Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mott Foundation Renews $100,000 Grant to 'Sphinx Overture' Program in Flint, MI Schools

[Aaron Dworkin (b. 1970)]

The Mott Foundation has awarded a renewal grant of $100,000 for the calendar year 2011 to the Sphinx Organization, to allow expansion of the Sphinx Overture program in schools in Flint and Genesee County:

“Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

“This renewal grant will provide continued support to the Sphinx Organization to offer a continuum of music instruction to underserved students in Flint, Michigan. The Sphinx Overture program, which introduces students to classical music and the violin, will expand to six Flint elementary schools. The program will provide students with free group violin lessons after school. Students from the program will be eligible for additional private lessons at the school from program instructors and for scholarships to take more advanced violin lessons and classes at the Flint Institute of Music at no cost. In addition, the Catalyst Quartet, a premier ensemble comprised of Sphinx competition alumni, will come to Flint for a residency. These experienced artists will provide master classes, lessons, and chamber music coaching to students and hold free public performances for the community.” [The Sphinx Organization was founded in 1996 by violinist Aaron P. Dworkin (b. 1970), who is profiled at AfriClassical.com.]

'All-Adams Program of New Instrumental Works' at Cleveland Public Library Feb. 19, 2011

[H. Leslie Adams]

AfriClassical has received this release from composer H. Leslie Adams (b. 1932):

All-Adams Program of New Instrumental Works.

Saturday, February 19, 2011;
2:00 p.m. Cleveland Public Library, Main.
Fine Arts & Special Collections, 3rd floor.
Cleveland, Ohio.


"Poem of Love for Bassoon and Piano."
Michael Dalby, bassoon; Anne Dalby, piano.

"Romance in D Flat for English horn and Piano."
Alice Mantey, English horn; Robert Cassidy, piano.

"Trio for Clarinet, Violin and Piano" (first movement).
Victoria Marra, clarinet; Laura Simna, violin; Robert Cassidy, piano.

"Ecstasy of Love, for Viola and Piano."
Eliesha Nelson, viola; Dianna White-Gould, piano.

[Presented in collaboration with H. Leslie Adams Fan Club.]
HOMEPAGE: http://www.hleslieadams.com and http://www.hleslieadams.net [H. Leslie Adams (b. 1932) is profiled at AfriClassical.com, which features a comprehensive Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma of Lawrence University Conservatory]

NEA Awards $15,000 to Alabama S. O. For Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. by Adolphus Hailstork

[Adolphus Hailstork]

Birmingham News
Michael Huebner
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Alabama arts groups will receive $125,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2011.
In the 'Access to Artistic Excellence' category, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra won two awards. For 'Reflect and Rejoice: A Community Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,' the ASO will receive $15,000 to support a premiere by composer Adolphus Hailstork, a spoken-word performance and educational activities. An additional $25,000 will go toward composer Avner Dorman's residency, which includes master classes, lectures, radio broadcasts and the premiere of a new work.”

To support Reflect and Rejoice: A Community Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In partnership with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the tribute will include performances including the premiere of a new work by composer Adolphus Hailstork, a spoken-word performance, and educational activities for school children.” [Adolphus C. Hailstork (b. 1941) is Professor of Music and Eminent Scholar at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia. He is profiled at AfriClassical.com]

Bucknell U.: “'This Christmas' with Imani Winds opens holiday season at Weis Center” Dec. 4

[Imani Winds]

By Kathryn Kopchik
LEWISBURG, Pa. — “The Grammy-nominated ensemble Imani Winds and Friends, including the renowned jazz pianist, song writer and record producer Cyrus Chestnut, will perform 'This Christmas' on Saturday, Dec. 4, at 8 p.m. 'Imani Winds, which first performed at Bucknell in 2005, is an outstanding woodwind ensemble whose members are of African-American and Latin heritage,' said Bill Boswell, executive director of the Weis Center.

