Wednesday, September 23, 2015

John Malveaux: Pope's Speech at White House

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

John Malveaux of 

To loud applause, the pontiff said: “To use a telling phrase of the Reverend Martin Luther King, we can say that we have defaulted on a promissory note and now is the time to honor it.”

John Malveaux

John Malveaux: Associate Prof. Karen Walwyn will preview 'Journey to New Lands' from 'Mother Emanuel' during the 150th Anniversary 13th Amendment

Karen Walwyn

John Malveaux of 

Steinway Artist and Howard University associate professor Karen Walwyn will preview 'Journey to New Lands' from her unfinished monumental work titled 'Mother Emanuel' during the 150th Anniversary 13th Amendment to US Constitution Abolition of Slavery CONCERT, November 21, 2015, DAR Constitution Hall, Washington DC.  'Mother Emanuel' is a multi movement work for solo piano that depicts the journey across the seas to enslavement through the recent tragedy of June 17, 2015 at Mother Emanuel Episcopal Church in Charleston South Carolina.  'Journey to New Lands' is the first movement of 'Mother Emanuel'. Dr. Walwyn will also perform movement 4, 'Dance', from the Florence Price suite, 'In the Land O Cotton'. See

John Malveaux

Monday, September 21, 2015

John Malveaux: 13th Amendment Abolition of Slavery CONCERT

John Malveaux of 

President Lincoln and his generation secured the passage of a series of transformational Amendments—the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth—that many scholars have rightly described as our Nation’s “Second Founding.” These Amendments gave our Nation what President Lincoln promised at Gettysburg— “a new birth of freedom.”

MusicUNTOLD will present an invitational & free 150th Anniversary 13th Amendment US Constitution Abolition of Slavery CONCERT, Saturday, November 21, 2015, DAR Constitution Hall, Washington DC. See

The United States Senate and House of Representatives passed resolutions supporting the SECOND FOUNDING-150 Anniversary of 13th, 14th, & 15th Amendments.

John Malveaux Michael Abels composed 'Delights & Dances,' which receives its world premiere recording on this CD, for the Harlem Quartet

Delights & Dances
Harlem Quartet
Chicago Sinfonietta
Mei-Ann Chen
Cedille Records CDR 90000 141

Cedille Records recently spotlighted its release Delights & Dances:

Cedille Records

Delights & Dances, the Chicago Sinfonietta’s first recording with its new music director, award-winning conductor Mei-Ann Chen, does what this singular ensemble does best: it captivates listeners of all ages and diverse ethnic backgrounds through irresistible music and superb musicianship. On Delights & Dances, the Chicago Sinfonietta, a standard-bearer for racial diversity in the orchestral world, works its magic through a one-of-kind program featuring music for string quartet and orchestra, with guest artist, the Harlem Quartet.

The album takes its title from Michael Abels’ witty, soulful, and infectiously rhythmic Delights & Dances, which receives its world premiere recording. The greatly admired contemporary African-American composer wrote the work for the Harlem Quartet, an ensemble of first-place laureates of the Sphinx Competition for outstanding young black and Latino string players. A New York Times review of the work’s 2007 premiere, presented at Carnegie Hall, described the piece as “an energetic arrangement . . . which incorporates jazz, blues, bluegrass and Latin dance elements” — and which the Harlem Quartet “played with panache.”

Comment by email:
Thanks Bill.  As always, your coverage is greatly appreciated!  Best,  Jim
James Ginsburg

Pianist Richard C. Alston will receive the 'NubianUnion's Legend Award' November 23, 2015 at The Alger House in Greenwich Village

Richard C. Alston

Classical Pianist Richard C. Alston writes that Unity Missionary Investors and The Nubian Center have voted to offer him the honor of its NubianUnion's Legend Award, and he has accepted.  Richard will be one of several people to receive the award at the annual holiday gala on November 23, 2015 at The Alger House in Greenwich Village.

By Marvin Mills (@Van_M3

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sergio A. Mims: Afro-Venezuelan Maestro Rafael Payare makes Royal Festival Hall debut in London Oct. 8, 2015 with All-Russian Program

Rafael Payare

Sergio A. Mims writes:

Came across this info that Rafael Payare will be conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra in a concert of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov at the London Southbank Centre on Oct. 8

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Fantasy Overture, Romeo & Juliet (vers. standard, 1880)
Sergey Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.4
Sergey Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition orch. Ravel

An all-Russian extravaganza focusing on Rachmaninov's final works for piano and orchestra.
The pieces are performed by Daniil Trifonov as part of his Rachmaninov Piano Concerto Cycle.
They are framed by two of the most popular works in the repertoire, conducted by Rafael Payare, making his Royal Festival Hall début.

