Monday, August 13, 2018

AaronAsk: Weekly mentoring for a creative life: A Wrinkle in Time: Courage! (3:10)


Aaron P. Dworkin writes:

Greetings and welcome to this week's episode of AaronAsk, your weekly mentoring session to live a fulfilling creative life!  This week's episode is titled, A Wrinkle in Time: Courage!  Enjoy, we wish you a creative day and see you for next week's session!

Chicago Sinfonietta: Prelude 2018, We. The. People. Fundraiser for Unity Sept. 24th, 5:30 PM


Southbank Centre: Julian Joseph's "Tristan and Isolde" Friday 5 & Saturday 6 October

Julian Joseph

Southbank Centre

BBC Concert Orchestra

Julian Joseph's Tristan and Isolde

FRI 5 & SAT 6 OCT 2018
Witness romance and tragedy collide in Julian Joseph’s reworking of the ancient legend of Tristan and Isolde, which brings together the composer and pianist's own choice of singers and jazz soloists for this significant new work. 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Saint Louis Post Dispatch: Gesher Music Festival Performs Florence Price's "Negro Folksongs in Counterpoint"

Florence B. Price (1887-1953)

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

August 11, 2018

Sarah Bryan Miller

The Gesher Music Festival returns this week for its eighth annual season with a theme of “Voices Rising.”


Finally, on Sunday afternoon at the JCC Wool Studio Theater, the musicians will explore music by what Sitzer calls “underrepresented composers,” including women, African-Americans and members of the LGBT community, and “those whose voices have been lost,” such as Holocaust victims. There’s a local premiere by St. Louis-based composer L.J. White, “Negro Folksongs in Counterpoint” by African-American composer Florence Price (1887-1953) and a suite from the film “The Golem,” by Betty Olivero.

John Malveaux: Ed Bland's music for Maya Angelou CD will air Sun. Sept. 2 at "End of Summer Celebration" in L.A.

Ed Bland

Maya Angelou

John Malveaux of 

Composer Ed Bland was born on the South Side of Chicago 1926-2013 . His father was a postal worker but also a self-taught literary critic with illustrious friends such as Ralph Ellison, Gwendolyn Brooks and Langston Hughes. Ed Bland studied at both the University of Chicago and the American Conservatory of Music on the G.I. Bill.
Among his compositions is a concerto for electric violin and chamber orchestra. He composed scores for the TV play A Raisin in the Sun (1989) and the film A Soldier's Story (1984). Another notable work is Sketches Set Seven for piano.
He also wrote, directed, and produced the 1959 film Cry of Jazz. In the 1990s, this documentary was rediscovered by scholars and celebrated as an early example of independent black filmmaking. It was soon restored and reissued on DVD in 1996, and in 2010 the Library of Congress added it to its National Film Registry collection as “a historic and fascinating film that comments on racism and the appropriation of jazz by those who fail to understand its artistic and cultural origins.
Ed Bland composed jazz interlude music for the original recording of Black Pearls: The Poetry Of Maya Angelou before Maya Angelou great rise to popularity. The FIRST public airing of the recording is scheduled Sunday Sept 2, 2018 during the free END of SUMMER Music & Cultural Celebration, Exposition Park-Christmas Tree Lane, Los Angeles presented by 59th district state assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyers See pic 1-Maya Angelou and pic 2-Ed Bland New Jersey Symphony to Perform Piano Concerto of Florence B. Price in 2018-2019 Season

Florence B. Price


A full realization of Music Director Xian Zhang’s artistic vision, the NJSO’s 2018–19 season features a diverse array of musical voices, from classical masters (Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Debussy’s La mer and Shostakovich’s First Symphony) to composers performing their own concertos (Steven Mackey’s Four Iconoclastic Episodes for violin and electric guitar, Amjad Ali Khan’s Samaagam for Sarod, Concertante Group and String Orchestra) to female composers (Whitley’s Speak Out, Maria Schneider’s Winter Morning Walks with soprano Dawn Upshaw and Florence Price’s Piano Concerto with acclaimed jazz pianist Aaron Diehl). Celebrated guest artists include pianists Emanuel Ax, Daniil Trifonov and Seong-Jin Cho and violinist Augustin Hadelich.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

93XRT: Todd Rundgren & Chicago Sinfonietta, Sat. Sept. 8, 8 PM, House of Blues, Chicago

8:00 P.M.