“Cyrus Chestnut, an American jazz pianist, songwriter and producer will be joined by a bassist and two percussionists for this special program. 'In the unique style infused into so much of what Imani Winds does, “This Christmas” mixes classical, jazz and world influences into a program of holiday standards,' added Boswell. Founded in 1997, Imani Winds has taken a unique path, carving out a distinct presence in the classical music world with its dynamic playing, culturally poignant programming, genre-blurring collaborations, and inspirational outreach programs.

“With two member composers and a deep commitment to commissioning new work, the group is enriching the traditional wind quintet repertoire while meaningfully bridging European, American, African and Latin American traditions. Tickets for the performance are $20 per person. Discounts for senior citizens and students are available.”

NYTimes.com: 'Twain was also enthralled by Thomas Wiggins, a blind, possibly autistic former slave'

[John Davis Plays Blind Tom, Newport Classic 85660 (1999)]

Thomas “Blind Tom” Wiggins (1849-1908) is featured at AfriClassical.com, which presents a complete Works List compiled by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma of Lawrence University Conservatory. The most recent biography of the enslaved pianist is The Ballad of Blind Tom, Slave Pianist: America's Lost Musical Genius, written by Deirdre O’Connell and published by Overlook Press (2009). Its website is http://www.BlindTom.org. Two compositions of Thomas Wiggins which are discussed in the following article are also found on the above recording, John Davis Plays Blind Tom: Cyclone Gallop and The Battle of Manassas.

New York Times
“Music Review
By Allan Kozinn
Published: November 29, 2010
With so many pianists commemorating the bicentenaries of Chopin and Schumann this year, it is refreshing to find a player whose fascinations lie elsewhere. John Davis has been spending the year celebrating Mark Twain on the 175th anniversary of his birth and the centenary of his death.”

“Twain was also enthralled by Thomas Wiggins, a blind, possibly autistic former slave with a prodigious repertory and technique, who toured under the name Blind Tom. By Mr. Davis’s reckoning, Blind Tom, at the height of his career, earned the equivalent of $1.5 million a year in today’s dollars and was probably the first black musical superstar. Two works by Blind Tom, along with readings from Twain's magnificently detailed account of his performances and other musical feats (he could apparently play, perfectly, any piece of music after a single hearing) proved the program’s highlights.

“The first, 'Cyclone Gallop,' begins with a Chopinesque introduction and becomes a lighthearted dance piece, rich in the spirit and charms of the late-19th-century drawing room. Its companion, 'The Battle of Manassas,' is a bravura concert work of Lisztian pretensions and spectacular wildness. Though it begins with a sober evocation of the battlefield — a suggestion of a snare drum and a lively top line that quotes battle songs of the North and South — it becomes a freewheeling set of virtuosic variations on 'Dixie,' 'Yankee Doodle,' 'The Star-Spangled Banner' and, oddly, 'La Marseillaise.'

“Mr. Davis played these pieces powerfully and with a rich palette. He did much the same for two Gottschalk works — 'The Banjo: Grotesque Fantasie' (with its gloss on Stephen Foster’s 'Camptown Races') and the more dramatic 'La Savane: Ballade Créole' — and a set of variations on 'Nearer My God to Thee' by the early ragtime pianist John William Boone, best known as Blind Boone.”

Monday, November 29, 2010

Oboist 'Harry M. Smyles was my Uncle and a pioneer in the struggle for equality based on skill'

[Oboist Harry Smyles with his son in the foreground]

On Nov. 19, 2007 AfriClassical posted: “Harry Smyles (1918-2003), African American Oboist, Helped Launch Symphony of the New World.” The post quoted an obituary in the Cleveland Plain dealer, written by Ben Mattison and reproduced in Andante: “In 1965, Smyles joined the newly created Symphony of the New World, intended as the first fully integrated ensemble. He was first oboist and personnel director for the group, which helped many musicians to gain the experience needed to play in major orchestras.”