Philharmonia Orchestra
Rafael Payare conductor
Daniil Trifonov piano

Michael Mosoeu Moerane, Born 20 September 1904, South African-Basotho Composer, First Black Music Graduate of a South African University

Michael Mosoeu Moerane

South African Music; Fatse la heso (My Country) (11:18); National Symphony Orchestra of the South African Broadcasting Corporation; Peter Marchbank, Conductor; Marco Polo 8.223709 (1994)

Guest Author: Christine Lucia

Christine Lucia is a "Fiction and non-fiction writer, and music professor" as detailed at her website, Prof. Lucia is the Guest Author of the Michael Mosoeu Moerane Biography at She is fully responsible for the extensive research required for the Biography. We gratefully acknowledge her generous contribution. 

Michael Mosoeu (‘Mike’) Moerane was a composer, pianist, teacher and conductor. He was born on 20 September 1904 in Mount Fletcher (South Africa) to an evangelical priest, Jacane Moerane and his wife Sofi. His younger siblings included Epainette, who became the wife of ANC leader Govan Mbeki and mother of future South African President Thabo Mbeki. The family lived on their own farm, which was taken away from them in the white South African government’s land reforms of the mid-20th century. The family was Sesotho-speaking, and Sesotho was the language of most of Moerane's song texts and the one that he later insisted his own children speak at home.   

Moerane registered for a Bachelor of Music degree part-time in 1930 through the University College of South Africa, passing eleven subjects over five years. Meanwhile, he married, his first children were born, he taught full-time, and he began composing. In 1941 he completed the B.Mus. degree - the first African composer in southern Africa to do so and one of the first B.Mus. graduates at Rhodes University (a College of Unisa) - with a ‘Composition Exercise’ called Fatše la Heso (Sesotho=My Country). He received help with its composition and orchestration from Rhodes’ head of music, Austrian-born composer Friedrich Hartmann.   

Not all of Moerane’s output of 60-70 works has survived and much of what does is unpublished. He focused on choral music in tonic solfa notation and his first publications in the 1930s, by Lovedale Press, were Liphala (Sesotho=Horns) and an arrangement of Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen. (He made several other arrangements of spirituals.) In 1936 he wrote a set of 10 solo piano pieces in staff notation called Album for the Young (lost), and throughout the 1940s, 50s, and 60s he continued writing much music for choir and a few instrumental or piano pieces (lost). His best-known choral works, frequently prescribed at choral competitions in South African and Lesotho are Ruri (Sesotho=Truly), Sylvia, Della, and Matlala.

Fatše la Heso
This 10-minute tone poem is scored for full orchestra including triple woodwinds, 4 horns, 3 trombones, 3 trumpets, tuba, cymbals, triangle, piano & harp. The composer told Percival Kirby that it “is built mainly around three traditional African themes - a war song, a work song and a lullaby” and that it was accompanied by what he called “a more or less adequate analysis”. The folksongs pull it in a tonal direction while the harmonic language is modernist and the orchestration romantic. As a student work by a largely self-taught composer who did not grow up in a compositional or orchestral environment, Fatše la Heso is extraordinary. The external examiner of Moerane’s portfolio, composer William Henry Bell from the South African College of Music in Cape Town, told Hartmann ”he never had expected such a work to be written in South Africa, and less so by a Native” [sic]. The work was premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra in England in 1944, conducted by pianist Clifford Curzon. The first recording of the work by the BBC in 1944, conducted by Clarence Raybould was destroyed. Dean Dixon premiered the work in New York and Paris, and a commercial recording by the South African National Symphony Orchestra (SANSO) conducted by Edgar Cree in 1973. The last recording (shown here) was made in 1994 by Peter Marchant and the SANSO.

Moerane lived his life between Lesotho and South Africa, his movements often dictated by political involvement and harassment by the authorities. Moerane joined the Non-European Unity Movement in 1943, which was more radical and uncompromising than the ANC (this seems to reflect his personality) and believed in a policy of non-collaboration with any government structure. Probably as a result of his views, he had little time for parastatals such as the South African Broadcasting Corporation, who are often responsible for what little information about his life is officially available.

He thought of himself as Basotho, a staunch Protestant and a classical musician. (He hated jazz: in Queenstown his next-door neighbor was Todd Matshikiza, composer of the musical King Kong, whom he scorned.) Moerane’s six children were all brought up musically and several of them learnt the piano, at which Moerane was very proficient, and his youngest son, Thabo (1947-2006) even more so. Moerane was a strict teacher and conductor and occasionally adjudicated competitions where his songs were prescribed. He spent his last years at home in Tsifadimali, Lesotho, and died in hospital in Bloemfontein, South Africa on 27 January 1980. He is buried in Tsifadimali.