Proceeds will benefit Rundgren's Spirit of Harmony Foundation, which supports music education and music performance opportunities for youth. 

University of Miami: Grammy Nominated Flutist/Composer Valerie Coleman Joins Frost School of Music

Valerie Coleman


Internationally Acclaimed Valerie Coleman Joins Frost School as Assistant Professor of Performance, Chamber Music, and Entrepreneurship.

The Frost School of Music at the University of Miami is pleased to announce that Valerie Coleman will join the faculty as Assistant Professor of Performance, Chamber Music and Entrepreneurship beginning August of 2018.  In her new position, Ms. Coleman will have a leadership role in the comprehensive 21st century skills building for performing musicians.

Ms. Coleman is an internationally acclaimed, GRAMMY® nominated flutist, composer and entrepreneur. She is an alumna of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center CMS Two Fellowship, Concert Artists Guild, and creator of the ensemble Imani Winds. Listed as “one of the Top 35 Women Composers” in the Washington Post by critic Anne Midgette, Ms. Coleman has received composer awards such as the Herb Alpert Awards Ragdale Prize, Van Lier Fellowship, MAPFund, ASCAP Honors Award, and nominations from The Academy of Arts and Letters, and United States Artists. Her work, UMOJA, was listed by the Chamber Music America as one of the “Top 101 Great American Ensemble Works” and is a staple within woodwind literature. The Los Angeles Times referred to her Afro-Cuban Concerto as an “engaging showpiece, deftly woven polyrhythmic lines -- suggesting the pulse of Cuban clave and even James Brown.” The Boston Globe describes her as having “talent for delineating form and emotion with shifts between ingeniously varied instrumental combinations”, The New York Times observes her compositions as “skillfully wrought, buoyant music.”, and critic Steve Metcalf of the Hartford Courant refers to her as “The composer who almost made me forget Mozart”.  Ms. Coleman was recently awarded a grant from Chamber Music America to fund a commission for the ensemble OboeBass.

In commenting Shelly G. Berg, Dean of the Frost School of Music stated: “Valerie Coleman is a stellar exemplar of the unique values and pedagogic approach of the Frost School. She is a world class and boundary-crossing composer, performer, entrepreneur, and teacher.  Professor Coleman will have a profound impact on the future music leaders resident in our school.  As we populate the world with more musicians like Valerie, the future of music will become brighter.”

In commenting Ms. Coleman stated:  “Frost School of Music is such an innovative place whose faculty and mission reflect my own beliefs in fostering the 21st Century musician within a familial setting. Being a part of the Frost family is nothing less than kismet; I am elated and proud to join a family that warmly welcomes all the facets of what I do and I am grateful that this position was created to support that.

My goals are to inspire and guide the students to discover their own unique artistry, within and above the standards of excellence, and further build upon the ideals and culture that my Imani Winds tribe has championed for over two decades.”

Ms. Coleman’s performances span the globe from Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, to Wigmore Hall and Chamber Music New Zealand. Her flute and pen have dived into various genres of collaborative performances with artists like Wayne Shorter, Paquito D’Rivera, David Shifrin, Jason Moran, Simon Shaheen, Steve Coleman, Harlem String Quartet and Orion String Quartet.  Commission highlights include the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The Collegiate Band Directors National Association, Chamber Music Northwest, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, National Flute Association, The San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and The Universities of Chicago, South Carolina, Michigan, Virginia Commonwealth, Hawaii Manoa and Ohio State. She is “on the air" with Sirius XM, NPR, WNYC, WQXR and Minnesota Public Radio and abroad including RadioFrance, Australian Broadcast Company, and Radio NZ. She can be heard on the labels Naxos, Sony Classical, Deutsche Grammophon, eOne and Cedille Records.

