Sunday, February 28, 2010

Leo Brouwer, Afro-Cuban Composer, Guitarist & Conductor Born March 1, 1939

[Leo Brouwer]

Leo Bouwer, the Afro-Cuban classical guitarist who is also a conductor and a prolific composer, is profiled at He was born in Havana, Cuba March 1, 1939 and has enjoyed a flourishing career since completing his studies in Music in the U.S. at the Julliard School and the Hartt College of Music, where his major subject of study was composition.

His enormous influence on guitar music in particular and classical music in general is demonstrated by more than a hundred recordings on which he has played, composed or conducted. Brouwer's compositions reflect classical, Afro-Cuban, jazz and avant-garde influences. His many film scores, including Like Water for Chocolate, have brought his music to the attention of a huge audience around the world.

Brouwer's version of the Beatles tune Penny Lane opened the “Cubadisco Guitar Fiesta” in Havana on March 21, 2009. Leo Brouwer conducted the Moscow Chamber Orchestra Musica Viva in Kaluga, Russia, at the XII “World of Guitar Festival,” May 25-29, 2009. On June 1, 2009 AfriClassical excerpted a very favorable review of Fuga Libera, a 2007 CD which includes Concerto Elegiaco, in a performance by Denis Sung-Hô (guitar).

AfriClassical reported on July 1, 2009 that Leo Brouwer had received Cuba's “National Film Award” for 2009. On July 31, 2009 we quoted the Star-Telegram as saying Variations on a Theme of Django Reinhardt by Leo Brouwer has a “wistful melody.” On Aug. 23, 2009 was quoted as saying “Brouwer's Estudios 'in a direct line to the Études for guitar' of Sor & Villa Lobos.” A daily blog on the music of Leo Brouwer alone would have no shortage of news to report!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Imani Winds Chamber Music Institute, The Juilliard School at Lincoln Center July 31- Aug.7

[Imani Winds]

July 31st - August 7th, 2010
The Juilliard School at Lincoln Center
New York City
Imani Winds Chamber Music Institute is an intensive 8-day program devoted to excellence in wind chamber music performance, located right in the heart of New York City! Musicians participate daily in masterclasses and seminars with Imani Winds, a Grammy-nominated wind quintet known for their legacy of innovative repertoire, outstanding recitals and outreach programs.

Performers will rehearse and perform in ensembles that receive daily coachings, and will perform for notable guest artists. Career-building seminars with top management/PR professionals, auditions training, alexander technique/yoga for musicians, and hands-on educational outreach training are also a focus of the institute. Participants will perform in a culmination recital at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Rose Studio.

For woodwind, French horn players, and chamber groups ages 16 and over. The institute is for young professionals, college students, advanced adult hobbyists and high school students. Auditors are welcome.

The institute provides optional room & board at Juilliard's Meredith Willson Residence Hall at Lincoln Center, in the Samuel B. and David Rose Building.

'Black Classical Musicians in Philadelphia' by Elaine Mack, Part I

[Leon Bates]

On Feb. 6, 2010 AfriClassical posted: “'Black Classical Musicians in Philadelphia' by Elaine Mack is Topic of WHYY Radio, Feb. 12, 11 AM.” Author Elaine Mack wrote, in part: “The product of 14 years of work, this book consists of personal interviews with Black musicians who were born, bred, educated, or made major contributions to the musical life of Philadelphia.” Her website is: Elaine Mack has made excerpts from her book available for publication on AfriClassical, to give readers a taste of the biographies she compiled and presented in her book. This excerpt is Part 1. It happens to pertain to a performer whose concerts have been featured in AfriClassical on numerous occasions, in part because he often plays the works of Composers of African Descent

Leon Bates, concert pianist
“I’m away from home about eight months out of the year. It’s a pretty substantial amount of time. Of course, this is the way it has to be if I’m going to have a career… The reality is that a lot of times one engagement directly follows another, so it means you’re running all over the place… Then there are the interrelated activities, like interviews or outreach programs, children’s concerts, or maybe a master class. You wind up getting very tired. At the end of that period you may have to fly off to another location and do a completely different kind of thing. It could be a solo recital, which requires a different kind of mental preparation and focus. This is the nature of concert life; it’s a constantly changing kind of situation.”

