Public Record: Greensboro’s Creatives is a video interview series that seeks to illuminate the lives of artists, makers, and creative people in Greensboro. Formed by Creative Greensboro, this project was developed in collaboration with the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts' Creative Catalyst Initiative.
Dr. Lorena Guillén is a musicologist, singer and choral conductor. Guillén was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, initiating her voice training at the National Conservatory of Music. She holds a master’s in vocal performance and a Ph.D. in historical musicology and music theory from State University of New York at Buffalo. She has been teaching as a lecturer at the College of Visual and Performing Arts of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro since 2007.
As a performer, Guillén has been described as a “delicate soprano” by the Washington-Post. The Classical Voice of North Carolina has said she “produces a notably Latin sound, rich and full of expression.” The Buffalo News said her tango performances “sung with the kind of conviction for which Guillén has become known in this material.”
Equally at home as a performer of art music and her homeland’s popular tango, Guillén has premiered and recorded many compositions by living composers and the classics of the 20th and 21st centuries as well the standards of the tango song around the country and international stages.
Since 2010, Guillén has been conducting the Triangle Jewish Chorale (TJC), a Durham-Chapel Hill community choir specializing in traditional and new Jewish music. Inspired by the community engagement mission of the group, as music director, Guillén developed Down Home: The Cantata, which gave voice to the Jewish immigrants and residents of North Carolina through the use of archival and new interviews webbed into a choral-orchestral-audio collage musical piece. The piece was commissioned by the Jewish Heritage Foundation of NC and the TJC to composer and UNCG professor Alejandro Rutty and premiered in 2013.
In the interview, Guillén discusses her upbringing in Argentina, her new album, “The Other Side of My Heart,” and conducting a choir over Zoom.
This portrait of Guillén was made in the backyard of her home in Greensboro. You can learn more about Guillén through her website.