The Southern African Music Rights Organisation, of which Moerane was a member, has an incomplete catalogue of Moerane’s music. [A more complete list is available on Michael Mosoeu Moerane's web page at]

By Dr. Philip J Rogers (@DrPhilipJRogers)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

John Malveaux: 150th Anniversary 13th Amendment US Constitution Abolition of Slavery Concert

John Malveaux of 

MusiciUNTOLD post concert to celebrate 150th Anniversary of 13th Amendment on community calendar of Classical WETA 90.9 FM in Washington DC as initial public announcement in the Capitol. See
John Malveaux Unique string group Sphinx Virtuosi to come to CLC [College of Lake County] stage

Sphinx Virtuosi consists of 18 young black and Latino men and women string players invited to travel and perform. (Sphinx Virtuosi / Handout)

September 16, 2015

Sheryl DeVore

Sphinx Virtuosi is about opportunities — both for the audience and for the young professional musicians who comprise the acclaimed touring group, said Abigayl Venman, director of artistic affairs for the Sphinx Organization, based in Detroit.
Starting a six-week tour this month, 18 of the nation's finest black and Hispanic string instrumentalists of high school and college age will come to CLC Sept. 25 and later head to Carnegie Hall, where they have been welcomed for seven consecutive years.


In a return engagement to CLC, the ensemble will perform a program titled "Inspiring Women," a collection of works written by women or inspired by great women, including Jennifer Higdon, a contemporary and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer. "It's a piece she wrote for a full orchestra and reworked for a string ensemble," Venman said.
Another piece was written by composer Daniel Bernard Roumain and in honor of Rosa Parks, a civil rights activist in the 1950s.
"The second movement is particularly great," Venman said. "There's clapping involved and a lot of different rhythms and string effects to create different sounds. It makes you want to move, to dance. It's really energetic."


Sphinx Virtuosi

When: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25

Where: James Lumber Center, College of Lake County, 19351 Washington St., Grayslake

Tickets: $12-$30

Information:; 847-543-2000

Copyright © 2015, Lake County News-Sun

Friday, September 18, 2015

Patrick D. McCoy: Washington Life Magazine: Perfect Pitch: Highest Honor [Tenor George Shirley Among Recipients of National Medal of Arts]

President Obama bestowing upon legendary tenor George Shirley the National Medal of Arts in the special ceremony held in the East Room.  Shirley is the first African-American tenor to sing a leading role at The Metropolitan Opera (Photo by Kadesh DuBose/KmBd Studios™)

Famed author Steven King was among the 2014 National Medal of Arts Recipients at The White House. (Photo by Kadesh DuBose/KmBd Studios™)

Acclaimed actress Sally Field is presented the 2014 National Medal of Arts by President Obama at The White House. (Photo by Kadesh
DuBose/KmBd Studios™)

Just before receiving his official honor at The White House, medal recipient George Shirley was in attendance at a private breakfast hosted in celebration of the occasion by the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts. Pictured: Alvy Powell, Terri Allen, George Shirley and Pamela Simonson. (Photo by Debra Johnson)

George Shirley, Sally Field and Stephen King were among those honored with the National Medal of the Arts at The White House.

By Patrick D. McCoy

The skies of downtown D.C. were overcast, but nothing could dim the festivity that shined in the artistic achievements of several greats honored in the East Room for the National Medal of Arts ceremony  at The White House. How befitting it was for elegant orchestral music greet guests as they arrived for ceremony. The East Room seemed to bustle with great anticipation as the invited guests awaited the arrival of the afternoon’s honorees.

The National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government. It’s awarded by the President of the United States to individuals or groups who “are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States.”

Following presentation of the National Medal of Arts was the presentation the National Humanities Medals.  Recognizably present arts leaders for the ceremony were NEA Chairman Jane Chu and Aaron Dworkin, founder of Sphinx and now Dean of the University of Michigan School of Music. There were eleven recipients of the National Medal of Arts.  They were: visual artist John Baldessari, theater director Ping Chong, actress Miriam Colón, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, actress Sally Field, visual artist Ann Hamilton, author Stephen King, folk singer Meredith Monk, the University Musical Society, author and educator Tobias Wolff and operatic tenor George Shirley.  Presented the medals by President Obama, there was a sense of joy and adulation experienced by each recipient receiving the nation’s highest honor recognizing accomplishments in the arts.