March 10, 2022 (3:00-4:30pm Boston / 21:00-22:30 Madrid)
In commemoration of International Women's Day
This event, which commemorates International Women’s Day, pays homage to Frances Erskine Inglis, better known as the Countess Madame Calderón de la Barca (Scotland, 1804 – Spain, 1882) and is among the most important chroniclers of life and customs in Mexico in the 19th century, when the country was just starting to settle as an independent nation. Her interest in and curiosity for the political figures of the time, as well as her status as wife of the first Spanish ambassador to independent Mexico, led her to visit the cities and towns of vast and colorful Mexico. Able to play the harp with near professional talent, her interest in music, the operas and concerts she attended, and the musical receptions that the local bands held during her travels were constants in her narrations. During the session, we will also hear the recording of various Mexican melodies, originally attached to her letters, which had been forgotten by history but have recently been reworked by the composer Abraham Barrera and performed by the outstanding Mexican harpist Betuel Ramírez.
Benjamín Juárez Echenique, Mexican conductor and educator, has researched, performed, and promoted Mexican music from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. Equally interested in visual arts, theater, and literature from Mexico and the Spanish-speaking world, his work on Mexican cathedral music has produced more than twelve CDs and earned him several awards, including a Latin Grammy nomination. He was director of the Center for Mexican Studies of the Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Boston, general director of Mexico’s National Arts Center, and Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Boston University, where he is now Professor Emeritus. He is a Corresponding Member of the Mexican Academy of History, correspondent of the Royal Academy of History in Madrid.