Ms. Coleman  is a highly sought-after clinician who has given masterclasses at institutions in 49 states, including The Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, Yale University, Carnegie Mellon, New England Conservatory, Oberlin College, and Interlochen Arts Academy; and over 5 continents, from Beijing Conservatory, to Brazil’s Campo do Jordão Festival, and Australia’s Musica Viva. She was also an adjudicator for APAP’s Young Performing Concert Artists fellowship, ASCAP’s Morton Gould Award, MapFund Award and the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.  In 2011, she created a summer mentorship program in NYC, called Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival, which has welcomed musicians from over 100 institutions both nationally and abroad. Valerie was recently an artist-in-residence at Mannes College of Music, Banff Chamber Music Intensive, and the University of Chicago. She is published by Theodore Presser, International Opus and her own company, V Coleman Music.

Oberlin Conservatory of Music Celebrates Life & Legacy of Frances Walker Slocum Sunday, September 16, Oberlin, Ohio

Lee Koonce writes:

Please join us as we celebrate the life and legacy of

Frances Walker Slocum
March 6, 1924 – June 9, 2018

Sunday, September 16, 2018
2:00 p.m.

Warner Concert Hall
Oberlin Conservatory of Music
77 West College Street
Oberlin, Ohio

Reception to follow.

Friday, August 10, 2018

African-American French Hornist Bob Watt Releases CD on MSR Classics

I Play French Horn
Bob Watt and Friends
MSR Classics

Bob Watt was the first African-American French horn player in a major US orchestra, hired by Zubin Mehta in 1970. After 37 years with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and several soundtrack contributions, this is his formal solo debut, as produced by Todd Cochran (known for his work with Herbie Hancock, Peter Gabriel, and Joan Armatrading, among others.) The album touches on Ravel, J.S. Bach, Brubeck, and various spirituals. It also has an original tribute piece to Watt's late friend, Miles Davis.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Bill Doggett: Charlottesville 2018-19, Legacies of The Civil War on Race

Bill Doggett writes:

Charlottesville 2017 - Charlottesville 2018
The Civil War has never ended....1865 is 2018

A Trump Era emboldened earthquake has refocused our attention on Race as the inexorable national conversation that dares speak its name.......

From Dylann Roof and The Charleston Church Massacre to Charlottesville and Black Lives Matter to Remove The Statues to July 2018 Oakland, California Bart Station tragedy #NiaWilson , we are called to bear witness....

The great grandson of Richmond Virginia slaves from The Hardaway Plantation who went on to anchor the founding in 1867 of Richmond's historic Sixth Mt Zion Baptist Church and the great nephew of Mary Frances Clarke, one of the few Virginia Black women to graduate in the Class of 1900 from Freedman's Hospital's Training School for Nurses at Howard University, California based African American historian and multi media Performance lecturer , Bill Doggett wants to bring his dynamic Performance Lecture to you.

Doggett has been a featured Guest Lecturer since 2011 presenting in city wide events sponsored by The Friends of The San Francisco Public Library and has lectured at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, University of California, Davis and Irvine, University of Pittsburgh, University of The District of Columbia and Oakland's Laney College.

He is the author of the critically received The Argonaut Journal feature published in the late Summer of 2015 by The San Francisco History Museum and Society, titled "Emancipation Proclamation: San Francisco and The African American Concert Singer 1880-2000"

View the genesis of an expanded Performance Lecture in which Doggett brings Confederate General Robert E. Lee back to life in the era of Black Lives Matter.
The video is Part 1 of the November 2017 Valente Lecture given at The University of California at Davis.

