Ahmed Fernando Anzaldúa El Samkary is a Mexican conductor and pianist of Egyptian descent and the founder and artistic director of Border CrosSing. He is an active musician, performing in Mexico and the U.S. frequently as a soloist and conductor with choirs and orchestras, and also performs as a pianist in solo recitals and collaborative settings. He is a recognized authority in Latin American and Spanish music, particularly the compositions of Federico Mompou and Miguel Bernal Jiménez, and he collaborates regularly with composers to premiere new works, including music by Helmut Lachenmann, Paul Lansky and Arturo Márquez. His most recent recordings include Carteles, recorded for FMM, and Contemplating Weather on Bridge Records. He holds master’s degrees in piano performance and choral conducting from Western Michigan University, where he taught before moving to Minnesota, and he carried out postgraduate work at the Queen Sofia College of Music in Madrid, Spain. He received a doctorate of music in conducting at the University of Minnesota under the mentorship of Kathy Saltzman Romey. Early in his career, he was the awarded first prize at the Maria Clara Cullel International Piano Competition. Apart from his work with Border CrosSing, he is co-editor of the Justice Choir Songbook and is director of music ministries at Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul, Minnesota.