Saturday, August 15, 2015

Violinist John McLaughlin Williams Joins Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra for Works of Still, Sibelius & Coleridge-Taylor, 3 W 65th St, New York, NY 8 PM Oct. 16

Still, Sibelius & Coleridge-Taylor

John McLaughlin Williams

Earlier today, August 15, 2015, AfriClassical posted:

John McLaughlin Williams comments:

Hello Bill and Hilary,  Coincidentally, I will be playing two C-T works in New York City in October: the Romance, and Keep Me from Sinking Down. The program will also include music by Sibelius and an orchestral suite drawn from William Grant Still's Troubled Island. Details here: 
Best regards,  JMW  [John McLaughlin Williams]

October 16, 2015 | 8 PM

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
3 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023 

Still: Troubled Island Suite (World Premiere of Suite)
Coleridge-Taylor: Romance for Violin and Orchestra ^ 
Coleridge-Taylor: Keep Me From Sinking Down ^ (East Coast Premiere)
Sibelius: Pelléas et  Mélisande

^ John McLaughlin Williams, VIOLIN

"American conductor Thomas Cunningham,, is artistic director of Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra." 

Tickets |
William Grant Still’s 1939 opera TROUBLED ISLAND will again be heard in NYC, now as a symphonic suite. Often referred to as “the Dean of African-American composers,” Still broke ground as the first to have a symphony performed by a major American orchestra, and first to have an opera premiered by a major opera house. TROUBLED ISLAND was first performed by New York City Opera in 1949, and was greeted with 22 curtain calls on opening night. 

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was an African-English composer and boyhood hero of William Grant Still. His Romance for Violin and Orchestra puts on display all the qualities that earned him the (at-the-time flattering) nicknames of "African Mahler," and "coloured Dvorak." Coleridge-Taylor's Romance is at once idyllic and regretful. GRAMMY award-winning violinist and conductor John McLaughlin Williams joins us as soloist for both Coleridge-Taylor selections.

Of William Grant Still, Sibelius remarked "his music has something to say." Both greatly admired the  other's music, and after Sibelius' death Still was commissioned to write a piece memorializing him. The result was the rich and moving Threnody: In Memory of Jean Sibelius. In deference to Still’s appreciation for Sibelius, we will present his tone poem Pelléas et Méllisande. 

Tickets |

GRAMMY award-winning conductor and violinist John McLaughlin Williams joins Urban Playground for Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Romance for Violin and Orchestra, and Keep Me From Sinking Down.

Williams i
s a violin soloist, pianist, and chamber musician. He began violin studies at age 10 in a Washington, D.C. public school. At age 14 he appeared as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Williams studied with Jerome Rosen (Boston University), Dorothy Delay (The New England Conservatory), and Martin Chalifour (The Cleveland Institute Of Music). and has appeared as violin soloist with orchestras such as the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, South Carolina Philharmonic, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, and the Portland Symphony Orchestra. 

Williams served as Concertmaster of the Virginia Symphony and was a member of the Houston Symphony. As guest concertmaster he has appeared with the Bolshoi Ballet, Kirov Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet, the Opera Company of North Carolina, and the Portland Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra, and was Assistant Concertmaster of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. Williams has recorded chamber music for the Afka label.

Grammy Award-winning conductor John McLaughlin Williams (the first African-American conductor to win a Grammy) has been critically acclaimed for his outstanding interpretive abilities and engaging podium presence. Equally at home in the standard literature and the masterworks of American composers, it was with the release of his acclaimed recordings on the Naxos label that his conducting first attracted international attention. With the National Symphony and Radio Orchestras of Ukraine, Williams has made world-premiere recordings of orchestral works by American composers both well-known and neglected for the Naxos label’s celebrated “American Classics” series. He has been critically hailed in international publications, among them Fanfare, Gramophone, Classic FM, International Record Review, American Record Guide, and the French recording journal Diapason. His recordings appear on the Naxos, TNC, Artek, Cambria, and Afka labels. His next recording is Karl Weigl: The Complete Violin Works, recorded with pianist Glen Inanga, to be released on the Sono Luminus label. 

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