Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers is set to premiere a major concerto entitled "Fandango" by Mexican composer Arturo Márquez — with conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Márquez's concerto is inspired by the lively Spanish dance for which it is named. The fandango, first popularized in the 18th century, involves foot-stomping and improvisation and is a fundamental part of flamenco. The piece is "irresistibly evocative and romantic," ranging from "soaring lyricism to toe-tapping Latin rhythms," according to the Hollywood bowl website.
The collaboration between Márquez and Meyers stemmed from a 2018 email from Meyers, in which she asked about the possibility of Márquez writing a piece for violin and orchestra inspired by Mexican music.
"The proposal interested and fascinated me from that very moment, not only because of Maestra Meyers' emotional aesthetic proposal, but also because of my admiration for her musicality, virtuosity and, above all, for her courage in proposing a concert so out of the ordinary," Márquez wrote in a program note. Two decades prior, he had already tried to compose a violin concerto based on the Mexican fandango — music he has known since he was a child, as his father was a mariachi violinist.
Completed in 2020, the piece has three movements: "Folia Tropical," "Plegaria (Prayer) (Chaconne)," and "Fandanguito." Each movement draws inspiration from different parts of the history of the fandango — from Mexico, Caribbean, Spain, and Portugal.
"I think that for every composer it is a real challenge to compose new works from old forms, especially when this repertoire is part of the fundamental structure of classical music," Márquez wrote.
The August 24 concert, which is supported in part by the Kohl Virtuoso Violin Fund, will also include performances of Villa-lobos' Prelude from "Bachianas Brasileiras" No. 4 and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5.