Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sergio A. Mims: Southbank Centre Concert with Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with OAE's Principal Double Bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku 12 May 2015

Chi-chi Nwanoku

Sergio A. Mims writes:

After seeing the post from Michael Wright about the UK tour of Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste at the Southbank Centre in London I realized that I neglected to send you this notice about another concert at the Centre in May 2015 with the period instrument orchestra The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenmant and their principal double bass player Chi-chi Nwanoku 

Together they will be doing a major concert which also includes a world premiere of the new work for double bass and orchestra, Concerto à double entendre by woman composer Stevie Wishart

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment | Southbank Centre


PRI's TheWorld: A mixed-race German confronts white supremacists face-to-face, including the Klan

Mo Asumang

Most people would probably run for shelter if confronted with death threats. But Mo Asumang had a different impulse: “I don’t want to hide — it’s not my nature.”

Asumang — who is half-German and half-Ghanaian — came into the public eye during the 1990s as one of the first black women on German television. More recently, the actress and presenter became the target of right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis simply for being a person of color on television.

One particularly jarring threat came via song — a track titled “This Bullet Is For You, Mo Asumang” by the German white-power band White Aryan Rebels.

“Of course I get emails from neo-Nazis, and they are really awful,” she says. “I don’t want to mention what they write.”

But instead of shying away from her attackers, Asumang decided to confront them directly. “I thought, ‘Who are these people? How do they react when they meet me?’" she says.

She filmed those confrontations as part of an upcoming documentary called "The Aryans." The title references the attacks against her, which are based on her “non-Aryan” identity. But Aryan is a problematic title — one that Asumang says was co-opted by the Nazis to describe the “master race.” Historically, she says, it’s not a white identity at all.

“I just wanted to find out, what are Aryans? Because nobody ever questions this," she says. "Everybody thinks it’s tall, blond and blue-eyed — what the Nazis told us in the Nazi times."

In fact, the term has a much different provenance. "[The word Aryan] comes from Iran, from old Persia, from parts of India — that’s where the Aryans have been living," Asumang explains. "The Germans are no Aryans. In the Nazis’ time, they just took this word because they needed something against the Jews.”

Comment by email:
It pains me to hear of racism in Europe.  And I thought neo-Nazism died with Hitler and was now illegal.  Dominique-René de Lerma

Charles Kaufmann: Added Subtitles Reveal Hiawatha's Beauty on The Longfellow Chorus YouTube channel

is profiled at AfriClassical.comwhich 
features a comprehensive Works List and a 
Bibliography by Dr. Dominique- René de Lerma, 
We are collaborating with the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Foundation of the U.K.,]

The Longfellow Chorus
Portland, Maine

September 18, 2014

This is a state of the art first class production suitable for any concert hall in the world.
     -- John Malveaux, concert promoter/arts presenter, Long Beach, California, about The Longfellow Chorus Maine Stage broadcast of The Song of Hiawatha.

Enjoying the @LongfellowChrus performance of @SamuelCTaylorFn 's mighty Scenes from the Song of Hiawatha . A gorgeous score, enthusiastically realised by the @LongfellowChrus in a series of live performances in Portland, Maine
     -- Twitterer Robert Clements, Sydney, Australia, to his followers.

Just a note to say that I have added subtitles to the complete 2 hour, 30 minute Maine Stage broadcast of The Song of Hiawatha as found archived on The Longfellow Chorus YouTube channel. The added subtitles help tremendously in appreciating the beauty of both Coleridge-Taylor's music and of Longfellow's poem.

I've also noted in the subtitles where Coleridge-Taylor has adapted or omitted segments of the Longfellow original, and this is useful for gaining insight into how Coleridge-Taylor altered the poem's lines of trochaic tetrameter, grouped in irregularly numbered stanzas, to fit the even four-bar phrases of traditional classical music:

Charles Kaufmann, Artistic Director

PO Box 5133
Portland, Maine 04101

New York Times: Coming Soon, a Century Late: A Black Film Gem

New York Times: Footage from what may be the earliest surviving feature film with a black cast, made in 1913. Credit Bert Williams Lime Kiln Field Day Project, via Museum of Modern Art

New York Times: Bert Williams courting Odessa Warren Grey in a scene from the unreleased 1913 film. Credit Bert Williams Lime Kiln Field Day Project, via Museum of Modern Art
The New York Times

Felicia R. Lee

Sept. 21, 2014

For decades, the seven reels from 1913 lay unexamined in the film archives of the Museum of Modern Art. Now, after years of research, a historic find has emerged: what MoMA curators say is the earliest surviving footage for a feature film with a black cast. It is a rare visual depiction of middle-class black characters from an era when lynchings and stereotyped black images were commonplace. What’s more, the material features Bert Williams, the first black superstar on Broadway. Williams appears in blackface in the untitled silent film along with a roster of actors from the sparsely documented community of black performers in Harlem on the cusp of the Harlem Renaissance. Remarkably, the reels also capture behind-the-scenes interactions between these performers and the directors.

