America (Orchestra)

Commissioned by the Symphony Orchestra of Barcelona and National of Catalonia (OBC) to be premiered during the Centenary celebrations of Leonard Bernstein in 2018

Choosing an element that represents the figure of Leonard Bernstein can be a difficult task due to his varied activity as a musician. However, «America» from «West Side Story» is perhaps one of his most emblematic compositions and certainly what I most admire about his legacy. It has given us one of the most famous hemiolas in the history of music, and it also stands out for having represented an exemplary and innovative crossover of musical styles on the time, reflecting the multi-cultural and cosmopolitan sense of cities such as New York.

In this work (commissioned by the Symphony Orchestra of Barcelona), I pay homage to Bernstein with a spontaneous and unpredictable use of the hemiolia which will keep the listener amused and attentive, while the use of compositional techniques from Jazz, Latin, Pop , Flamenco or Contemporary music will take him to the vibrant and multi-cultural experience of cities such as New York or Barcelona (home-town of Marcos Fernandez-Barrero); all of these, embraced in an energetic and playful score that encourages one to dance; «And that’s because Bernstein’s music is always a celebration of rhythm».

«Celebration of rhythm» is a construction that the daughter of Leonard Bernstein (Jamie Bernstein) used in one of her writings to refer to her father’s music.