Pianist Terrence Wilson & Brevard Symphony Orchestra Perform March 6 & 7, 2010

Terrence Wilson)

AfriClassical's most extensive consideration of the career of the African American pianist Terrence Wilson came on Sept. 25, 2009, when we posted: “AfriClassical Interviews Terrence Wilson on Naxos CD of 'Deus ex Machina' by Michael Daugherty.” We recently learned of his participation in three concerts in two days with the Brevard Symphony Orchestra. The first two concerts will take place at 2 PM and 8 PM at the King Center in Melbourne, Florida, on Saturday, March 6, 2010. The third will be at 7:30 PM on Sunday, March 7, 2010 at Community Church of Vero Beach:

“March 6, 2010 Saturday 2 & 8 PM
King Center, Melbourne
Terrence Wilson, piano
Lukas Foss – Night Music for John Lennon
Camille Saint-Saens – Piano Concerto No. 2 with Terrence Wilson
Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 7

“The BSO offers a Symphonic Tribute to several musical giants, from JS Bach to John Lennon, with this remarkable program. The late American composer Lukas Foss began composing his Night Music the morning after John Lennon was killed. Saint-Saen's brilliant 2nd Piano Concerto features an opening movement that is a loving tribute to the keyboard music of JS Bach. The concert concludes with Beethoven's magnificent Seventh Symphony, described by Wagner as 'the apotheosis of the dance.'"

“March 7, 2010 Sunday 7:30 PM
Brevard Symphony Orchestra: With conductor Christopher Confessore and pianist Terrence Wilson. Community Church of Vero Beach, 1901 23rd St., Vero Beach”

Marian Anderson String Quartet Performs in Wooster Chamber Series in Ohio, Feb. 28, 3 PM

(Marian Anderson String Quartet)

“On September 30, 1989 the members of the Marian Anderson String Quartet, then known as the Chaminade Quartet, came together; unaware that they would soon change history. In 1991, the Quartet won the International Cleveland Quartet Competition, becoming the first African American ensemble in history to win a classical music competition. To highlight this singular achievement the members of the quartet asked permission of the great contralto, Marian Anderson, to use her name as their own. Miss Anderson responded with heartfelt approval and, in a memorable show of gratitude, the Marian Anderson String Quartet played for its legendary namesake and her nephew, conductor James DePriest.
The College of Wooster (Wooster, OH)
Sunday, February 28, 2010, 3:00 PM
Gault Recital Hall of Scheide Music Center
525 East University Street
WOOSTER, Ohio - The Wooster Chamber Music Series welcomes the Marian Anderson String Quartet on Sunday February 28 at 3:00 pm. Making their first appearance with the Wooster Chamber Music Series, the Anderson will perform Dances of Panama by William Grant Still, Four for Tango by Astor Piazzolla, String Quartet #1 by Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, and conclude with String Quartet #12, op. 96 "American" by Antonin Dvorak. The Anderson quartet is comprised of four African American women, and they take their name from the famous contralto, Marian Anderson.” [Maestro James DePreist and Composers Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson (1932-2004) and William Grant Still (1895-1978) are profiled at, which presents complete Works Lists for both composers by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma]

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sowetan says of J. S. Mzilikazi Khumalo (b. 1932) 'Choral music luminary to be honoured'

[J. S. Mzilikazi Khumalo]

J. S. Mzilikazi Khumalo is a South African Composer and Choral Director who was born June 20, 1932. He is profiled at

26 February 2010
Gugu Sibiya
“One of the South Africa’s accomplished music luminaries Professor Mzilikazi Khumalo will be honoured at a function at Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Soweto at 2pm tomorrow. Khumalo will be lauded for his immense contribution to choral music. He has not only made choral music his life but ensured that all the brilliant – living and dead – composers get recognition.
“This weekend Mzilikazi will officially retire from two of three choirs he had conducted for years. 'I am stepping down from the two choirs because I am no longer a spring chicken. At 77, I am old and tired and can’t keep up with the work required to deliver a successful A-plus choir. I am talking about big choirs that practise at night, in Soweto.

Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra Performs Black Composers on WRTI 90.1 FM, Feb. 28, 5-6 PM ET

[Jeri Lynne Johnson]

AfriClassical has been following Jeri Lynne Johnson and The Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra in its first public season. We are pleased to announce the orchestra's Public Radio debut on Sunday, Feb. 28:
The BLACK PEARL CHAMBER ORCHESTRA debuts on public radio on WRTI FM 90.1
Sunday, February 28th at 5:00 – 6:00 PM
WRTI Temple Public Radio, 90.1 FM
This broadcast is part of WRTI's celebration of Black History Month and features works by
African-American composers
We invite you to listen to one full hour of amazing masterworks by some of the most prominent African-American composers in recordings and performances by the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra. Jeremy Kesselman, oboist and the BPCO's own Principal Trumpet, Rodney Mack join Maestra Johnson and the BPCO in a wide variety of works that showcase the diverse styles and influences that have inspired these amazing composers, performers and teachers. As a special feature, Rodney Mack will also be heard in performance with his own group, the Rodney Mack Philadelphia Big Brass.
For people outside the broadcast area of WRTI FM 90.1, Jeri Lynne Johnson tells us, “WRTI is listed as a radio station on iTunes just like any other radio station and you can listen live that way...” She also notes that other online music players may be used.

William Grant Still - Danzas de Panama

George Walker - Lyric for Strings

Francis Johnson, arr. Matthew Brown - Victoria Galop and Dirge
as performed by the Rodney Mack Philadelphia Big Brass

Ellis Marsalis - Fourth Autumn
Featuring Rodney Mack, trumpet

Adolphus Hailstork - Songs of the Magi
Featuring Jeremy Kesselman, oboe
[Adolphus Hailstork, Francis Johnson, William Grant Still and George Walker are profiled at]

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mumford: 'Yes wending IS written for the violist Wendy Richman and much of the harmonic material IS based on her name'

[Jeffrey Mumford; Photo: Al Fuchs, courtesy Oberlin Conservatory of Music]

On Feb. 18, 2010 AfriClassical posted: “Violist Eliesha Nelson in Jeffrey Mumford's 'wending,' Cleveland Composers Guild Feb. 28.” Yesterday we asked Jeffrey Mumford this question: “I notice wending is performed on an Albany CD, the promise of the far horizon, by Wendy Richman, viola. Is the work's title related to the performer's first name?” AfriClassical is grateful to the composer for his prompt reply:

“Great to hear from you! Yes
wending IS written for the violist Wendy Richman and much of the harmonic material IS based on her name (see below)":

"program note

wending is a musical portrait and a celebration of the phenomenal and visionary talents of violist Wendy Richman

Much of the basic harmonic material is based on the letters in her name (ie. wEnDy riCHmAn).

As part of the scenario of the work’s ongoing development, slower moving material is often interrupted by sharply accented chords or single notes which in and of themselves, establish an independent layer of activity unto itself. In addition, more rapidly moving passages reveal themselves periodically and eventually transform into tremolos at which point aspects of the more ethereal material from the opening reassert themselves.

The work is prevailingly rhapsodic and is in one movement

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

J. S. Mzilikazi Khumalo (b. 1932) Composed Music of 'Princess Magogo' for Opera Africa

[J.S. Mzilikazi Khumalo]

James Stephen Mzilikazi Khumalo (b. 1932) is a South African composer, arranger and choral director, and a Professor Emeritus of African Languages. He is profiled at Prof. Khumalo has been a prominent figure in South African Music for decades. The following are excerpts from the website of the opera Princess Magogo, for which Prof. Khumalo composed the music:

“The significance of Princess Magogo kaDinuzulu as a composer, musician and authority on Zulu music is a powerful topic for an opera. The world premiere of Princess Magogo by Mzilikazi Khumalo in Durban’s Playhouse Theatre in 2002 attracted international attention and was broadcast live to the USA, UK and Europe by WFMT Radio and Networks, Chicago.”

