In 1893 in NYC, the legendary composer Antonin Dvořák spoke of the influence of African American and Native American music on his Symphony No. 9, a.k.a. the 'New World Symphony'. He urged American composers to focus attention on what "must" be the foundation for "the future music of this country."
As part of African American History Month at The American Museum of Natural History (on February 23rd from 12pm-6pm), Composers Concordance presents a program entitled 'Legends II: from Dvorak to Jimi,' recalling the timeless melodies of Dvorak himself, and highlighting the influence of African American and Native American music on contemporary composition. This program includes a specially-commissioned narrative poem from Roger Bonair-Agard (of HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam,") as well as exciting new compositions from Valerie Coleman (of the Grammy-nominated Imani Winds,) Gene Pritsker, Dan Cooper, and Milica Paranosic. Additional performers include LeeAnet Noble, Lauretta Malloy, Rochelle Small, Lynn Bechtold, Jennifer DeVore, and Taka Kigawa. (Please see website for schedule updates.) Please join us for this remarkable afternoon at the museum!
Composers Concordance is a presenting organization for contemporary music with a 28-year-history of producing concerts in New York City. We strive to present music in innovative ways, with an emphasis on thematic programming. In recent years, we have expanded our series to include events at art galleries, clubs, and other alternative venues, in addition to the traditional concert hall. Directors Gene Pritsker, Dan Cooper, and Milica Paranosic, together with Founding Directors Joseph Pehrson and Patrick Hardish, curate the programs, and lead the Composers Concordance Ensemble, which is the ensemble-in-residence at William Paterson University. Composers Concordance has also created a new record label, Composers Concordance Records, with distribution by Naxos. The growing catalog includes an eclectic variety of music, including contemporary chamber, electronic, hip-hop, jazz, opera, and beyond. As Raul d'Gama Rose has written in All About Jazz "(These) composers are breaking barriers between genres and idioms...modern pieces that run the gamut of tonal color and timbral experimentation with definitive skill and absolute mastery." Our overriding vision is to see contemporary music, composers, and new works as a rightful and respected part of society. Good music, performed and recorded well, pushing the boundaries of sound and composition.