MoMA plans an exhibition around the work called “100 Years in Post-Production: Resurrecting a Lost Landmark of Black Film History,” which is to open on Oct. 24 and showcase excerpts and still frames. Sixty minutes of restored footage will be shown on Nov. 8 in the museum’s annual To Save and Project festival dedicated to film preservation.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

National Archives Presents "Breath of Freedom" September 25: Film and discussion to explore vital role of African Americans in World War II

Press Release
September 15, 2014

Washington, DC…On Thursday, September 25, at 7 PM, the National Archives presents a special screening and discussion of Breath of Freedom, the story of the one-million-plus African Americans who fought in World War II (2014; 46 minutes). A discussion including Dr. Frank Smith, Jr., director of the African American Civil War Memorial & Museum, and Maria Höhn, author of A Breath of Freedom: The Civil Rights Struggle, African American GIs, and Germany, will follow the program. This event is presented in partnership with Smithsonian Channel and the Congressional Black Caucus.

About Breath of Freedom

They fought for democracy in a segregated army and marched as conquerors into a country in ruins. Finding a "breath of freedom" in post-World War II Germany, African-American soldiers experienced for the first time what it felt like to be treated as equals—and returned home determined to change their country. This largely unknown chapter in American history is told in Breath of Freedom, a new two-hour documentary narrated by Academy-Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. 

Breath of Freedom traces African-American soldiers from Normandy to the Battle of the Bulge, when American forces faced such a crisis that they had no choice but to break the rule of strict segregation and allow black soldiers to fight side by side with whites.

Featuring interviews with former Secretary of State General Colin Powell and Congressman John Lewis, this is the remarkable story of how World War II and its aftermath played a huge role in the Civil Rights Movement. It’s a story told through the powerful recollections of veterans like Charles Evers, brother of slain Civil Rights icon Medgar Evers.

This event is free and open to the public, and will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance, located on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW. The building is open 10 AM–5:30 PM daily, and is fully accessible. Metro: Yellow or Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station.

Music composed and performed by flutist Valerie Coleman at Composers Concordance 30th Anniversary, 7 PM Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, 549 W. 52nd St., NYC

Valerie Coleman

Gene, Milica and Dan have planned an evening of fun, games and yes music to celebrate the 30th Season of Composers Concordance at Gallery MC.(549 West 52nd Street, 8th Fl)

Whew! You've got to admit that's an accomplishment. Composers Concordance has done it by presenting contemporary music in innovative ways, with an emphasis on thematic programming.

Come on- this season we're celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Buffalo Wing! LOL Here's the info on our Anniversaries Festival in December.

WINGJAMMER kicks off our festival November 29, featuring 30 composers playing 30 works.

Saxtravaganza - Honoring Adolphe Sax, inventor of the Saxaphone 
Happy Birthday Mr. Webern-Student of Schoenberg and proponent of the 12 tone technique and Total Serialism

Sweet Concordant Strings - CompCord Chamber Orchestra
In observance of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth.


Equal Temperament - The Headphones Concerts
Imagine a piano tuner, 30 headphones, three composers with various computers and electronic effects. This will have a limited audience on December 7th, so get your tickets asap

We need your donations and support to make this our best season ever and on September 27th you can find out more about our exciting concerts, meet our directors, musicians, composers, staff and board members and listen to a premier of:

'The Composers Concordance Trio Suite'

for flute, clarinet and piano 

 A Demonstration of ThinkPlayTM guitar technology

A performance by the prog-rock trio Erbium, with guest guitarist Peter Fabrizio.

Violinist Lara St. John, vocalist Loire Cotler, flutist Valerie Coleman, clarinetist Michiyo Suzuki, pianists Dimitri Dover and Eduard Laurel, and double bassist Troy Rinker, performing music of Gloria Coates, Valerie Coleman, Dan Cooper, Daniel Palkowski, Milica Paranosic, Gene Pritsker, Dave Soldier, and Randy Woolf, among others. 
Buy now or donate. We depend on your generosity and support!


John Malveaux: Superb Latonia Moore as Aida sings "Ritorna vincitor" ("Return a conqueror"), by Giuseppe Verdi, on YouTube (7:17)

John Malveaux of 

Metropolitan opera soprano Latonia Moore with pianist/composer Richard Thompson was superb during donated concert performance to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 2012 in Los Angeles. The concert was co-produced by John Malveaux of MusicUNTOLD and Gail Eichenthal of KUSC Classical Radio. KUSC Classical provided a delayed broadcast of the concert and 30 day on demand podcast via Please see/hear youtube video of Ms. Moore singing "Ritorna vincitor"/Return a conqueror from Aida  

John Malveaux

Errollyn Wallen: World Premiere of 'Burn' for alto flute and double bass 4:30 PM Sept. 20, 2014 at King's Place, London

Errollyn Wallen

Errollyn Wallen writes:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Two concerts coming up featuring my music. 