“The opera Princess Magogo kaDinuzulu, which had its world premiere in 2002 in Durban, tells the true story of Princess Magogo kaDinuzulu daughter of king Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo. The princess was a revered singer, composer and historian who has for many years been recognized as the greatest living authority on Zulu music. Her vast repertoire of traditional Zulu songs extends back as far as the 18th century, her fame extends beyond kwaZulu Natal, and transcends cultural borders.”

“The opera, against a turbulent historical background, captures and is a celebration of the life and music making traditions of the indigenous people of KZN. Princess Magogo kaDinuzulu was commissioned and first produced by Opera Africa. It is the first opera to be written and performed in Zulu, emanating from a South African artistic team, and performed by African singers and dancers. The artistic team comprise Themba Msimang (librettist), Mzilikazi Khumalo (composer) and Michael Hankinson (orchestrator).” 'R. Nathaniel Dett Club of Music and Allied Arts presents its Black History Program'

[ABOVE: The Collected Piano Works of R. Nathaniel Dett; Summy-Birchard (1973)]

Wednesday, February 24, 2010
by Earl Calloway
“The R. Nathaniel Dett Club of Music and Allied Arts presents its Black History Program in dedication of Morris T. Dalton Sunday at 4 p.m. at the St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 3801 S. Wabash Ave. Artists performing include The Classic Act Choral Ensemble, Ragina Bunton, soprano; James Murray, saxophone; Curtis Boyd, baritone; Charles H. Wagner, tenor; Clancy Johnson, baritone; Charles J. Smith, piano; St. Thomas Praise Dancers; Mittie Cowan, soprano; Sabrina Dianne Smith, dramatist; Phyllis Calderon, violin; Glenn Klipp, piano; and Shirley Savage, dramatic speaker. [R. Nathaniel Dett is profiled at, where a complete Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma is featured.] 'Pulitzer Prize-winning poet laureate Rita Dove to read at Tulane University'

[George Bridgetower (Copyright: The British Museum); Rita Dove]

February 24, 2010, 8:23AM
“Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rita Dove, the country's first African-American poet laureate, will read at Tulane University's McAlister Auditorium on Monday, March 8 at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. After the reading, Dove will sign copies of her book. The author of nine critically acclaimed collections of poetry, Dove has also published fiction, drama and an essay collection, The Poet's World. In addition, she collaborated with composer John Williams, providing lyrics for the song cycle Seven for Luck and teamed with him for a dramatic reading at "America's Millennium," the White House's New Year celebration in 2000.”

“The New Yorker described her 2009 collection Sonata Mulattica – which explores the life of biracial violin prodigy George Bridgetower, who inspired Beethoven's famous Kreutzer Sonata – as 'a virtuosic treatment of a virtuoso's life.'" [Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma's scholarly article on the life and music of George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower (1780-1860) is found at]

Pianist Eldred Marshall Joins SMU Voices of Inspiration in Black History Concert Feb. 28

[“The Brahms Recital” of Eldred Marshall]

A story in today's Dallas News highlights the role of pianist Eldred Marshall in a Black History Month event set for Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010. In October and November of 2009 AfriClassical explored Eldred Marshall's career in music, including his two CDs.
12:00 AM CST on Wednesday, February 24, 2010
“The Southern Methodist University Voices of Inspiration gospel choir and classical pianist Eldred Marshall will be among singers, dancers and narrators who will explore Africa's influence on gospel music at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Mount Horeb Missionary Baptist Church, 3306 Carpenter Ave. Call 214-502-9077.”

On October 25, 2009 AfriClassical posted: “AfriClassical Interviews African American Pianist Eldred Marshall.” A short time later, on Nov. 4, 2009, Eldred was again featured in: “'The Brahms Recital' CD of African American Pianist Eldred Marshall Available From Website.” After six years as a staff member for several elected officials, he had recently returned to school. Eldred is currently a graduate student working on a Master's degree in Piano Performance at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. The pianist explained that in 2008 he made two CDs which are available at his website, The first to be recorded was “Eldred Marshall: Live and Uncut,” consisting of works composed by Liszt, Haydn, Bach, Schumann and himself.

