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TCU’s 11th Latin American Music Festival honors influential Latin American composer

(October 04, 2017)

Fort Worth, Texas, Oct. 04, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

The School of Music at Texas Christian University will present the 11th Latin American Music Festival Oct. 9-12, paying homage to the life and music of Roque Cordero, the most influential Panamanian composer and one of the most prominent Latin American composers of the 20th century, on the 100-year anniversary of his birth. All concerts and recitals, which are free and open to the public, are at 7 p.m. in Ed Landreth Auditorium and the PepsiCo Recital Hall, both at 2800 S. University Dr., on the TCU campus. The Grand Finale Fiesta is at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, in the Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom, 2901 Stadium Dr. on the TCU campus.


The highlight of the festival will be the world premiere of one of Cordero’s most ambitious pieces, “Cantata para la Paz.” The piece, commissioned in 1979 by the National Endowment for the Arts but never performed, pays tribute to four men who spoke of peace but were victims of violence – Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. The composition also honors all men and women who have fought for peace. The 42-minute piece will be performed by the TCU Symphony, the TCU Chorale and a bass-baritone soloist.


The Latin American Music Festival was established in 1998 to expose the TCU and Fort Worth communities to a musical (symphonic/choral/chamber) repertoire from one of the largest ethnic cultures in the United States. This year’s festival is a tribute to Cordero, who Germán Gutiérrez, director of orchestras, professor of orchestral studies and director of TCU’s Latin American Music Center, has long admired.


“I established the festival when I became director of orchestras at TCU,” said Gutiérrez. “The TCU School of Music is delighted to present “Cantata para la Paz” to its first audience, and I am thrilled the Fort Worth community will be the first to experience it. I think it’s especially important to recognize the peacemakers during this time of tense international relations.”  


Cordero’s reputation as a composer has been highlighted by the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, one of the largest reference works on western music, and he has been included in several books on Latin American music. Cordero began writing music while still in high school, and founded the National Orchestra of Panama when he was 21. Many of Cordero’s compositions have been performed by leading orchestras in the Americas and Europe, and several have received international awards. The most interesting aspect of Cordero’s music is his use of Panamanian folk elements within contemporary European techniques.


The festival will culminate with a Grand Finale Fiesta, a collaboration among the TCU School of Music, the Discovering Global Citizenship program and TCU International Services. The fiesta will showcase the Mariachi Aguilas from the University of North Texas, the North Side High School Mariachi Espuelas de Plata, Ballet Folklorico Azteca de Fort Worth, Guitar Fort Worth, Fort Worth Opera’s Spanish Zarzuela singers, and the Calirumba Dance Company, who will present dances from different regions of Colombia and Panama and teach salsa steps to attendees, who may then dance to the live salsa band. 


About Texas Christian University’s School of Music

The TCU School of Music is a nationally recognized, award-winning institution that features a distinguished, renowned faculty and a talented, energetic student body. The school offers an exciting musical environment in which students grow as artists, educators and individuals, and provides many opportunities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, TCU’s program provides professional training for performers, teachers, scholars and composers.


About Texas Christian University’s College of Fine Arts

TCU’s College of Fine Arts comprises the schools of Music, Art and Classical & Contemporary Dance, and the departments of Graphic Design, Interior Design & Fashion Merchandising and Theatre. Each offers distinctive programs that enable students to work closely with stellar faculty. Graduates are well prepared to pursue their professional aspirations through innovative curricula, pre-professional training opportunities and mentorship.


About Texas Christian University

Founded in 1873, TCU is a world-class, values-centered private university based in Fort Worth, Texas. The University comprises eight schools and colleges offering 119 areas of undergraduate study, 53 master’s level programs, and 28 areas of doctoral study. Total enrollment stands at 10,394, including 8,892 undergraduates and 1,502 graduate students. The student/faculty ratio is about 13:1, and 85 percent of TCU’s 641 full-time faculty members hold the highest degree in their discipline. TCU consistently ranks among the top colleges and universities in the nation, and the Horned Frog family consists of more than 88,000 living alumni. For more information, please visit




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CONTACT: Holly EllmanTexas Christian

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