Written for and Premiered by The Orquesta deInsturmentos Andinos, in Partnership with Fundación Teatro Sucre, Quito-Ecuador

We are proud to present Compadre Huashayo, a project inspired by the philosophy of mestizaje whereby cultures can come together without the subjugation of one by the other. Compadre Huashayo will innovate contemporary music through the commissioning of a major new multi-movement work from American composer Gabriela Lena Frank for La Orquesta de Instrumentos Andinos (OIA), a 38-member ensemble of native Andean instrumentalists based in Quito, Ecuador.


Through a series of workshops over the Summer and Fall that culminated in a public performance in Quito on November 20th, 2012, Compadre Huashayo produced not only music designed to be performed by future musicians, but also a bilingual documentary (by Emmy-winning filmmaker Aric Hartvig); soon to be aired nationwide on the PBS network, regarding the multicultural creative collaboration. Compadre Huashayo also had the participation of award-winning Chilean conductor Alejandra Urrutia.

Huashayo is from Quichua, the indigenous language of Ecuador. Appointed by a civic or religious organizer (el prioste), the huashayo is responsible for hiring the band of musicians embodying the spirit of a special celebration. this project salutes multiculturalism and invite others to join the celebration, the role of the huashayo perfectly describes the project’s efforts toward a musical celebration without boundaries. Furthermore, compadre (from the Spanish word compadrazgo for friendship) describes the creative collaboration between composer and performers in cultural camaraderie.

Compadre Huashayo joins a venerated history of ambassadorship between western and non-western musical traditions that found particular impetus in the twentieth century. It is inspired by the multicultural work of seminal classical composers such as Bela Bartok (1881−1945), a Hungarian who drew heavily on Eastern European peasant influences and expressed these via classical instruments.

INTAKE believes that a partnership between Frank and OIA is a natural one. Long an advocate for cross-cultural music reflecting modern American society, Frank is an internationally recognized classically trained composer who is yet immersed in South American traditional music. «Mestiza woman, mestiza music» is how she describes herself and her life that reflects her world, our world.