Mormon Artists Group is pleased to announce

the publication of Paco by Nathan Thatcher


He was a friend of Benjamin Britten and a student of Olivier Messiaen. Born in Africa and raised in Spain, Francisco Estévez also studied with other masters of Contemporary Music in Europe: Francisco Calés, Cristóbal Halffter, Gerardo Gombau, Günther Becker, and Milko Kelemen. He attended the legendary summer New Music Institute at Darmstadt, the Robert Schumann Hochschule für Musik in Düsseldorf, the Center for Electronic Music at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, and the Conservatorio Superior de Sevilla. A winner of prestigious awards as a composer, Estévez was also a friend and collaborator with the groundbreaking electronic band, Kraftwerk. His voluminous catalog of compositions for orchestra, ensembles, solo instruments, voice, and electronics include works of pioneering innovation, fiery intelligence, and spiritual acuity (a number of his works quote directly from his deeply-held Mormon beliefs). Without question, he is among the very few illustrious composers of fine art music in the Church, ever.


At the invitation of Glen Nelson of Mormon Artists Group, Nathan Thatcher, a composer and scholar, traveled to Spain and met Estévez, immersed himself in the composer’s life and music, cataloged his archive, and wrote about the experience. The resulting work is titled, Paco, the composer’s nickname.


Approximately one-fifth of all LDS members are Spanish-speaking, but we know next to nothing about native Spanish-speaking composers who are Mormon. The discovery of Estévez, who has been a member for over thirty years and is currently serving in a bishopric in Madrid, is a once-in-a-lifetime find; there is little precedent for it in the field of Mormon Studies.


Thatcher’s approach to writing the book is personal, engaging, and entertaining. Paco is part travel book, part mystery, part memoir, and parts musical scholarship and biography. The book is aimed at the general reader who may or may not know how to read and analyze a musical score but loves music, nonetheless. For scholars and performers, the book includes an extended appendix with narrative descriptions and analyses of each of the composer’s known works.


It is being published simultaneously as a limited edition volume, a commercial paperback, and a full archive of his complete scores, publications, and recordings.


Explore the project/ordering

Read excerpts