The Louisville Orchestra pays tribute to American composer Aaron Copland’s Mexican-influenced compositions this week with a multimedia program that infuses humanities content into classical music performance. Created by music scholar Joseph Horowitz, Music Unwound’s “Copland and Mexico” will span multiple events in Louisville this week, including partnerships with the Louisville Visual Art Association and the University of Louisville School of Music.
Horowitz says the performance, which includes a film and multimedia storytelling components, explores the impact that a 1932 trip to Mexico had on Copland’s work.
“He has an epiphany, he discovers a new role for artists and intellectuals as catalysts for social and political change. It changes him. He becomes a populist, what we know of Copland best – ‘Rodeo,’ or ‘Appalachian Spring’, or ‘El Salon Mexico,’ is all directly or indirectly a result of his Mexican epiphany,” says Horowitz.
Conducted by music director Jorge Mester, the Orchestra will perform Copland compositions “Rodeo,” “Billy the Kid” and “El Salon Mexico” Thursday at 10:30 a.m. and Friday at 8 p.m . in the Kentucky Center’s Whitney Hall. The full-length concert will include narration and readings from Copland’s correspondence with other composers, and a screening of the 1936 film “Redes (The Wave)” with a live orchestral score by music by Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas.