Keene Theater in East Quad on Monday, April 4 at 4 pm and will be aired on public television stations throughout the country between June 2016 and January 2017. 

Titled Mestiza Music, the film was co-produced by the University of Michigan and WFYI-Indianapolis and was produced, edited, and photographed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Aric Hartvig.

Mestiza Music follows U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) alumna Gabriela Lena Frank (DMA ’01, composition), a Grammy-winning Peruvian-American composer, as she pursues a passionate mission to create mestiza (mixed-race) music, fusing multi-cultural musical styles with classical music.

The concert and film was the culmination of Frank’s year-long William Bolcom Residency in Composition at SMTD and was co-sponsored by SMTD’s string and composition departments, the Residential College, and the International Institute.

After years of planning, musicians with roots in Finland, Korea, China, and the United States joined Frank and three talented Ecuadorian panpipe players in Ann Arbor to premiere her new rendition of mestiza music in a concert at Stamps Auditorium.

"As a mixed-race composer, I consider myself both a witness and storyteller, speaking in a gloriously messy multi-cultural musical code,” said Frank. “Performers complete the picture, interpreting my music and recreating it anew for a receiving audience. How can this be anything but an act that unites not just in spite of, but because of our collective appreciation for diverse origins?"  

The international array of musicians appearing in the film include Andrew Jennings, SMTD professor of violin; Christina McGann, violin; Charlton Lee, viola; alumna Katri Ervamaa, cello (DMA ’00), who is head of the Music Program at the Residential College; and Franklin, Danilo and Lenin Vizuete, pan pipes and flutes. 

Following the screening on April 4, which is free and open to the public, a question-and-answer session will take place featuring Frank, Hartvig, Jennings, and Ervamaa.


past news

March 2017

Alumnus Michael-Thomas Foumai, MM '11, DMA '14, was named one of the 2017 Morton Gould Young Composer Award recipients by ASCAP.   03/30/2017

Dean Dworkin's statement on proposed elimination of NEA and NEH 03/16/2017

June 2016
January 2016
October 2013

Professor Bright Sheng is profiled in the Detroit News, in anticipation of the debut of his violin concerto, "Let Fly," to be performed by Gil Shaham with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Oct 4-6, 2013, conducted by Leonard Slatkin.    10/02/2013

September 2013

DMA composition student Patrick Harlin has been named the first-ever winner of the Hermitage Prize, awarded by the Aspen Music Festival and the Hermitage Artist Retreat.    09/04/2013

November 2011
November 2009
May 2009
Current News
Prof. Michael Daugherty’s new CD features Prof. Amy Porter, alumna Carol Jantsch, and Dame Evelyn Glenniemore
Video Game Music Conference to take place at U-Mmore
UMS, SMTD and the New York Philharmonic Announce Details for 2017 MICHIGAN Residency more

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower