“Carlos Chávez and His World” at the Bard Music Festival starting August 7th

Saavedra jacketCarlos Chávez (1899–1978), subject of this year’s Bard Music Festival, is the central figure in Mexican music of the twentieth century and among the most eminent of all Latin American modernist composers. The seventh child of a Creole family, his highly individual style—diatonic, dissonant, contrapuntal—addressed both modernity and Mexico’s indigenous past. Chávez was also an educator, journalist, music theorist, and conductor and founder of the Orquesta Sinfónica de México. He became an integral part of the emerging music scene in the United States in the 1920s.

From Carlos Chávez, Mexican Modernist in the New York Times article by William Robin:

This summer represents the Bard Music Festival’s first examination of a Latin American composer, focusing on one who, though little known today, may have shaped American music more than any other. Along with building an impressive oeuvre couched in an acerbic modernist idiom, Mr. Chávez almost single-handedly remolded Mexican culture through his official roles in national arts institutions after the Mexican Revolution.

Today, Princeton University Press is proud to release Carlos Chávez and His World, the volume to accompany the Bard Music Festival’s concerts and panels over the course of the next two weekends. Robin writes in The New York Times:

“The idea that he was a quintessential ‘Mexican composer’ and that in his case it was not a picturesque, postcard folklore, but some sort of really internal, almost racial essence, marked him forever,” the musicologist Leonora Saavedra said recently. An associate professor at the University of California, Riverside, Ms. Saavedra serves as the Bard festival’s scholar in residence and has edited an insightful volume of accompanying essays published by Princeton University Press.

Read the rest here.

Bard Music Festival 2015:
Carlos Chávez and His World
Bard College
August 7-9 and August 14-16, 2015

If you’d like to see a schedule of Bard Music Festival events, here’s where you can find one.

Leonora Saavedra, author of Carlos Chávez and His World, is associate professor of music at the University of California, Riverside.

A Fresh Look at a French Composer and Virtuoso – Camille Saint-Saëns

The Bard Music Festival’s second weekend featuring Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921) starts on August 17th.  The concerts, lectures, and panel discussions of the festival are complemented by a book of related articles, essays, and letters edited by a prominent music scholar.  Princeton University Press is pleased to announce:

Camille Saint-Saëns and His World
Edited by Jann Pasler

Camille Saint-Saëns–perhaps the foremost French musical figure of the late nineteenth century and a composer who wrote in nearly every musical genre, from opera and the symphony to film music–is now being rediscovered after a century of modernism overshadowed his earlier importance. In a wide-ranging and trenchant series of essays, articles, and documents, Camille Saint-Saëns and His World deconstructs the multiple realities behind the man and his music. Topics range from intimate glimpses of the private and playful Saint-Saëns, to the composer’s interest in astronomy and republican politics, his performances of Mozart and Rameau over eight decades, and his extensive travels around the world. This collection also analyzes the role he played in various musical societies and his complicated relationship with such composers as Liszt, Massenet, Wagner, and Ravel. Featuring the best contemporary scholarship on this crucial, formative period in French music, Camille Saint-Saëns and His World restores the composer to his vital role as innovator and curator of Western music.

 

You can find more information about the Bard Music Festival and activities this weekend at:
http://fishercenter.bard.edu/bmf/2012/

For more information on the Bard Music Festival Book Series, check out:
http://press.princeton.edu/catalogs/series/bfs.html