On Wednesday, March 15, 2017 Miami University will present a special performance as part of the Human Rights and Social Justice program of the Center for American and World Cultures. As the Miami University Symphony Orchestra celebrates its centennial season, the ensemble will join forces with Collegiate Chorale and Chamber Singers to perform the American premiere of choral symphonic compositions by Arturo Márquez, the most prominent living composer of Mexico.

Arturo Márquez, who will attend the concert and will conduct his signature piece – the outstanding Danzón No. 2, passionate dance music from Mexico  – wrote a cantata for large orchestra, choir and soloists called “Dreams.” The poetic lyrics of each one of the four movements of the cantata refers to the dreams of visionary leaders, who fought for peace and the rights for all people: Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Chief Seattle and the Mexican poet Guillermo Velázquez.

Martin Luther King’s memorable speech “I have a dream” is a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement, claiming for equal rights for the African American people. The touching quotes by Mahatma Gandhi inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world, through his philosophy of nonviolent civil disobedience. Chief Seattle was a prominent figure among the Native Americans who wrote a letter to American President Franklin Pierce that constitutes a powerful, bittersweet plea for respect of Native American rights and environmental values. Guillermo Velázquez is perhaps the greatest living troubadour of Mexico, known for writing folk music and lyrics of powerful expression. Combined, the four movements of the Cantata “Dreams” constitute a moving tribute to outstanding leaders across the world in search for the respect to human rights and social justice for all people and races in the world.

Miami professor Alison Acord will be the soloist for the cantata together with the renowned African American baritone Michael Preacely, a rising star on the operatic stage. The program will be complemented by one of the latest masterpieces by Arturo Márquez, another work for choir and orchestra that he dedicated to Malala Yousafsai, a Pakistani activist and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. She is known mainly for human rights advocacy for education for women and children.  The composition, which is titled Alas (Wings) to Malala, became a hymn for the orchestras belonging to Iberorquestas, a multilateral project of technical and financial cooperation for the musical development of children and youth belonging to the low income population facing high risk in the countries of the Ibero-American region.

The program will be conducted my Maestro Eduardo Garcîa Barrios, President of Iberorquestas, and will be opened with the composition Slava! A Political Overture by Leonard Bernstein, conducted by Ricardo Averbach, Director of the Miami University Symphony Orchestra. Professors William Bausano and Jeremy Jones are collaborating with the participation of their ensembles, the Chamber Choir and Collegiate Chorale.

The performance will take place on Wednesday, March 15 at 7:30PM in Hall Auditorium. Tickets are available at the box office of Miami University.