Saturday, September 29, 2018 at 7:30 PM

En Paz: An evening with Cuban American Composer Jorge Martín in Fox Fine Arts Recital Hall

The UTEP Department of Music together with the Hispanic Heritage Celebration 2018 presents an evening with celebrated Cuban American composer, Jorge Martín. Mr. Martin will perform his works with tenor Brian Downen and singers from Opera UTEP. UTEP Hispanic Literature professor Dr. Sara Potter will provide context and commentary about the Hispanic poets Amado Nervo and Reinaldo Arenas who are the subjects of Martín’s works.

Professor Brian Downen commissioned and will perform four new songs on the poetry of Mexican poet Amado Nervo. Downen says, “I was very excited when Jorge agreed to write these songs for me. The deeply moving poetry of Nervo—one of the most important Mexican poets of the 19th century—is ideal for this world premiere in El Paso.” “En Paz,” one of Nervo’s most famous poems, is the title for this new song collection, which will add to the impressive canon of modern art song in Spanish. The commission was made possible through UTEP’s Office of Research and Development and the Office of the Provost.

Also featured on this program are three scenes from Martín’s 2010 opera, Before Night Falls, based on the memoir of Reinaldo Arenas, gay Cuban poet/novelist who was ultimately exiled from his home country. Martín won the dramatic and musical rights to Arenas’ story from the Estate over hundreds of other applicants. The librettist for his opera was none other than the translator for the original memoir, Dolores Koch.

Mr. Martín will be the pianist for this concert, and will be in residence at UTEP September 22-29. He will be coaching the Opera UTEP student singers. This rare opportunity to work directly with a living composer is one of the ways UTEP gives its students an edge in the competitive and complex field of music.