Gabriela Lena Frank

Pianist and composer Gabriela Lena Frank grew up in Berkeley, California. She received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Rice University and a Doctorate in Music Composition from the University of Michigan in 2001. She has studied composition with William Albright, Leslie Bassett, William Bolcom, Michael Daugherty, and Samuel Jones.

Frank's work often draws on her multicultural background, especially her mother's Peruvian heritage. In many of her compositions, she elicits the sounds of Latin American instruments such as Peruvian pan flute or charango guitar although the works typically are for Western classical instruments and ensembles such as the symphony orchestra or chamber ensembles such as the string quartet. She has said, "I think the music can be seen as a by-product of my always trying to figure out how Latina I am and how gringa I am." In recent years, compositional/philosophical links have been made to composers such as Bela Bartok, Benjamin Britten, and Chou Wen Chung.

Frank's music has been commissioned and performed by the Kronos Quartet, pipa virtuoso Wu Man, San Francisco Symphony, Houston Symphony, Chanticleer Ensemble, the Chiara String Quartet, the Brentano Quartet, Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Project, the Marilyn Horne Foundation, guitarist Manuel Barrueco with the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, the King's Singers, directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Wu Han and David Finckel, soprano Dawn Upshaw and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and others. She has received multiple commission from Carnegie Hall. Her piece Concertino Cusqueí±o was commissioned and premiered by the Philadelphia Orchestra in celebration of the start of that organization's newest conductor, Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Past performances include those by the Boston Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella series.

She has served as composer-in-residence with many institutions including the Modesto Symphony, the Fort Worth Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Aspen Music Festival, the Seattle Symphony, the Nashville Symphony, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and the Annapolis Symphony.

2009 saw Frank receive her first Guggenheim Fellowship as well as a Latin Grammy Award for best Contemporary Classical Music Composition for Inca Dances. Gabriela Lena Frank is also a member of the Silk Road Ensemble under the direction of cellist Yo Yo Ma. Her composition Ritmos Anchinos appears on the Silk Road Ensemble's album Off the Map.