August 31, 2016 Charleston SC — The 2016 Colour of Music Festival embarks upon an ambitious and stunning array of international classical musical motifs solidifying its place as the largest black classical music organization ever organized as it continues to draw inspiration from the grandfather of black classical music, Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Few classical music enthusiasts are aware of the tremendous contributions of this African-French composer whose opera and classical masterpieces equaled or far exceeded those of his 18th century contemporaries. Although his compositions are highly recognized overseas, they gather little notice in the United States. Today despite thousands of celebrated and prodigiously talented classical composers and performers of African descent throughout the world, their opportunities to grace concert stages of major American orchestras are rare to non-existent. The Colour of Music Festival is reversing this trend.
Now in its fourth year, the Colour of Music Festival offers a musical kaleidoscope of black classical composers and performers from across the globe and will take place October 19-23, 2016 at various venues throughout historic Charleston, South Carolina.
Showcasing acclaimed black chamber ensemble players and artists to form the Colour of Music Festival Orchestra, the five-day festival brings leading black artists to Charleston from Canada, France, Britain, Colombia, and the Caribbean among others.
Highlights include the début of Chevalier de Saint Georges’ only opera every discovered, The Anonymous Lover, featuring Magali Léger, native of Saint George’s birthplace, the Isle of Guadeloupe, showcasing the Festival’s All Things French (Toutes Les Choses Françaises) motif.
Internationally renowned conductor Marlon Daniel will again serve as Festival Music Director with leading black maestros serving as guest conductors to lead the Masterwork Series’ Colour of Music Festival Orchestra.
2016 Colour of Music Festival Highlights
Masterworks Series Highlights
Opening the Masterworks Series Thursday, October 20 St. Georges’ The Anonymous Lover petit opera makes its world première in South Carolina featuring Magali Léger and her considerable vocal athleticism and ringing high notes. Continuing the French musical motif, Maestro Daniel welcomes virtuoso French-born violinist Romuald Grimbert-Barré as guest soloist performing Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 2, Op. 44 in G Minor.
Friday October 21, led by German-born and South American-based Concertmaster Anyango Yarbo-Davenport, the orchestra welcomes 17-year old piano virtuoso Clayton Stephenson, a founding competitor of the inaugural Van Cliburn Junior Competition, to perform Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C, Op. 26.
The Festival’s Saturday, October 22 black tie gala performance features guest conductor Roderick Cox, Associate Conductor of the renowned Minnesota Orchestra, conducting Carl Orff’s magnificent choral masterpiece Carmina Burana. The evening also includes the South Carolina premiere of Los Angeles-based composer Ahmed Alabaca’s composition Across the Calm Waters of Heaven, a prayer song written in response to recent losses of life across the globe due to race or religion.
The Festival concludes October 23 with a memorial performance honoring long-time Festival friend, attorney, musician, choral conductor and supporter Lon H. Shull, III, with a moving performance of Johannes Brahms’ Schicksalslied, Op. 54 (Song of Destiny) and Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem under the baton of Atlanta’s Morehouse College conductor Dr. David E. Morrow.
Chamber Series Highlights
Returning to the historic Avery Normal School, now the Avery Research Center, the Chamber Series features internationally acclaimed Kanneh-Mason Trio, a sensational British family performing a special chamber presentation Wednesday, October 19 showcasing the family’s three virtuoso classical musicians who are paving the way for their even younger siblings to début at a future Colour of Music Festival. New York-based classical guitarist Thomas Flippin joins French violinist Romuald Grimbert-Barré for a special intimate chamber performance of guitar and violin Friday, October 21.
Education and Community Engagement: Free Symposiums
In addition, a free four-part daily morning symposium series featuring thought leaders and musicians will highlight academic perspectives of the cultural contributions of black composers and Charleston’s contribution stemming from the historic Avery Normal School’s music endeavors. Topics include the French contribution to black classical music, black opera legends, and the legacy of black composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.
“As we embark upon our most ambitious festival in our young four-year history, I am pleased to introduce the Lowcountry to artists and offerings extraordinary talent from around the globe. Our recent recognition as the largest black classical professional organization is an acknowledgment we accept with humble appreciation. Charleston has become an international destination and this year’s scope and depth is indicative of the city’s appeal,” said Lee Pringle, Festival Founder and Artistic Director of the Festival.
