GABRIELA LENA FRANK (b 1972 )
Identity has always been at the center of Gabriela Lena Frank’s music. Born in Berkeley, California, to a mother of mixed Peruvian/Chinese ancestry and a father of Lithuanian/Jewish descent, Frank explores her multicultural heritage most ardently through her compositions. Inspired by the work of Bela Bartók, Alberto Ginastera, and Chou Wen Chung, Frank is something of a musical anthropologist. She has traveled extensively throughout South America and her pieces reflect and refract her studies of Latin-American folklore, incorporating poetry, mythology, and native musical styles into a western classical framework that is uniquely her own. In addition to frequently collaborating with Pulitzer playwright Nilo Cruz on vocal works, Gabriela has written for leading artists such as soprano Dawn Upshaw and cellist Yo Yo Ma, and pre-eminent chamber groups and symphonies. A recipient of both a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Latin Grammy for Best Classical Contemporary Composition in 2009, Gabriela was also awarded a prestigious USA Artist Fellowship in 2010. She is in high demand as a concert pianist, specializing in contemporary chamber music. Gabriela currently makes her home in the San Francisco Bay Area.