We are happy to post a comment which has been made by Janathan Johnson:
“Harry M. Smyles was my Uncle and a pioneer in the struggle for equality based on skill and talent for his passion for music. His endeavors have encouraged a number of young musicians to persevere and I am terribly proud of him and miss him more each day.

Violist Eliesha Nelson Plays at Event for 'Cleveland Orchestra Center For Future Audiences'

[Quincy Porter, Complete Viola Works; Eliesha Nelson, viola; John McLaughlin Williams, violin, piano, harpsichord; Douglas Rioth, harp; Northwest Sinfonia, John McLaughlin Williams, conductor; Dorian Recordings DSL 90911 (73:47) (2009)]

Violist Eliesha Nelson has been featured by AfriClassical in connection with her CD, Quincy Porter, Complete Viola Works. Eliesha is a violist for the Cleveland Orchestra. A recent entry on her blog describes a major effort to increase the number of young people in the Cleveland Orchestra's audience:

Eliesha Nelson's Blog
November 10th, 2010
“A couple of weeks ago, I participated in a fun 5 minute piece at the end of a press conference introducing the new Cleveland Orchestra Center For Future Audiences. It’s a broad initiative to bring in new and/or younger audience members to Severance Hall to listen to classical music. I think it’s exciting, and very good news for the city of Cleveland. The Maltz Family Foundation pledged a 20 million dollar gift, stressing the importance of maintaining our cultural institutions for future generations.

“Of course I think this is great! I work there! But besides that, I see the arts as a vital part of being human. What would this world be if we were to take it all away – music, dance, visual arts, architecture, poetry? We would have no creativity, and even those basic subjects like reading, writing and arithmetic would be stunted without an artistic outlet. We would lose all those myriad and important ways to catharsis and emotional growth.”
“A slight non sequitur, I’m a huge Salar Nader fan! He’s an awesome tabla player and fantastic musician. I saw him in Kite Runner at the Cleveland Playhouse, and his playing was mesmerizing! It was a treat to play with him, as well as Jamey Haddad and my colleagues at the Orchestra and Cleveland Institute of Music.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Anthony McGill, Principal Clarinetist of the Met, With New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall Dec. 5

[Anthony McGill: That Lightness of Spirit; Anthony McGill Music, © Copyright-Anthony McGill (884502357493) (2010)]

"A year after his performance with Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and Gabriella Montero at the inauguration of President Obama, virtuoso clarinetist McGill releases his Inaugural CD. It features music from France, Russia and America that truly inspires. Genre: Classical: Sonata. Release Date: 2010. © Copyright-Anthony McGill (884502357493) Record Label: Anthony McGill Music." Liner Notes: “Anthony McGill has chosen an elegant and lyrical program of music from France, America, and Russia, nearly all from the early 20th century. This period saw the birth of modernism — including Cubism, Expressionism, Dadaism, Surrealism, and Futurism — yet this CD focuses on music that shares, in the words of Francis Poulenc, 'that lightness of spirit without which life would be unendurable.'”

On Feb. 11, 2010 AfriClassical posted: “Lexus Magazine: 'Top clarinetist Anthony McGill' on Yo-Yo Ma, Lincoln Center and an Inauguration.'” Today we focus on Anthony McGill's new CD and his performance with the New York Youth Symphony on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010. The Mission of the New York Youth Symphony is: “To educate and inspire young musicians through exceptional ensemble training and performance opportunities.”