Maestro Daniel, a resident of both the United States and France added, “I am very excited to be introducing St. Georges’ only surviving opera in a concert stage format with my dear friend and colleague Magali Léger. This is truly a spectacular time for the Festival.”
Colour of Music Festival Tickets $11-$72
(Special rates available onsite only for active duty and reserve U.S. Military Personnel and College students with I.D.)
In person: Gaillard Center Box Office, 95 Calhoun Street, Charleston
By phone (843) 242-3099
At door: (credit card, cash or check) before each performance
Series packages with discounts up to 30% off available
All-inclusive packages for college professors/administrators, church groups, and groups of ten or more available; $10 for schools/church youth groups
COLOUR OF MUSIC FESTIVAL PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE October 19-23 2016 Charleston SC
Special Event Presentation • 6:00pm • Charleston Library Society
Mon Oct 17, Dr. Rufus Jones, Jr., Author, Negro at Home, Maestro Abroad
Symposium Presentations • 10:30am • Gaillard Center, Salon 1
Wed Oct 19, French Connection to Black Classical Music
Thu Oct 20, Black Opera Legends
Fri Oct 21, Black Musicologist Forum
Sat Oct 22, The Legacy of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
High Noon Organ Recitals • 12:00pm • Mt. Zion AME Church
Wed Oct 19, Alvin Blunt
Thu Oct 20, Collin A. Richardson
Fri Oct 21, Roy Belfield, Jr.
Sat Oct 22, Rasaan Hakien
Chamber Music Vocal Matinées • 2:00pm • St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
Wed Oct 19, KB Solomon, Bass
Thu Oct 20, Patrick Daily, Countertenor
Fri Oct 21, Brandie Sutton, Soprano
Sat Oct 22, Magali Léger
Ebony and Ivory Piano Recitals • 4:00pm • St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
Wed Oct 19, Clayton Stephenson
Thu Oct 20, Sakura Myers
Fri Oct 21, Isata Kanneh-Mason
Sat Oct 22, Terrence Wilson
Chamber Evening Recitals • 6:00pm • Avery Research Center (McKinley Washington Auditorium)
Wed Oct 19, Kanneh-Mason Chamber Trio
Thu Oct 20, Anyango Yarbo-Davenport, Violinist
Fri Oct 21, Thomas Flippin, Classical Guitarist
Sat Oct 22, Romuald Grimbert-Barré, Violinist
Masterworks Series • Gaillard Center
Thu Oct 20 8:00pm
The Anonymous Lover (petit opera) WORLD PREMIERE
Colour of Music Virtuosi, Marlon Daniel, conductor
Magali Léger, soprano, Everett Suttle, tenor, Washington Isaac Holmes, baritone
Fri Oct 21 8:00pm
Colour of Music Festival Orchestra
Marlon Daniel, conductor
Romauld Grimbert-Barré, violin
Piano Concerto No. 3 in C, Op. 26, Sergei Prokofiev
Clayton Stephenson, piano
Prélude à l'Après-midi d'un faune, Claude Debussy
Violin Concerto No.1 in g minor, Op. 26, Max Bruch
The Oak, Florence Price
Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88, Antonin Dvorak
Sat Oct 22 7:00pm
Carmina Burana, Carl Orff
Roderick Cox, guest conductor
Brandie Sutton, soprano, Patrick Dailey, countertenor, KB Soloman, bass
Across the Calm Waters of Heaven, Ahmed Alabaca
Sun Oct 23 5:00pm
Matinee Memorial Performance
Requiem, Gabriel Fauré
Schicksalslied, Op. 54 (Song of Destiny), Johannes Brahms
David E. Morrow, guest conductor
Kimwana Doner, soprano, Washington Isaac Holmes, baritone
About the Colour of Music Festival
Based in Charleston, South Carolina and organized in 2013, the Colour of Music Festival, Inc. presents a diverse classical repertoire of baroque, classical and 20th century music at the highest of musical standards to diverse audiences throughout the Lowcountry, regionally and nationally. www.colourofmusic.org