James Barnes, Kansas composer, protagonist of the concert of the Unió Musical de Llíria


The Banda Juvenil (youth band) and the Banda Simfònica (symphony orchestra) held a moving concert to pay homage to the women on the International Women Day. In the first half of the concert, Esteban Espinosa conducted the Banda Juvenil and, in the second half, the Banda Simfònica was led by Pablo Marqués, who organized a very special concert with two pieces, the classical piece “La forza del destino” by Giuseppe Verdi, and the contemporary James Barnes’ Third Symphony “The Tragic”.


It should be noted that the composer of this symphony, the north American Barnes, taught music composition and orchestration at The University of Kansas, which is near the City of Kansas City, Missouri – the only U.S city designated as a UCCN City of Music in 2017.


At the recent meeting of Spanish UCCN Cities in Burgos, Spain (Gastronomy) this past February, Kansas City officially welcomed the newest member city Llíria on behalf of all the UCCN Creative Cities of Music. 


James Barnes is considered one of the most important contemporary composers. The impressive Third Symphony “The Tragic” consists of four movements and was composed in 1994. The third move is the most touching part, since it is dedicated to his daughter Natalie, who died when she was still a baby. However, the last movement is the absolute opposite, for his son was born three days after this symphony had been completed. The composer itself stated that this symphony was the most emotionally draining task he had ever carried out, and he composed it during a very difficult life stage. The symphony has a rhythmic cell that is the call of fate, and fate always wins.