New York Youth Symphony
48th Carnegie Hall Season, 2010-11
Opening Concert
Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010
2:00pm – 4:00pm
All tickets $15

MOZART Clarinet Concerto, K. 622
ROBERT HONSTEIN Verge première
RESPIGHI Pines of Rome

Ryan McAdams, music director
Anthony McGill, clarinet
The Roy and Shirley Durst Début Series

Media-Newswire.com: Music of Leo Brouwer in Dec. 1 Recital of Illinois State U. Guitar Studio

[Leo Brouwer]

(Media-Newswire.com) - “Students in Illinois State University’s School of Music Guitar Studio will present a free recital on Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in Kemp Recital Hall.
"The performance will include classical and contemporary guitar music by composers Matteo Carcassi, Fernando Sor, Sylvius Leopold Weiss, Joaquin Rodrigo, Malcolm Arnold, Leo Brouwer, Roland Dyens and Karl-Wieland Kurz." [The Afro-Cuban composer, guitarist and conductor Leo Brouwer (b. 1939) is profiled at AfriClassical.com]

SUNY Orange Symphonic Band Performs Kathryn Salfelder's 'Cathedrals' 8 PM Saturday, Dec. 11

[Kevin Scott, conductor, SUNY Orange Symphonic Band]

Season's Greetings to all!
The Arts and Communication Department Presents
The SUNY Orange Symphonic Band
Kevin Scott, Conductor
“The program will include the first complete performance of Douglas Townsend's Three Christmas Fantasies, which are based on 'God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen,' 'Silent Night' and 'The Wassail Song.' Mr. Townsend, who will be celebrating his 90th birthday next year, is one of America's most renowned composers and musicologists who first gained national exposure when his Contra Dances were first performed by the CBS Symphony under the legendary Bernard Herrmann.

“The other featured offerings will include Kathryn Salfelder's award-winning composition Cathedrals, which has received over 70 performances to date since its premiere two years ago, and Randol Alan Bass' cinematic setting of Clement Clarke Moore's poem, 'The Night Before Christmas.' Max Schaefer, the director of SUNY Orange's Apprentice Players and SummerStar Theatre programs, will be the guest narrator. The concert also includes music by Leroy Anderson, James Curnow, Eric Whitacre, Morten Lauridsen and Ernest Gold.”

An Old-Fashioned Holiday with some New Seasonings
Featuring Max Schaefer narrating
Clement Clarke Moore's immortal
"The Night Before Christmas"
with music by Randol Alan Bass

James Curnow's Overture to a Winter Festival
Douglas Townsend's Three Christmas Fantasies
Kathryn Salfelder's Cathedrals
Ernest Gold's music from the film Exodus
Eric Whitacre's Lux Aurumque

Saturday evening, the 11th of December, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.
Paramount Theatre, 17 South Street
Middletown, New York
Admission $5.00
SUNY Orange students and active military free
For further information, please contact (845) 341-4787 or 341-4393

Saturday, November 27, 2010

ModernGhana.com: Akin Euba says in Africa 'religion, art, music, dance and drama are best fused'

[Bottom: Photo from ModernGhana.com; Top: Akin Euba]

Renaissance Bata Dance Steps Of The Millennia.
Source: wale lanre
Art & Culture | 20 hours ago
“African arts are holistic in concept, a phenomenon that refers to the fact that both the arts of performance/theatre and the visual arts are usually represented in a typical African festival presentation. Often the forms of drama, dance and music are performed together. Akin Euba (1982, 233) attests to this when he submits that perhaps it is typical of African cultures that religion, art, music, dance and drama are best fused, maintaining in their inescapable repetition a constancy and harmony rarely encountered elsewhere in the world In spite of this inextricable link, dance art is usually very prominent.

“It represents a vital aspect of ways in which people individually and collectively express themselves. It has strong significance as a socio-cultural phenomenon in its aesthetics and meaning. Over time the contemporary theatre scene has tapped significantly into this traditional theatrical experience. Soyinka (1982, 241) captures this when he says; more of the highly developed societies are turning to the so-called 'primitive' forms of drama as representing significant dramatic forms for contemporary society.

