GISÈLE BEN-DOR , conductor



Silvestre Revueltas Music Festival
January 20-23, 2000

(Santa Barbara, CA...) Santa Barbara, California is the location for a three-day music festival to celebrate the 100th birthday of Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas. Classic films, lectures, manuscripts, live chamber and symphonic music will be held at various locations. The festival takes place from Thursday, January 20 through Sunday, January 23, 2000.

Three historic Mexican films for which Revueltas composed the music scores will be shown with English subtitles: Vamos Con Pancho Villa (1933) ; La Noche de Los Mayas (1939). Redes (1935), with the Santa Barbara Symphony playing the live film score under the music direction of conductor Gisele Ben-Dor.

The festival includes lectures by Revueltas scholar Professor Roberto Kolb-Neuhaus of the University of Mexico, and a number of orchestral and chamber works, including a children's concert with a quartet, accompanied by life-size puppets from Mexico. Although designed specifically for a Revueltas performance and music score, they have never performed in the United States.

In addition, the festival will have manuscripts, photos and music scores of Revueltas' on display at the Santa Barbara Public Library and the Karpeles Manuscript Library.

Tapes, books and CD's will be available, including the Santa Barbara Symphony's world premiere recording of La Coronela , Itinerarios andColorines, with the English Chamber Orchestra.

Although noted by many as one of the 20th Century's greatest composers--compared frequently to Manuel De Falla and Copland--Revueltas is perhaps one of the least known to serious music and film audiences.

Born in Mexico on December 31, 1899, Revueltas died at the age of 40, after a prolific decade of creativity and compositional activity that reflects the modernism and nationalism of that period in the Americas. Thirty plus pieces in approximately ten years encompass many large orchestral scores, a half dozen film scores, music for smaller ensembles, four string quartets and songs.

Revueltas' compositions are often described as original and passionate. They are universal in scope, as well as deeply inspired by the folklore roots of Mexico.

He studied and performed in Mexico and the United States. He also toured and performed throughout Spain during their revolution, and was deeply moved by it. Revueltas wrote extensive letters and essays on his reflections of life, revolution and music. He also identified heavily with the artist Vincent Van Gogh, and described how he dreamed of music as "color, sculpture and movement."

The festival is being sponsored in part by The Mexican Cultural Institute, LA; The Mexican Consulate, Oxnard; The University of California, Santa Barbara; The Santa Barbara Symphony, the Santa Barbara Public Library, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce.

Seats are limited at some events and locations. For more information and a brochure call Lynn Holley, project director at 805-898-1443.

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© 2011 Gisele Ben-Dor. All rights reserved.