Monday, June 20, 2011

The Compositions of Leandro Espinosa occasionally follow a pattern or philosophy consisting on the reshaping of materials through different media and in different contexts. Some of the works had been partially altered in order to point to diverging meanings, while the opus as a whole keeps an inherent unity. The same aesthetic entity is being seen or brought alive, form different points of view or moods. Thematic and aesthetic progressions followed somehow in the manner of Monet, painted or sculpted in sound. In the catalog the term “symphony” is not used in the traditional sense, but it is used with an implication of an almost impossible orchestral configuration, often at the limit of practicability. The intention behind this is the widening of resources of the usual orchestral conventions. Out of this need arose the concept of Virtual Orchestra; in which recorded sounds of conventional instruments or conventional orchestral configurations were altered (often very slightly) to produce an enhancement of the range and possibilities normally available in a particular instrument or orchestral configuration. New compositions and aesthetic frontiers could open in this way, producing compositions using the recorded sounds of older ones, that serve as matrixes. In the field of music research, Espinosa’s contribution began in 1974 in the work Study for piano; in which musical aspects concerning number began to appear, modeled in relationships between spoken word and geometric patterns. With the Concerto for Oboe, Strings and Percussion (2001-02) an alternative system of music serialism is proposed. Research into the future of the Arts and Sciences (with emphasis in music) has been published by the Forum on Public Policy online, the Journal of the Oxford Round Table, in its winter (Nr. 1) 07 ed.

Composer, conductor, and cellist Leandro Espinosa was born in Monterrey, Nuevo León (Mexico) in 1955, and studied composition at the Escuela Formativa por las Artes with Nicandro Tamez from 1974-77. He continued his studies in Mexico City with Manuel Enríquez at the CENIDIM (National Center for Musical Research, Documentation and Information). In 1980 continued his studies in England, where his teachers included Alfred Nieman at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, as well as Melanie Daiken and Pawlu Grech at the Morley College. From 1983 to 1986 became a scholarship student of the Fonds Alex De Vries of Belgium located in Antwerp. Further studies in the USA included a Masters in Orchestral Conducting at the Peabody Conservatory with Professors Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar and a Doctorate in Musical Composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City with Professors James Mobberley, Chen Yi and Paul Rudy.

Espinosa’s activities as composer have included participation in international festivals such as “Festival International Cervantino” (Guanajuato); the Foro Internacional de Música Nueva” (Mexico City); the Exhibition “Mexico a Work of Art 1990-91" organized by the National Council for Culture and the Arts of Mexico and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, San Antonio, Los Angeles); International Festival of Choreography of Bagnolet; Misiones Santa Fé (Madrid, Granada); Gestes 85 (Brussels) and the Berchem International Festival.

Recently, Mtro. Giancarlo Parodi performed Espinosa’s organ work Visiones Danielis at the closing of the International Festival of Organ of Morelia at the Academic Hall of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music of Rome (2008). Following the event Espinosa was invited to write sacred music under the patronage of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church. At present Espinosa is invited to participate in the Exhibition dedicated to Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican Museum during July 4th 2011, as a celebration of His Holiness priestly ordination and following the meeting with the artists celebrated at the Sistine Chapel in 2009.

Other works have been commissioned by the “Fonds Alex de Vries” of Belgium, and produced by the Royal University of Ghent and the Belgian Radio and Television Network, University of Utah, National Funds for Culture and the Arts and the National Institute of Fine Arts of Mexico.

Prizes include a grant from the National Funds for Culture and the Arts of Mexico to The Intellectuals and Creators of Mexico, the University of Missouri-Kansas City Chamber Music 2000, and the 2000/2001 ASCAP Foundation Raymond Hubbell scholarship.

Works performed by soloists such as Jonathan Golove, Stephen Manes, Giancarlo Parodi, Juan Carlos Laguna, Peter Lawson, Gerardo Ledesma, Miguel Angel Lejarza, Max Lifchitz, Kun Woo Paik and Manfred Stilz among others, and by orchestras including The Symphony Orchestra UANL, The Chamber Orchestra of the INBA (National Institute of Fine Arts, Mexico), the Carlos Chavez Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmonía, Independence Symphony (USA), and the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra.

Recordings of his works released by Albany Records under the name Voces Internas, with Jonathan Golove, cello and Stephen Manes, piano (Troy 1235); Giancarlo Parodi: Live Performance released by the Italian Association of Church Organists; Twentieth Century Mexican Symphonic Music, Vol. 3. Philharmonic Orchestra of the City of Mexico conducted by Eduardo Diazmunoz (Pro Disc SDX21232); Compositores de Nuevo León, Symphony Orchestra UANL conducted by Felix Carrasco (Lituus 7508553080010); La Guitarra, Musica de Mexico Miguel Angel Lejarza (Koch-Swann-Aulos 3-1387-2) also (Pre 66 031 Aul).

Dr. Espinosa is a member of the Oxford Round Table, participating during the sessions of 2006 with his work Approaching a Possible Redefinition of the Arts and Sciences presented at the Oxford Union during the summer of 2006 and published by the Forum on Public Policy Online (Winter 2007 edition). His work Music Serialism, An Alternative Approach is published by VDM Verlag Dr. Müller (2010).

Mr. Espinosa is the Music Director of the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra at Eastern Oregon University, where he currently serves as Associate Professor of Music. He is former Music Director of the Musica Nova Ensemble at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and also former Assistant Conductor of the Peabody Camerata and the Independence Symphony. He has been Associate Professor of Cello at the Superior School of Music and Dance of Monterrey (Mexico) and a former member of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the City of Mexico.


Espinosa is one of the six composers invited for the 60th Anniversary of the Priestly Ordination of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture of the Vatican.

The exhibition, which opens July 4 in the Paul VI Hall, was presented by the President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, who said the exhibition is part of the meeting that the Pope had with the art world in November 2009 in the Sistine Chapel.

The exhibition will be inaugurated by Benedict XVI, who will personally receive all the participating artists and will offer a speech. The exhibition, whose entrance is free, runs until September 4, 2011.

Among the participating artists include the Spanish painter Pedro Cano, and the architect Santiago Calatrava and composer Valentin Miserach Grau, director of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome.

Also, the Mexican artist Gustavo Aceves, fellow composer Leandro Espinosa, Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer ultracentenario, Portuguese writer José Tolentino Mendonça, Italian film director Pupi Avati, the Italian composer Ennio Morricone, and the Italian architect Paolo Portoghesi and also Renzo Piano.