“It is in this adaptation and return to the roots for source materials for most theatrical productions especially dances that most of the Nigerian dances are seen to exhibit traditional African characteristics. It is in the course of this that change and continuity are noticeable.” [Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma of Lawrence University Conservatory has compiled a Works List and a Bibliography of Akin Euba (b. 1935). They are featured on the composer's page at AfriClassical.com]

Classical and Jazz Compositions of Shawn Garmon Can Be Heard on Her MySpace Page

[Shawn Garmon]

Musicologist Dr. Helen Walker-Hill helped introduce us to the music of Shawn Garmon of Norman, Oklahoma. Dr. Walker-Hill told us in an email last year: “Her body of works includes a couple of outstanding string quartets, and lots of other beautiful pieces for various media.” We also learned that Shawn Garmon had donated a large number of scores to the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago.

Her bio indicates she is “Currently working on a DMA in Music Composition at The University of Oklahoma.” It states that she has earned three degrees at Wichita State University: “Master of Music, Instrumental Conducting, 2004; Master of Music, Music Theory and Composition, 2003; and Bachelor of Music, Music Theory and Composition, 1996.” Shawn lists additional studies “at the University of New Orleans and Southern University at New Orleans.”

We first heard Movement II (4:16) from the composer's String Quartet No. 1. It is among several works which may be sampled at the MySpace page of Shawn Garmon, such as Freedom (4:21) and Perceptions (4:16). On her MySpace page she describes her genres as “Classical and Nu-Jazz.”

Much of Shawn's career has involved jazz, but she has recently composed some works in a more classical style as well. Her personal music label is Redemption Records. An easy way to gain an introduction to both the classical and jazz sides of her music is to listen to audio samples at: http://www.myspace.com/shawngarmon/music

SUNY Orange Symphonic Band Benefit for 'My Mother's Cupboard' and 'Our Father's Kitchen' Dec. 5, 3 PM

[Kevin Scott, conductor, SUNY Orange Symphonic Band]

The SUNY Orange Symphonic Band
Kevin Scott, Conductor

presents a benefit concert on behalf of
The Sacred Heart Church's
"My Mother's Cupboard" and "Our Father's Kitchen"
a food pantry and all of its ecumenical supporters.

An Old-Fashioned Holiday with some New Seasonings
Featuring Max Schaefer narrating
Clement Clarke Moore's immortal
"the Night Before Christmas"
with music by Randol Alan Bass

James Curnow's Overture to a Winter Festival
Douglas Townsend's Three Christmas Fantasies
Morten Lauridsen's O Magnum Mysterium
Ernest Gold's music from the film Exodus
Eric Whitacre's Lux Aurumque

Sunday afternoon, the 5th of December, 2010 at 3:00 p.m.
Sacred Heart Church, 26 Still Road
Monroe, New York
Admission $5.00 with food contribution; $10.00 without
SUNY Orange students and active military free

Pianist Benjamin Bradham Performs at Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts Nov. 28

[Benjamin Bradham]

AfriClassical contacted Benjamin Bradham about his concert on Sunday, Nov. 28. He replied, in part: “I am attaching the flyer and program for the recital. Thank you for your interest.
Sincerely, Benjamin Bradham”

"On a Sunday Afternoon" Series
Sunday November 28, 2010 at 2:30pm
Bruno Walter Auditorium
Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts
*Sunday entrance 111 Amsterdam Avenue
Admission Free


Six Variations on Turkish March from ”The Ruins of Athens”, Op.76
Ludwig van Beethoven (Germany, 1770-1827)

Five Etudes
Frederic Chopin (Poland, 1810-1849)

Sonata in b-flat minor, Op.35
Frederic Chopin


Nine selections from “Visions fugitives”
Serge Prokofiev (Russia, 1891-1953)

Sonata in g minor
Robert Schumann

L'Isle joyeuse
Claude Debussy (France, 1862-1918)

“Pianist BENJAMIN BRADHAM, born in Greensboro, North Carolina, is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts and the Juilliard School where he was recipient of a Werter Scholarship and his Master of Music Degree. Solo appearances include Alice Tully Hall, The Kosciuszko Foundation, the Donnell Library Center Concert Series, recitals at Caramoor, CAMI Hall, and broadcast performances on North Carolina Public Television, WNYC-Radio and WBAI-Radio in New York, as well as recorded performances and interview broadcast on National Public Radio.”

