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Upcoming Talks Moderated by the GC’s Daniel Valtueña

As a part of Flamenco Festival NYC, Graduate Center PhD student Daniel Valtueña will be moderating a series of talks called “RADICAL FLAMENCO” at NYU’s King Juan Carlos I Center.

Rocio Molina

March 12 at 6:30, he will host “Radical Flamenco: A Conversation with Israel Galván,” ahead of Galván’s performance at NYU’s Skirball Center on March 13. NYU has canceled all events through March 29 owing to COVID-19 concerns. Please check back for updates on the remaining talk.

Next, March 26 at 6:30, he will host a conversation with Rocio Molina, who will perform at City Center the following day. 

Lastly, on April 3 at 7:30, he will talk with flamenco collective Los Voluble, about their current project “Flamenco is Not a Crime.” Los Voluble will perform at Joe’s Pub on April 4. 

Each of these talks is free and open to the public, and will be presented en español. Receptions to follow. For more information about the performers, click the links above.

Valtueña produced last year’s Niño de Elche residency at the GC’s James Gallery, in conjunction with the Foundation for Iberian Music, and he will also be chairing a panel on March 27 at our upcoming conference, Flamenco in the USA: From the Modernist Vanguard to the 21st Century.  Join us in celebrating a month of progressive flamenco!

Literes Debuts in Finland

The Finnish Baroque Orchestra (FiBO), featuring soprano Irene Mas, recently completed a successful program of baroque music that included two Literes cantatas—the first time any Literes work has ever been performed in Finland! Literes has a special connection to the Foundation for Iberian Music as one of director Antoni Pizà’s research specialties. The cantadas al Santíssimo featured on the program,  La mariposa and Atalaya divina, were re-discovered and edited by Pizà and Anna Cazzurra. Pizà is one of only a few musicologists who has published on Literes, and we are delighted that the work to preserve Literes’s legacy and introduce him to the world at large is paying off.

The program was performed previously at the Early Music Festival of Colònia de Sant Pere, but this time the orchestra played under the direction of renowned early music specialist Barry Sargent, producing a new and fresh take on the material. Congrats to all the performers. The final program is below.

Antoni Lliteres (1673-1747)
La mariposa, Cantada al Santíssimo

  1. Aria
  2. Coplas
  3. Aria

Francesco Bartolomeo Conti (1681-1732)
Con piu lucidi candori

  1. Aria
  2. Aria, adagio.
  3. Aria, allegro assai

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Sonata for Four

  1. (No tempo marking)
  2.  Allegro
  3. Grave
  4. Vivace

Lliteres
Atalaya divina, Cantada al Santíssimo

  1. Recitative, aria
  2. Recitative, aria

Past Lecture Guest Sir Roger Scruton Has Died

We are sorry to hear that English philosopher Sir Roger Scruton recently died at the age of 75. Scruton was the penultimate speaker of our Music in 21st-Century Society lecture series, for which he gave a talk called “Walking Among Noise,” with a response from Greil Marcus. His talk extended from his 1997 book The Aesthetics of Music, in which he explored the spatial perception of musical tones. As The Guardian writes in their obituary, “‘If someone said that, for him, there is no up and down in music, no movement, no soaring, rising, falling, no running or walking from place to place’, would we count what he is hearing as music?”

For a full look at  Scruton’s many accomplishments and controversies, please read the full obituary. If you’d like to hear the talk he gave at the Graduate Center (which yielded a lively audience discussion), you can watch the full video online.

Samper Presentation for Jazz Palma 2020

On February 11, Francesc Vicens, who co-edited Música de Jazz with Antoni Pizà, will do a presentation on Samper’s 1935 jazz lectures for Jazz Palma 2020, with live musical accompaniment.

Vicens will be joined by guitarist Pere Lluís Dàvila and singer Cecília Jiménez, who will perform jazz songs of the ’20s and ’30s.

Admission: free
7:00 pm
Biblioteca Municipal de Sant Jordi
Palma de Mallorca

New Review of Samper’s Jazz Lectures

 The digital literary criticism magazine La Lectora has just published a thorough review of Antoni Pizà and Francesc Vicens’s recent edition of Samper’s 1935 lectures on jazz

The review includes a brief overview of Samper’s history and how his legacy has been little-known, even in Spain, until musicologists such as Pizà and Vicens began bringing it to light. The value of Samper’s lectures themselves is twofold, providing insight into both the composer’s musical interests and the reception of jazz in Europe. 

