Spring string fling

Composer and double bassist Xavier Foley

If you’re sick of classical music‘s perennial focus on the work of older (and mostly dead) white males, Santa Fe Pro Musica has the antidote for you in its Spring Orchestra Concerts on Saturday, March 11, and Sunday, March 12.

Of the program’s conductor, soloist, and four composers, only one — Antonín Dvorˇák, with his Serenade for Strings — falls into the usual-suspects realm. Taiwanese American conductor Mei-Ann Chen, music director of the Chicago Sinfonietta, returns to Pro Musica after making her debut here in November 2021.

All four works Chen will conduct are for string orchestra. There’s no sign of any instruments that need to be blown into or whacked with mallets. Composer Jennifer Higdon, winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music, is represented by selections from her Dance Card. Hispanic composer Osvaldo Golijov’s Last Round is one of his most frequently performed works and is also on the Pro Musica program.