Monday, February 2, 2009

Marion Philharmonic Plays William Grant Still's 'Symphony No. 2 – Song of a New Race' Feb. 21

[Oregon Festival of American Music Presents William Grant Still; Oregon String Quartet; Victor Steinhardt, piano; Fritz Gearhart, violin; Koch 3 7546 2H1 (2002)] 

Voices: Celebrate black history
executive director, Marion Philharmonic Orchestra
Published: Sunday, February 1, 2009 1:09 AM EST 
“Feb. 21, the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra will present the William Grant Still Symphony No. 2 — Song of a New Race. This wonderful symphony is especially appropriate for Black History Month and even more special as we just inaugurated our first African-American president. William Grant Still (1895-1978) was an African-American classical composer who wrote more than 150 compositions. 

“He was the first African-American to conduct a major American symphony orchestra; the first to have a symphony of his own performed by a leading orchestra; the first to have an opera performed by a major opera company; and the first to have an opera performed on national television. The Symphony No. 2 includes movements Yearning, Sorrow, Humor and Aspiration. Still said of the work; 'If I have a wish to express, it would be that my music may serve a purpose larger than mere music. If it will help in some way to bring about better interracial understanding in America and in other countries, then I will feel that the work is justified.'” [William Grant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at, where a complete Works List by Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma is also found]

No comments: