Spanish and Latin American Art Music | KCUR

Spanish and Latin American Art Music

Jun 29, 2010

A KU music professor teams up with a Spanish vocal coach and master pianist to plan the second Festival of Spanish and Latin American Art Music in Kansas.

Lawrence, KS – Note: This interview first aired in March 2010

Tenor Genaro Mendez and collaborative pianist Julio Alexis Munoz both grew up far from the concert halls of Madrid. Mendez is from Nevada and Munoz hails from the Canary Islands, which are part of Spain but located off the coast of North Africa. It wasn't until their early twenties, that they each discovered a passion for opera and song.

A grant from the University of Kansas took Mendez to Spain, where he met Munoz, and the two began to collaborate on a repertoire of classical Spanish vocal music and zarzuela, a form of operetta unique to Spain.

The collaboration eventually led to the International Festival of Spanish and Latin American Art Music in Lawrence. This is the festival's second year: master performers and students from Spain, Mexico and the United States are all gathered in Lawrence for a series of workshops and performances (see below).

KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross caught up with the two musicians in Genaro Mendez's office at KU's School of Music, where they performed Del Cabello Mas Sutil by Fernando Obradors. Also in this interview are excerpts from the Festival's opening performance at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Missouri Public Library.

Upcoming performances (all are free):

7:30 Wednesday, June 30, 2010 Guitarist Maria Luisa Harth-Bedoya Spooner Hall, The Commons, University of Kansas

7:30 Thursday, July 1, 2010 Polsky Theatre, Carlsen Center

7:30 Friday, July 2, 2010 Liberty Hall

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.