The second CD was “The Brahms Recital.” Its program is the “Piano Sonata No. 9 in F Minor, Op. 5” (1853) and “Four Piano Pieces, Op. 119” (1893). The CD was recorded at Wahlberg Studios in San Francisco in July 2008. The critically acclaimed artist has performed internationally: Spain, Italy and the Republic of San Marino. A landmark in his career was to become the first African-American/Black pianist to perform the entire cycle of 32 piano sonatas of Beethoven in public, from memory, as a concentrated series. In the fall and winter of 2007, he performed the feat in Portland, Oregon. In the winter and spring of 2008, he repeated the series in San Francisco.

Comment by email
You caught my on one of my busiest weeks yet: tomorrow, Thursday, I will conduct members of the SMU/Meadows Symphony Orchestra from the piano in two Mozart piano concerti - nos. 9 & 20, with all my own cadenzas - in addition to performing in that concert on Sunday. At the Sunday concert, I'll be doing Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's arrangement of "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child" from his 24 Negro Songs, op. 59. Hope you're doing well! Thanks for the post. Eldred

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

'Songs of Hope,' African-American Spirituals by College of William & Mary Choir Feb. 28

[Deep River: Songs and Spirituals; Oral Moses, bass-baritone; Ann Sears, piano; Troy 332 (1999)]

"The Choir of the College of William and Mary under the direction of James Armstrong will give its a concert on Sunday, February 28 at 8 PM in the Catholic Campus Ministry Chapel (10 Harrison Avenue, Williamsburg). Admission is free and open to the public.

"The Choir will sing a program devoted to the African-American Spiritual entitled'Songs of Hope.' The program is a celebration of the concert spiritual for choir beginning with arrangements sung by the famed Fisk Jubilee Singers and the Hampton Institute Singers in the 1870s and proceeding through the much-beloved twentieth-century arrangements of Harry Burleigh, R. Nathaniel Dett, Melvin Butler, William Grant Still, Roland Carter, Warren Martin and Moses Hogan. Featured on the program will be the premier Of Darkness and Light: Three Spirituals, a work newly commissioned by the W&M Choir from William and Mary composer Brian Hulse expressly for this program. [The African American composers Henry Thacker Burleigh (1866-1949), R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943) and William Grant Still (1895-1978) are profiled at]

Thomas Wilkins Premieres 'Trail of Tears' by Michael Daugherty in Omaha, March 26

[Conductor Thomas Wilkins]

Maestro Thomas Wilkins will conduct the Omaha Symphony in its world premiere performance of Trail of Tears, a work for flute and chamber orchestra by the popular contemporary composer Michael Daugherty, on March 26, 2010 in Omaha, Nebraska.

Lawrence B. Johnson writes in The Los Angeles Times on Jan. 31, 2010:
"Imagine a postmodern Aaron Copland or Charles Ives with a pop cultural twist, and you're primed for the music of Michael Daugherty. A composer of his time and birthright, Daugherty is a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native and the musical embodiment of Americana. His canvas reflects a 20th century cultural mosaic dotted by the likes of Elvis and Superman and Jackie Onassis. At age 55, Daugherty is also the exuberant master of his craft, an artist whose sophistication and compelling appeal can seem utterly at odds with the often kitschy titles of his works."

Boosey & Hawkes
"Commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra, Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, Delaware Symphony Orchestra, and Omaha Symphony, Trail of Tears is divided into three movements totaling 22 minutes: I. where the wind blew free, II. incantation, and III. sun dance. Says Michael Daugherty: 'One of the tragedies of human history is the forced removal of peoples from their homeland for political, economic, racial, religious, or cultural reasons. My flute concerto is a musical journey into how the human spirit discovers ways to deal with upheaval, adversity and adapting to a new environment.'" is 'Website of the Week!'

[Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges Violin Concertos, Op. 5, Nos. 1 & 2; Op. 3, No. 1; Op. 8, No. 9; Bernard Thomas Chamber Orchestra; Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Violin; Arion 68093 (1990) ] is pleased to be named “Website of the Week!”:
The Voice Box
by Erica Papillion-Posey
“This site is a beautiful tribute and reference for African-Americans in the classical arts and those wanting to learn more about African-American classical arts history! founded by William J. Zick was launched in 2000 as a nonprofit educational venture promoting awareness of African Heritage in Classical Music. The first page was devoted to Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges and within a few months was joined by pages on several other composers and musicians of African descent.

“Here you will meet 52 composers, conductors and instrumental performers – Africans, African Americans and Afro-Europeans. Many are alive today, but one lived 500 years ago! These artists are unknown to most of us, yet are so numerous this site can present only a fraction of them. They have made enduring contributions to Classical Music. Several have composed, conducted and performed Classical Music. Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799) of Guadeloupe is one of those multi-talented musicians. Cuban classical guitarist Leo Brouwer (b. 1939) is another. Over 100 sound samples can be heard at the Audio page and at the biographical pages. The links at left lead to a Black History Quiz covering everyone profiled at the site and a Guest Book in which you are invited to leave your comments."

Columbia Chronicle: 'Celebrating Black Culture in Chicago' with South Shore Opera

[Robert Sims, Lyric Baritone]

PUBLISHED: 02-22-10
by Luke Wilusz
“The South Shore Opera Company of Chicago will hold its second Black History Month concert free of charge at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Drive, on Feb. 27 at 5:30 p.m. This year’s 'Annual Salute to Black History' will feature four local performers and focus on music by African-American composers.” “This year’s show...will focus mainly on music by African-American composers and renditions of classic African-American spirituals, Lynn said. He said the focus on spirituals is enhanced through the participation of baritone singer Robert Sims.

“'He is known across the country for his interpretations of Negro spirituals,' Lynn said. 'He has done several television programs on PBS and so on, and he’s been noted for his work in this area.'
The other performers are soprano Kimberly E. Jones, tenor Cornelius Johnson and pianist and composer George E. Cooper. Lynn said the support the opera company received from the community has been overwhelming, and he thinks South Shore residents enjoyed having this kind of cultural event in their neighborhood.”

Agence France Press: 'DR. Congo orchestra brings Mozart to heart of Africa'

[AFP | Musicians of the Kimbanguist Symphony Orchestra (OSK) perform Handel's Messiah in Kinshasa.]

This is not the first time AfriClassical has written about a classical musician from the country now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo. On Nov. 15, 2007 we posted “Georges Octors (b. 1923), Congolese Violinist & Conductor in Belgium.”

Feb 20, 2010
“KINSHASA (AFP) — In Kinshasa, home of the swaying Congolese rumba, 200 people at a local church have succeeded in creating a concert hall orchestra to bring Handel, Beethoven and Mozart to the heart of Africa. They are a motley mix of dressmakers and shopkeepers, pupils and students, hairdressers and civil servants, all part of an orchestra which tackles great works from Western classical tradition. In their black suits and satin gowns, they have been playing to increasing acclaim since they were formed 16 years ago.

"'In Africa and even in the world, you'll never see an orchestra like ours, consisting entirely of blacks,' proclaimed Armand Diangienda, musical director of the Kimbanguist Symphony Orchestra (OSK) which he helped found in 1994. 'It's an orchestra of amateurs,' he added, 'but it's not just any orchestra that can play Beethoven and Mozart.' Diangienda, 46, is a grandson of Simon Kimbangu, founder of the Kimbanguist church, which claims about 10 million followers in the Democratic Republic of Congo's population of 60 million.

“The church may be controversial -- its beliefs are based on Simon Kimbangu, who is seen as a black prophet -- but its orchestra has won widespread backing from all kinds who go to concerts or attend Sunday services when it plays. Still, the musicians' public consists mainly of white people and they also attract foreign conductors, some of whom have made the trip to the shores of the Congo river to lead them in concert. Antoine Malungane, 46, a nurse by training and a double bass player in the orchestra since its creation, fondly remembers the 2001 visit of US conductor Michael Morgan, musical director of the Oakland [East Bay Symphony].”