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bongani Ndodana-Breen: 'Cape Town Opera production pictures by Stuart Ralph'

[Bongani Ndodana-Breen's Hani; Libretto by Mfundi Vundla; Cape Town Opera production pictures by Stuart Ralph. Nov 21, 2010]

On Nov. 19, 2010 AfriClassical posted: “Cape Town Philharmonic Collaborates in Premiere of Bongani Ndodana-Breen's 'Hani' Nov. 21.” We quoted the composer's release which began: “A new South African Chamber opera Hani by the creative team of Bongani Ndodana-Breen (composer) and Mfundi Vundla (librettist) reflecting on the values of post-Apartheid South Africa.”

Bongani Ndodana-Breen has now sent us several Cape Town Opera production pictures of the opera Hani taken Nov. 21, 2010 by Stuart Ralph. We present a selection above.

Australian Broadcasting: “a riveting new biography, 'The Ballad of Blind Tom' by Deirdre O'Connell”

[The Ballad of Blind Tom, Slave Pianist: America's Lost Musical Genius; Deirdre O’Connell; Overlook Press (2009)]

Thomas “Blind Tom” Wiggins is featured at AfriClassical.com, which presents a complete Works List compiled by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma of Lawrence University Conservatory. The most recent biography of the enslaved pianist is The Ballad of Blind Tom, Slave Pianist: America's Lost Musical Genius, written by Deirdre O’Connell and published by Overlook Press (2009). The author is a documentary filmmaker in Australia. Her 272-page biography has been very well received by critics. Deirdre O'Connell has promoted her book widely in newspapers and other publications, and on radio. Her effort is introducing Thomas Wiggins to a new international audience. On January 22, 2011 Australia's Radio National: Into the Music will air a program which will be streamed online, Blind Tom, slave pianist sensation. The program's website includes photos, videos and links to many articles on the book:

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
“Thomas Wiggins was born sightless, the last child in a large slave family, and soon developed a fascination with sound, becoming a magnet for it. This first Afro-American superstar composed his first piece of music The Rainstorm at the age of 5 and was soon performing on the concert circuit throughout the Southern states for his owner General Bethune and the Bethune family. His most famed musical work was The Battle of Manassas, a virtuosic work for piano and vocal sound effects that recreated an early Confederate victory during the American Civil War. It remained the centrepiece of his repertoire throughout his long performing life. And, despite the war ending and slavery being abolished, Tom remained indentured to his master and thereafter was judged non compos mentis in a legal battle to gain custody of the lucrative performer. He never gained his true freedom or the financial fruits of his astonishing performance career.

“All but forgotten since his death in 1908, Blind Tom's reputation is being restored with the advent of recordings of his remarkable piano compositions on the CD John Davis Plays Blind Tom, and a riveting new biography, The Ballad of Blind Tom by Deirdre O'Connell in which he is acknowledged as America's lost musical genius and most likely an autistic savant. Appearing in the program are biographer Deirdre O'Connell, artist Martin Sharp, Professor Allan Snyder, Director of the Centre for the Mind at Sydney University, and concert pianist John Davis who performs The Rainstorm and The Battle of Manassas for the program." [At the New York Radio Festival, the ABC program was the 2010 Silver World Medal Winner for Best Music Special.]

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dingwall Fleary, Conductor of McLean Symphony from 1972 & Reston Community Orchestra from 1996

[Dingwall Fleary]

Maestro Dingwall Fleary came to our attention a year ago. On Dec. 21, 2009 AfriClassical posted: 'Reston Community Orchestra Performs 'A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.' Jan. 16.' Maestro Fleary and the Reston Community Orchestra will present the Fifth Annual Memorial Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 6 PM at the Reston Community Center. This year we wanted to consider the impressive career of Dingwall Fleary before focusing on the Fifth Annual Memorial Tribute.

