“This Land/Our Land” classical mashup at Ellis Island, celebrating immigration

Posted on: July 5, 2017

“What role does music play in our national dialogue about immigration?” writes Jodi Beznoska on Monday (7/3) at National Public Radio. “Six young musicians, rooted in six different countries, gathered at Ellis Island, and in Manhattan, to explore that question in a new composition inspired by Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land Is Your Land.’ Immigrants themselves (or from immigrant families), the performers, ranging in age from 11 to 24, are all alumni of NPR’s From the Top, the radio program that spotlights young, classically-trained musicians. The idea came from host Christopher O’Riley, who combined the national anthems of the six young musicians into a multi-voiced mashup called ‘This Land/OurLand.’ Themes from the anthems of Bulgaria, South Korea, Mexico, Ukraine, Bolivia and Iran ultimately resolve into a soaring arrangement of the Guthrie classic…. As far as classical music in America goes, O’Riley notes, ‘There wouldn’t be classical music in America without an influx of immigrants.’ ” The musicians included violinist Bella Hristova (Bulgaria), cellist Mariaya Zabara (Ukraine), clarinetist Javier Morales-Martinez (Mexico), guitarist Jiji (South Korean), and pianists Oscar Paz-Suaznabar (Bolivia) and Amir Siraj (Iran).

Posted July 5, 2017

Pictured: Christopher O’Riley, host of the radio program “From the Top,” with the six classical musicians who performed “This Land/Our Land,” combining Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” and the national anthems of Bulgaria, South Korea, Mexico, Ukraine, Bolivia, and Iran.