“A documentary film entitled 'Kinshasa Symphony,' made in the capital in the summer and autumn of 2009 by German directors Claus Winsmann and Martin Baer, is showing at the current Berlin Film Festival. The film shows the daily lives of some of the 185 instrumental players and the 110 chorists, including rehearsals and how they manage to reconcile their passion with their professional activities.” © 2010 AFP

Monday, February 22, 2010

Poetry Foundation's 39-minute Interview with James DePreist Blends Music & Poetry

[This Precipice Garden; Poems by James DePreist with an afterword by William Stafford; University of Portland Press; Portland, Oregon (1990). Fanfare Magazine, November-December 1995]

James DePreist has published two volumes of poetry, The Distant Siren (1989), with a foreword by Maya Angelou; and This Precipice Garden (1990). The Poetry Foundation presents a 39-minute audio program in which comments on poetry are interspersed with several very attractive excerpts of music performed at New York's Lincoln Center by the Juilliard Orchestra under the direction of Maestro James DePreist:
Conductor and Poet
James DePreist was a on a State Department visit to Thailand when he decided that music—one of the great passions of his life—would become his career. DePreist went on to conduct many of the major orchestras in the United States and the world, but in the last few years, he has discovered another great passion: writing poetry. Listen to his interview about the confluence of music and poetry.”

The African American conductor James DePreist is the nephew of the great singer Marian Anderson. His biography at says: “Widely esteemed as one of America's finest conductors, James DePreist is Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at The Juilliard School and Laureate Music Director of the Oregon Symphony. He served as Permanent Conductor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra from 2005 until 2008.”

During his 23-year tenure as Conductor of the Oregon Symphony, James DePreist raised the profile of the orchestra dramatically. He has over 50 recordings to his credit. Maestro DePreist is scheduled to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra in the opening work of the Marian Anderson Award Gala on April 6, 2010. [James DePreist is profiled at]

Sunday, February 21, 2010

'Symphonic Works of African-American Composers,' Oakland Public Conservatory of Music, Feb. 27

[Quincy Hilliard]

Oakland Public Conservatory of Music
Symphony Orchestra
Sandra I Noriega - Artistic Director
Saturday, February 27, 2010 - 3:30 PM
Concert Hosted by
The American Legion East Oakland – Post 471
Oakland Veterans Memorial Building
200 Grand Avenue at Harrison St., Oakland, 94610
This free concert is dedicated to the Symphonic Works of
African-American Composers

James P Johnson, The Charleston
Florence Beatrice Price, The Oak
Quincy Hilliard, Universal Covenant
Variations on an African Hymnsong
William Grant Still, Serenade
Amadeo Roldan, Ritmica No. 5

Comments by email
Thanks for playing my music. I wish that I could be there. Maybe another time in the future. Quincy C. Hilliard
Thank you so much for doing this. I hope we will be able to draw a good audience for the concert. Victoria Theodore is my pianist and will be playing at this concert on The Charleston. Again, thanks for all you do through your organization, Musically yours, Sandra I Noriega

Mill Valley Philharmonic Performs Music of Florence B. Price in Mill Valley, CA March 12-14

March 12-14, 2010
Celebrating Women Composers
MVP presents a program of women composers on International Women's Day including works by Boulanger, Beach, Price, Mendelssohn-Hensel, Seeger and a world premiere fanfare by Dione Tan (winner of the MVP Fanfare Contest for women composers of Berklee College of Music)
8:00pm Friday, March 12, Mt. Tamalpais United Methodist Church, Mill Valley
2:00pm Saturday, March 13, Mt. Tamalpais United Methodist Church
4:00pm Sunday, March 14, Mill Valley Community Center
[Florence B. Price is profiled at, where a complete Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma is featured.]

Comment by email
Thank you for contacting me, Bill. We are very excited about presenting an all women composers program, and especially excited about introducing Price’s music to the public. A couple of years ago, we played a Wm. Grant Still string piece and I had the good fortune to be in contact with his daughter. That was in a program of music from the WPA (we did it in sites with WPA murals and in collaboration with WPA murals restoration projects. One set of murals is in the African American Cultural Center in San Francisco.) I am looking forward to visiting your site and blog. Thank you, Laurie Cohen