Thanks also to La Lectora for their mention of our accompanying YouTube playlist of works played or mentioned by Samper in his lectures.

Flamenco in the U.S. Conference: Registration and Film Screenings

Registration is now open for our upcoming conference Flamenco in the US: From the Modernist Vanguard through the 21st Century, and we have added a pair of documentary films to cap off the proceedings. Please note that they are in separate locations at the Graduate Center and have separate registration. Admission to both is free.

Conference registration is available here.

And you can reserve a seat for the film screenings here.

Following the last presentation of the conference, we will screen one feature-length documentary and one documentary short. First we have FlameNYCo, directed by Javier Benítez (45 minutes). This documentary, filmed in 2010 to celebrate the Flamenco Festival’s 10th anniversary, features the illustrious artists performing in the Festival that year: Estrella Morente, Farruquito, Eva Yerbabuena, alongside New York flamenco legends such as the late maestro José Molina. There will be a short audience Q & A with the Flamenco Festival NY director, Miguel Marín.

Second is Ode to Fazil’s directed by Marcel Rosa Salas (17 minutes). On 8th Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets in Manhattan, in the heart of Broadway, a worn-down tenement building was once home to Fazil’s Studio, a legendary dance rehearsal space. Many of the world’s great companies, along with up-and-comers, worked and sweated through their choreography in its halls. The film’s director, Marcel Rosa-Salas, the daughter of a flamenco dancer, once considered it a second home. Ode to Fazil’s is a touching tribute to an iconic monument of New York City dance. Following the film, there will be a short audience Q & A the film’s director and artists featured in the film, Rosa, Najma Harissiadis, Raymond “Spex” Abbiw, Fazil’s sister Serpil, Victorio Korjhan, and Arturo Martínez “Espíritu Gitano.”

The films will follow the symposium at 5:00, on the C level.

Stick around after the screenings to see Songs of Light: Rocío Márquez Featuring Miguel Ángel Cortés, who will be performing in the Elebash Auditorium at 7:00! (This concert is a part of Flamenco Festival NY; admission is $30, but a limited number of free tickets are available to the GC community. For details, see the event page linked above.)

Catalunya Ràdio Interview on Borgunyó, Catalan Composers in NYC

Begoña López, who obtained her PhD in musicology in 2017 at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona under the supervision of Antoni Pizà, appeared on Catalunya Ràdio to discuss a new book that she has developed out of her dissertation work. Her dissertation was on Agustí Borgunyó, a versatile Catalan composer with a chameleon-like style. Born in Sabadell in 1894, he lived in the USA for most of his professional life. He wrote popular songs and danceable tunes during the Jazz Age, but also sardanas (the national dance of his native Catalonia), as well as many concert pieces in all genres. He died in Barcelona 1967.

Dr. López, a respected opera singer as well as musicologist and a professor of vocal studies at the Institut del Teatre in Barcelona, has now written a full-fledged biography of Borgunyó, which will be published soon with a prologue by Antoni Pizà, centering on Catalan musicians in NYC in the early 20th c. (such as Pau Casals, Xavier Cugat, and Borgunyó, among many others).  She discusses all these topics in depth on “Assaig general.” You can listen to the full program here.

New Catalunya Radio Interview with Antoni Pizà

Antoni Pizà was interviewed on CATALUNYA RÀDIO, National Public Radio of Catalonia in Barcelona, on 17 Jan 2020.  He participated in the program TOTS ELS MATIN DEL MON (All mornings in the world / a pun on the film Tous les matins du monde), hosted by Ester Pinart and Joan Vives, in the segment “Avui esmorzem amb…” (Today we have breakfast with…). 

You can listen to the full broadcast online here.

The program presents casual, but intelligent, conversations on diverse musical topics with a guest. Pizà discussed his edition of Baltasar Samper’s 1935 jazz lectures in Barcelona (co-edited with Francesc Vicens).  He spoke about his musical upbringing—his mother enjoyed zarzuela and his father was an amateur church organist and choir conductor—and arriving in NYC almost 30 years ago to pursue his doctoral studies, where he’s lived ever since.  He also discusses several musical selections including Miklos Rozsa’s “Valse crépusculaire,” Couperin’s “Les Barricades Mystérieuses,” Beethoven’s “Spring” Violin Sonata, and Bartok’s “Perpetuum mobile” for two pianos.  All in all, a thirty-minute long relaxed conversation on life and music.