Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Sandra Seaton: Composer William Bolcom says: "Lift Every Voice and Sing" would be much better as our national anthem

Sandra Seaton

William Bolcom
 
 
Sandra Seaton writes:

Dear Bill,

Here's a copy of William Bolcom's timely letter of praise for "Lift Every Voice."  Perhaps the AfriClassical community would appreciate reading it.

Warm best wishes and thanks,
Sandra

To AfriClassical: [from William Bolcom]

For many years I've felt "Lift Every Voice and Sing" would be much better as our national anthem than "The Star-Spangled Banner."  Brent Staples' column ["Colin Kaepernick and the Legacy of the Negro National Anthem"] was a joy to read, as I learned I'm not alone in feeling its superiority -- for one thing "Lift Every Voice," aside from its inspiring text, is far more singable than our repurposed drinking song from an almost-forgotten war -- but the hymn's principal virtue is that it nourishes the soul, where in my opinion "The Star-Spangled Banner"'s tune does not.

This summer my new sextet quoted a short passage of "Lift Every Voice," meant as a balm against the current worldwide and growing ugliness found just about everywhere right now.  Audience members have told me how even a few bars of the tune had warmed them; most had not heard it before.

A successful national anthem has renewing power in word and note; a great anthem can sometimes transcend nations.  Right now we need to be resistant, resolute, and courageous in our arts and affairs, and over time this is exhausting.  We need the spiritual food found in "Lift Every Voice" to restore us, and I hereby humbly ask African-Americans to be willing to release that eloquent hymn to all Americans for our souls' health, while realizing that it is a lot to ask from those who have already sacrificed so much.

Sincerely,
William Bolcom

John Malveaux: Happy Hanukkah!


John Malveaux

John Malveaux of www.MusicUNTOLD.com writes:

Warmth of Joy

Glow of prosperity
Sparkle of happiness
May you be blessed with all these & more

John

 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Kelly Hall-Tompkins: "The Fiddler Expanding Tradition" Solo CD Featuring All New Fiddler Arrangements on Broadway Records; Westchester Phil Sunday

New CD on Broadway Records,

BBC Proms,

Kiev and Documentary Film Feature


Kelly Hall-Tompkins writes:
It has been a power packed few months and I remain grateful for the blessing of so many incredible life experiences!  I had the honor of leading as concertmaster and orchestral soloist in Rimsky Korsakov's Capriccio Espagnol for my first ever BBC Proms with the Chineke! Orchestra.  I even had the chance to play the London premiere of my Fiddler Rhapsody live on BBC Radio.  And in an amazing development, I was invited to travel to the "real" Anatevka near Kiev, Ukraine and I am honored to be featured in interviews and a recital for a new American documentary on Fiddler on the Roof, "The Fiddler Film," directed by Max Lewkowicz, which will be in movie theaters this spring!  I am very excited to perform my new Fiddler works as soloist with full orchestra, conducted by Ted Sperling beginning this Sunday with the Westchester Philharmonic.  This concert will feature the premiere performance of new orchestrations of my CD program by Oran Eldor and Ted Sperling.  And last, but not least, I am thrilled to announce my new CD, "The Fiddler Expanding Tradition" now available for Pre-Order on BroadwayRecords.com.  The disc features ALL NEW Fiddler solo arrangements and also features my good friend, Tony-nominated actor and the star of our production, Danny Burstein, in a duet with me in Sunrise Sunset.  Stay tuned for the full retail and digital release on January 26, 2018! 
Cheers and Happy Holidays,
Kelly

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Los Angeles Times: A steady 25-year-old hand leads the L.A. Phil and Hilary Hahn through a riveting Disney Hall concert [Jonathon Heyward]


Los Angeles Times: Conductor Jonathon Heyward and violin soloist Hilary Hahn perform Leonard Bernstein's Serenade with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Walt Disney Concert Hall. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Times: Jonathon Heyward conducts the L.A. Phil through Glinka's 'Ruslan and Ludmilla" Overture at the Sunday afternoon performance at Disney Hall. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)


By Rick Schultz

December 4, 2017

Will the Los Angeles Philharmonic be Jonathon Heyward's good luck charm?
Heyward, a 25-year-old American who is part of the L.A. Phil’s prestigious Dudamel Fellowship Program for conductors, could follow the likes of Lionel Bringuier and Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla, who earned major orchestra appointments after stints with the ensemble.