“Maestro Fleary celebrates his 14th year as RCO music director and principal conductor.
Dingwall Fleary is the conductor of two orchestras in Northern Virginia. They are the Reston Community Orchestra, to which he was appointed in 1996, and The McLean Symphony, of which he is the founding music director since its inception in 1972.

“In May, 2006 the Virginia General Assembly and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recognized him for his musical leadership in Northern Virginia, and cited what was then his ten years of service as conductor of the Reston Community Orchestra. Highly regarded for his musicianship, he has distinguished himself as a conductor, pianist, harpsichordist, organist and chamber musician.

“A native of St. Louis, Fleary’s hold degrees from the University of Kansas, at Lawrence, and the School of Music at Northwestern University at Evanston, Illinois. Prior to moving to Northern Virginia in 1969, he taught music and helped to develop a Kinder Music Program for pre-school children at Vassar College, in Poughkeepsie, NY. Between 1970 to 1972 he studied, taught and performed extensively at the L'Accademia di Chigiana, in Siena, Italy”

“He created and performs in a two-man production titled, 'The Measure of a Man: The Life of Paul Robeson - A History through Words and Music' as pianist and narrator, which had its first performance at the National Archives in 1987. It has since been presented in schools, universities and private organizations throughout the country.

1901 Leeds Festival Chorus Premiere: 'The Blind Girl of Castél Cuillé' by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

[Samuel Coleridge-Taylor]

The Afro-British composer and conductor Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) is profiled at AfriClassical.com. The website of the Leeds Festival Chorus in the United Kingdom includes a listing for a work composed for the ensemble in 1901:

Many new works were specially written for Leeds Festival Chorus or performed in Leeds for the first time. Most of these were conducted by the composer including St Ludmilla (Dvorák) and Caractacus (Elgar). Belshazzar's Feast, however, was conducted by Malcolm Sargent.

“Premières performed by Leeds Festival Chorus:
“1901 The Blind Girl of Castél Cuillé Samuel Coleridge-Taylor”

Google Books has digitized a copy from the Harvard Library:
“To my friend NICHOLAS KILBURN, Esq.
Composed For The Leeds Musical Festival, 1901
For Soprano And Baritone Soli, Chorus, And Orchestra
The Poem Translated From The Gascon of Jasmin By
H. W. Longfellow
The Music Composed By
S. Coleridge-Taylor.
(Op. 43.)
Price Two Shillings And Sixpence
London: Novello And Company, Limited
Novello, Ewer And Co., New York

At the foot of the mountain height
Where is perched Castél-Cuillé,
When the apple, the plum and the almond-tree
In the plain below were growing white,
This is the song one might perceive
On a Wednesday morn of Saint Joseph's Eve:
'The roads should blossom, the roads should
So fair a bride shall leave her home!'

NorthAmerica.world247.net: 'Leo Brouwer to Receive Award from Spanish Academy of Fine Arts'

[Leo Brouwer]

The Afro-Cuban composer, guitarist and conductor Leo Brouwer (b. 1939) is profiled at AfriClassical.com. He is to receive an award today in Spain:

November 24, 2010
Havana, Cuba.- “Cuban prize-wining composer and orchestra director Leo Brouwer will receive on Thursday the 10th Tomas Luis de Victoria 2010 Award given by Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando.

“In an interview with Notimex, Brouwer — who recently won a Latin Grammy Award in the category of Best Classical Music — expressed his disagreement with any division between classical and popular music. He added that television and radio do not contribute to a balance between them and said that it would better, for the sake of culture all over the world, not to make this distinction.

“Brouwer affirmed this is an important and necessary prize for Ibero-America taking into account that it is a very difficult line of work for classical music lovers 'do not like easy things.' He also expressed his surprise at his recently won Latin Grammy Award considering that his kind of music is not profitable for the big US record companies whose main goal is to make profits.