Saturday September 20th 
Kings Place, London

BURN for alto flute and double bass ***world premiere

Friday September 26th
St Mary's Church, Walthamstow, London


A benefit concert featuring Errollyn Wallen and Richard WIlson ('One Foot in the Grave') with special guests

To reserve tickets rsvp Ewan Marshall:


The live performance of Are You Worried About the Rising Cost of Funerals?  featured in the recent PRSF New Music Biennial is available to download now 
from NMC, iTunes and Amazon

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Harlem Chamber Players Season Opening Concert, Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 3 PM, St. Mary's Episcopal Church

David Berry, Pianist

Joyce Hammann, Violinist

Eric K. Washington,
Journalist, Historian and Author
Manhattanville: Old Heart of West Harlem

3:00 PM
Sunday, September 21, 2014

St. Mary's Episcopal Church
521 West 126th Street, New York, NY 10027
Between Broadway and Amsterdam.
Click here to view and print the flyer.
Click here for directions.

J.S. Bach Viola da Gamba Sonata in D Major
Uri Caine With Esenin in Moscow
Norman Weiss Bagatelles
Max Bruch Selections from Eight Pieces
Johannes Brahms Piano Quartet in A Major

David Berry, Piano
Joyce Hammann, Violin
Amadi Azikiwe, Viola
Lawrence Zoernig, Cello
Liz Player, Clarinet

Rick Robinson: 'Despite early private donations, our efforts have so far failed to match a $30,000 grant' from Knight Foundation

Rick leads CutTime Simfonica for a packed room at Lake George.

Rick Robinson:

CutTime News

September 18, 2014 

Hello again!  

Wow! It has been three long months since I wrote to you. I hope your summer was delightful. Although the pace of CutTime's progress was slow this summer, I've been endlessly reading, writing and meeting, emails, social media, applications and people trying to solve this puzzle.

Despite early private donations, our efforts have so far failed to match a $30,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its Knight Arts Challenge, to expand the Classical Revolution Detroit series (CRD), now in its fourth year. We were given an extension past the September 1st deadline, but unless we move the needle past the current $11,000, we will lose the funding that can turn club classical innovation into something real and profound for all Detroiters!
Project donations can be made online here.

We are launching a Kickstarter campaign for $5,000 next month, trying some back channels into some local foundations, enlisting powerful new allies in the fight for classical music, and planning a fundraising luncheon-showcase in November. You will be notified of public opportunities.

Meanwhile, our few summer events included a Campus Martius show and a short house concert for DSO Musical Feasts, standing in stark contrast to the previous summer's exciting weekly series. Monthly CRD events continued with growing participation and lately some quality ensembles. The next one is this Tuesday, September 23rd, 8pm at our Eastside home, the Cadieux Cafe.

The highlight this summer was certainly our 3rd annual residency with the Lake George Music Festival in upstate New York. This year we featured four ensembles in the Art Attack series (video) despite some rainy weather. We also had four ensembles participate in the Late Night event to PACK The Boathouse Restaurant, with CutTime Simfonica setting the bar high (pictured at top). Plus we had a magnificent performance of the Introduction to Mighty Love that had everyone singing on the way out. We also facilitated a musician party on the lake with our host family that has become an annual tradition.
It was also around this time that CutTime became a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a New York 501(c)3. This lets CutTime solicit and receive tax-deductible donations as well as apply for a few grants for our ongoing artistic and charitable operations (but not the Knight Project).

Although the summer was disappointing with so few gigs, I did work out quite a bit and feel much healthier. Now that Fall has arrived, I have a number of concerts and events to share, the bulk of which are on the website calendar. My favorite is not even a CutTime concert, but a premiere of my new orchestration of Pork 'n Beans (A DE-troit Counterpoint) on November 8 by the Michigan Philharmonic at the Village Theater in Plymouth-Canton. This expansion is the start of my promise to fully orchestrate my works developed with CutTime Simfonica. Here you'll find more counterpoints, more power and more surprises with classical music. A recording may eventually become available online.

CutTime has a new collaborative partner in the Kresge Eminent Artist, poet and playwright Bill Harris (pictured below). We enjoyed combining instrumental music with context-setting poetry and are expanding our work together October 10 at
The Ford House. We're also talking about a long-term project, loosely adapting The Soldier's Tale  for Detroit students with the help of a major foundation grant. Wish us luck.
Poet Bill Harris and composer Rick Robinson

Next week CutTime heads down to Raleigh-Durham, NC so Simfonica can help artistically launch the students (and parents) of an El Sistema program there. On the way I'll meet up with a pianist with similar ideas for new audience, a conductor who purchases my retail symphony transcriptions, and a class of beginning violin students in Greensboro.

More CutTime news is coming next month. So if your autumn is having a great start, just sit tight, enjoy the music at and we'll get back to you soon with more ways we are going to cut loose with classical for new audiences. Remember that NOW is the best time to book CutTime Players for your company Christmas parties.

Thanks for caring!

- Rick Robinson