A society that pays attention to music is a society that knows how to listen to itself and to others.
The greatest wealth of the state of Sinaloa is its people. Beyond the enormous natural and industrial resources it possesses, the talent of its artists and academics has shone in Mexico and, in some cases, the world. A list that, far from being complete, should include, in music, singers Pedro Infante, Lola Beltrán, Amparo Ochoa and, naturally, composer José Ángel Espinosa “Ferrusquilla”. In literature, the great poet Gilberto Owen stands out, and this list of important creators includes Enrique González Rojo, Inés Arredondo, Dámaso Murúa, Jaime Labastida, Norma Bazúa, César López Cuadras, and the central figure of contemporary Sinaloan literature: Elmer Mendoza. In the academic and historical research fields, Gilberto López Alanís, José Ángel Pescador Osuna, Ernesto Higuera, Herberto Sinagawa, and Antonio Nakayama, among others, have made great contributions to the educational and academic world of Sinaloa. As if this was not enough, the state has also had outstanding figures in the visual arts, in classical music and opera, and in dance, where the names we should keep in mind are the painter Antonio López Saénz, the orchestra conductor Enrique Patrón de Rueda, the choreographer Chepina Guerra, and the great exponent of dance worldwide, José Limón.
Among the virtuous efforts of personalities such as these, the “Sinaloa de las Artes” Orchestra was created in 2001 -which took the name of the “Sinaloa de las Artes Festival” (founded in 1987), during the administration of Governor Francisco Labastida Ochoa and Dr. María Teresa Uriarte-, In 2004 it grew to become the Orquesta Sinfónica Sinaloa de las Artes (OSSLA), and on October 25th of the current year it has completed 20 years of uninterrupted orchestral activity, reaching at different times all the municipalities of the state. Throughout this journey it has created an audience for symphonic, opera, chamber music and, more recently, art music by contemporary composers. The “José Limón” School of Arts, of the Sinaloa Institute of Culture, provides musical training to young people, thanks partly to the teaching work of members of the OSSLA, who, in addition to being performers, are also teachers. After its foundation, the orchestra has made possible several opera productions, which have reinforced the existence of the Opera Workshops in Culiacán and Mazatlán, from which a series of operatic voices have emerged, keeping an important presence inside and outside the country. With this, the taste for the operatic genre has gradually and consistently influenced the cultural tradition of the state, and has even become part of the tourist’s interest.
Sinaloa’s achievements are the achievements of its people, a society that preserves the richness of its traditions, and at the same time is open to new expressions of the different cultures and arts of the world. As the home of the Sinaloa Symphony for the Arts, the city of Culiacán is home to musicians from countries such as Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Russia, Spain, the United States, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, and of course Mexico, among others.
To commemorate two decades of orchestral music in Sinaloa is to understand its why and what for. A state in which there are artists is a state that knows how to dream; a society that cares for and supports art music is a society that knows how to listen to itself, and knows how to listen to all voices.