When illness forced Miguel Harth-Bedoya to withdraw this weekend from the L.A. Phil’s "Bernstein 100" anniversary concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Heyward stepped in. This season as part of the Toyota Symphonies for Youth series, he led the orchestra in Glinka's "Ruslan and Ludmila" Overture and Stravinsky's "Firebird" Suite, and both of those works substituted for Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 3, originally on Harth-Bedoya's program.

More important, on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, Heyward conducted the premiere of an L.A. Phil commission, Tania León's intimate "Ser (Being)," as well as Leonard Bernstein's tricky 1954 Serenade, a five-movement violin concerto inspired by Plato's "Symposium," featuring soloist Hilary Hahn.

With reportedly only two days to prepare for his subscription concert debut weekend, Heyward nevertheless strode to the podium with confidence, launching into Glinka's warhorse with whirlwind vitality and an exuberant boyish charm that was positively Bernsteinian. He then settled down for the Serenade, allowing Hahn, who performed the piece from memory, to conjure some of her warmest, most autumnal and, when appropriate, spikiest playing.

Throughout, Heyward and the L.A. Phil made the most of Bernstein's changing meters and jagged rhythms, capturing the bristling energy of the jazzy finale. The conductor’s rhythmic command provided enough contrast to keep Bernstein's intensely lyrical meditation on love from cloying. He knew when to lead and when to follow, effortlessly balancing his roles as a natural showman and sensitive collaborator in service to the music.
Hahn's encore was a delightful account of the gigue from Bach's Partita No. 3.

After intermission came "Ser." León's finely crafted and bird-sound-haunted piece engaged the coloristic resources of the L.A. Phil to lovely effect. Especially memorable were the chirping clarinet and fluttering flute figures, set off by zesty writing for the brasses. Heyward led the orchestra with delicacy and mature skill, lending León's ethereal 10-minute piece a shapely character.

BBC Radio 3: Hear Chineke! at St. George's Bristol in Violin Concerto of Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges & Concerto Grosso of Errollyn Wallen

BBC Radio 3

23 Days Left to Listen

BBC Radio 3 writes:

Chineke! at Bristol



Their 2017 Proms debut was a massive popular hit. Now Chineke! Orchestra, Europe's first majority BME orchestra continues its residency at St George's Bristol with two classics for string orchestra: an exuberant violin concerto by Joseph Bologne (aka Chevalier de Saint-Georges) and Errollyn Wallen's sparkling Concerto Grosso. Introduced by Georgia Mann.

Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik
Bologne: Violin Concerto in G, Op 8 No 9

INTERVAL

Errollyn Wallen: Concerto Grosso
Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings, Op 48

Chineke! Orchestra
Shaun Matthew (conductor)
Tai Murray (violin)
Isata Kanneh-Mason (piano)
Chi-chi Nwanoku (double bass).

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Cadenza Artists: Lara Downes CD "For Lenny" Wins Classical Recording Foundation Award, to be Released by Sony Classical Feb. 9, 2018

Cadenza Artists reports that Lara Downes received the 2017 Classical Recording Foundation Award "at the 16th Annual Awards Ceremony!"

Cadenza Artists writes:

Cadenza Artists started working with pianist Lara Downes earlier this year, just as her career started to skyrocket. With critical raves from NPR, a new upcoming album for Sony Classical, and a new touring project with collaborators like MacArthur 'Genius' Rhiannon Giddens -- 2017 has been quite the year for Lara!

