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Take a deeper dive into specific pieces of music and composers with Classical KC and the UMKC Conservatory while learning how they connect to events today.

Here are five Caribbean composers you should know

Trío Sanromá.
Como Imágenes
Courtesy of artists
Trío Sanromá.

During their April 13 concert as part of UMKC Conservatory's América Festival, Trio Sanromá will share music from Caribbean composers. Learn more about the group and a few of the composers that will be featured on their program.

Samuel Milam and Szymon Rywalski are students at the UMKC Conservatory.

Since 2015, Trío Sanromá, has been the piano trio-in-residence at the Conservatorio de Música of Puerto Rico. Its members, Francisco Cabán, Luis Miguel Rojas, and Diana Figueroa, serve as professors of violin, cello, and piano, respectively.

The trio brings with them a passion for creative and contemporary approaches to the piano trio genre, delighting listeners with older traditional works by the likes of Haydn, Beethoven, and Brahms, while also emphasizing the premiering of new works by Puerto Rican and other Caribbean composers.

Such performances have featured works by Johanny I. Navarro, Christian Quiñones, Miguel del Águila, and Vincenzo Palermo. The trio has been praised for “giving a lesson in musicality, well-cared ensemble, and clarity of execution,” by Luis Hernández-Mergal, the Chancellor of the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico.

The trio's April 13 performance as part of UMKC Conservatory's America Festival features works by Christian Quiñones, Icli Zitella, Jesús Nuñez, and Orville Everet Hammond. Learn more about these Caribbean composers.

Johanny I. Navarro

Navarro’s diverse catalog is deeply rooted in Afro-Caribbean musical aesthetics and Puerto Rican traditions. This is especially true for her work, "Celebration," which was selected in 2016 as a commemorative work for the centenary celebration of The Arts Club of Washington D.C. as well as a featured work at the Casals Festival program. As a composer, Navarro is a resident artist at the American Lyric Theater in New York.

Christian Quiñones

Quiñones is a young Puerto Rican composer whose music explores concepts such as cultural identity and the intersection between vernacular music, electronic textures, rock, and Latin music. He is a graduate of the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico and the University of Illinois, where he was the recipient of the Graduate College Master’s Fellowship. Currently, Christian is a Ph.D. President’s fellow at Princeton University.

Icli Zitella

Zitella writes music in a wide variety of styles ranging from the classical and traditional to the popular and experimental. He has worked as a violinist with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Venezuela and served as professor of Theory at Mozarteum-Caracas School of Music.

Gonzalo de Jesús Nuñez

Núñez was a composer and pianist, and the first Puerto Rican musician to achieve international fame. In his time, he was a celebrated pianist and his works were published across the western world.  His music has been forgotten for nearly 100 years in archives, but is now being rediscovered.

Orville Everet Hammond

Hammond’s compositions have been premiered in Martinique, the Czech Republic and New York City. He scored the music for the documentary film “Ellis Wilson - So Much to Paint”, produced by Kentucky Educational Television (KET) and is a recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Kentucky Arts Council. The Orville Hammond Trio debuted in New York in Carnegie Hall and has been featured on Black Entertainment Television (BET).

Learn more about the April 13 performance and the festival on the UMKC Conservatory's website or by following América Festival on Facebook.