Leading young composer Gabriela Lena Frank’s music will be featured on The Chicago Chamber Musicians’ 25th Anniversary Concert on March 29. The Magic of Three concert features both Gabriela and Paquito D’Rivera, along with the CCM musicians on a program that fuses jazz, Latin, and classical genres.
What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done — musically or otherwise?
Musically, I would have to say it has been writing pieces that mix classical instruments with non-classical! My work with Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, for instance, introduced me to a number of Chinese instruments and I’m very comfortable writing for the pipa, a fact of which I’m very proud. Recently, I’ve embarked on projects that bring together my western colleagues with musicians from the Andean folkloric tradition, and it’s been humbling, joyful, and truly enlightening.
A musician or composer you might not know about, but should is:
Wow… So many names come to my mind that I didn’t know which one to say. I got flooded. I’m thinking of the numerous talents that are coming up the ranks in our training programs in music departments all across the country.
What is your concert day routine?
On the concert day, I like to NAP! Ironically, even though I’m in a business where late nights are the norm, I’m actually an early-to-bed-early-to-rise kind of gal. So, in order for me to have the kind of stamina and verve that my audience expects, I need to grab a bit of shut-eye during the day. Then, I need to do something vain in front of the mirror, which always makes me feel good. Shaping my Kahlo brows is an old favorite, for instance.
If I weren't a musician, I would be…
I would be a chef, a fiction writer (in the style of Eduardo Galeano) or a social worker.
What do you listen to on your iPod?
I’ve been on a Count Basie and Molly Ivins bender lately. My iPod really is a blender of the most disparate voices.