When most people think of Latin American music, they tend to think of pop music. Classical music composed by Latin Americans is not usually on people’s radar. However, a rich library has been produced by these composers, and the cultural cross pollination between the rhythms and folk traditions from Latin America, Europe and North America has enriched the music scenes in each continent.
My extensive research into Latin American classical music, undertaken for my doctorate at Catholic University of America and since, has resulted in identification of a large number of works, many of which are almost completely unknown. Exploring these composers, their compositions, and their unique cultural contributions has been an exciting journey for me.
That is why I have begun the Latin American Classical Music Project – to raise awareness and appreciation of the significant contributions of Latin American composers of classical music, by performing chamber music repertoire that includes the violin, giving lectures, and facilitating cooperation with musicians from around the world.
“You can take a melody and you can harmonize it in a hundred different ways. The melody will always be the same, but you can do it Venezuelan, Brazilian, Argentinian, Mexican… it changes the message entirely.”
—Paul Desenne in an interview made by Strings of Latin America (SOLA) October 2, 2021