FOR LENNY, due out on Sony Classical on February 9, 2018, is a celebration of Leonard Bernstein for his 100th birthday and is also Lara's debut album with Sony Classical. The album includes his Anniversaries for Piano, new arrangements of his songs, and world premiere tributes by leading American composers. 
The album features incredible collaborators, including Rhiannon Giddens, Thomas Hampson, Kevin Olusola, and others, and also features newly commissioned works dedicated to Bernstein by leading American composers such as Stephen Sondheim, John Corigliano, Stephen Schwartz, Ned Rorem and others, alongside innovative arrangements of Bernstein favorites.



John Malveaux: Los Angeles Opera's Nabucco Features Morris Robinson as Zaccaria and Dorian Payton Hall in Chorus

Morris Robinson

John Malveaux and Dorian Payton Hall

John Malveaux writes:

Attended Nov 19, 2017 final LA Opera performance of NABUCCO. Morris Robinson sang Zaccaria (chief priest of the Hebrews) to capture the Los Angeles audience with his compelling bass voice and unavoidable stature -see pic 1.  Bass Dorian Payton Hall sang in the LA Opera chorus and left the concluding cast party to briefly visit and and say hello and thank me for attending the SOLD OUT performance-see pic 2.

John Malveaux: Long Beach Symphony Performs William Grant Still's Symphony No. 2, "Song of a New Race"

Speakers during MusicUNTOLD pre-concert gathering to celebrate LB Symphony inclusion of African American composer William Grant Still Symphony No. 2 in G Minor "Song of a New Race" during 2017 Veterans Day concert (John Malveaux, Dr. James Newton, Joseph Taylor, Valencia Mitchell (wife of LB Symphony timpanist), and James Bryant. Promenade room at Harbor Place Tower provided courtesy of Angelique Chamberlain

The SUBJECT of RACE. JUDITH STILL - daughter of legendary composer William Grant Still (African American heritage) and Verna Arvey (Russian Jewish heritage), publisher of WGS Music, and graduate of USC sent a message to the audience attending MusicUNTOLD pre-concert gathering to celebrate Long Beach Symphony inclusion of William Grant Still  Symphony No. 2 in G Minor "Song of A New  Race" during 2017 Veterans Day concert: See pic of Judith and her father WGS. Listen to recorded message by Judith Still provided courtesy of Jack Perlstein, radio producer at Western Michigan University.

John Malveaux sends the above photos and captions concerning the Long Beach Symphony's performance of William Grant Still's Symphony No. 2.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Godwin Sadoh writes "The Centenary of The Cathedral Church of Christ Choir, Lagos" in Nigeria

 
Godwin Sadoh
 
Godwin Sadoh writes:
 
Dear Bill,
      
I am very pleased to inform you that my highly anticipated book is finally in print.  It celebrates 100th anniversary of the oldest choir in Nigeria (1918-2018), documenting accurate facts from the 19th century into the 21st century.  It covers every aspect of the music ministry at the renowned Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos: church history, worship experience, history of the organs from the first little bitty harmonium in the 1800s to the present magnificent ultra-modern 4 manual Oberlinger organ, choir ministry, choir training, ex-choristers (Fela Sowande, Ayo Bankole, Christopher Oyesiku, Samuel Akpabot and Lazarus Ekwueme), Cathedral musicians, outstanding musical activities, recordings, musical analyses, extra-musical deeds, Choir Wives' Association etc.  The book is loaded with a lot of extant photos spanning several decades.
                                                                     
http://www.lulu.com/shop/godwin-sadoh-bestselling-author-on-amazon/the-centenary-of-the-cathedral-church-of-christ-choir-lagos/paperback/product-23428618.html

Intercultural Art & Healing Project Presents Tribute to José Mauricio Nunes Garcia at DiMenna Center in New York City Dec. 12 & 13, 2017

José Mauricio Nunes Garcia  (1767-1830) was an Afro-Brazilian composer and organist who composed Brazil's first opera.  He is featured at AfriClassical.com.

The Intercultural Art & Healing Project writes:

We are organizing an Event about José Mauricio Nunes Garcia at The DiMenna Center of Classical Music in New York City, on December 12th and 13th.