John Malveaux: Premiere of Primous Fountain's Suite for Cello Solo, Mexico City 9/27

Primous Fountain

Kristen Yeon-Ji Yun

John Malveaux of 

MusicUNTOLD paired cellist Kristen Yeon-Ji Yun and composer Primous Fountain for world premiere of Fountain's Suite for Cello Solo at Cello Festival - National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, September 27, 2018.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Art of Élan 2018-2019 Season Announcement

Demarre McGill & Kate Hatmaker
Art of Élan

Earlier this year, Art of Élan celebrated eleven years of growth with a season dedicated to the concept of empowerment, including new partnerships and bi-national initiatives that cultivated curious audiences on both sides of the border. For this upcoming season, Art of Élan continues its commitment to commissioning new work, collaborating with world-class artists and composers, programming engaging and thought-provoking concerts, and expanding its impact in the region through thoughtful community engagement programs.
Season 12, called “Ways of Listening” explores the various ways we both listen to and process the world around us. With a focus on the contextualization of music—both new and old—Art of Élan’s season boasts a wide variety of concerts and workshops in partnership with A Reason to Survive (ARTS), The San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Art Institute, the San Diego Symphony, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCASD), Malashock Dance, the Centro de Artes Musicales, Mira Mesa High School, and Bread & Salt in Barrio Logan. More concerts will be announced later this year.                        

Sergio Mims: Fremeau & Associes to release Tribute to James Reese Europe in Sept.

Tribute to James Reese Europe
Spirit of Chicago Orchestra
Formation Jazz de la Musique de l'Air
Fremeau & Associes

Sergio A. Mims writes:

The French record label Fremeau & Associes will be releasing in late September their latest CD recording Tribute to James Reese Europe with music performed by the Spirit of Chicago Orchestra and the Formation Jazz de la Musique de l'Air.

Labeled by the French and the American commissions for the centenary of the Great War, this release celebrates the 100th anniversary of the arrival in France of jazz, brought over by black American troops (the famous Harlem Hell Fighters) mobilized in that First World War. Produced by the Hot Club Jazz Iroise and arranged by Stan Laferriere, this album is a tribute to James Reese Europe, an influential Harlem composer post- 1910 — he joined the National Guard and fought alongside French soldiers — and a historic figure in jazz and the struggle for civil rights. 

Two orchestras relay each other in presenting this fabulous material: the Spirit of Chicago Orchestra, which plays in the purest rag-time tradition of jazz in its embryonic stage, and the Jazz Formation of the Air Force Band, which brings these melodies right up to date and shows just how much these melodies that go back to the origins of jazz have inestimable value.

Augustin Bondoux / Patrick Frémeaux

Monday, August 6, 2018

GoFundMe: Little Miss Flint Raises $57,000 from 50 countries for school supplies

Mari Copeny, Age 11


Hi there,

I wanted to make sure you'd seen that Mari Copeny, Little Miss Flint, is raising money to make sure boys and girls in Flint, Michigan have the right school supplies to start their year. She's now raised over $57,000 from over 3,000 donors in all 50 states and over 50 countries. 

John Malveaux: Lara Downes played music from Sony CD "For Lenny" at LACMA Aug. 5

Lara Downes and John Malveaux
following Aug 5, 2018 performance at LACMA  

John Malveaux of 

August 5, 2018 attended pianist Lara Downes performance at Los Angeles County Museum of Arts-Sundays Live 2018-in support of her Sony Music debut album FOR LENNY in celebration of Lenny Bernstein 100th anniversary. The tribute included intimate stories explaining how or why the program pieces were selected for the tribute. The program included "BIG STUFF" from Fancy Free (ballet). Lenny actually wrote the song with Billie Holiday in mind. Although not on the original Fancy Free recording, Billie later recorded the song several times. The August 5, 2018 concert was broadcast live and available for download via KUSC radio.

On March 7, 2015, MusicUNTOLD presented But Beautiful - A Pianist Remembers Billie Holiday by Lara  Downes in celebration of Billie Holiday 100th anniversary at the Long Beach Public Library-Main Auditorium.

AaronAsk: Weekly mentoring for a creative life: A Wrinkle in Time-Now What? (2:35)

Aaron P. Dworkin writes:

Greetings and welcome to this week's episode of AaronAsk, your weekly mentoring session to live a fulfilling creative life!  This week's episode is titled, A Wrinkle in Time-Now What?  Enjoy, we wish you a creative day and see you for next week's session!

Comment by email:
Thanks for sharing Bill and hope all is well!!  Aaron  [Aaron P. Dworkin]

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Music Without Borders: Sphinx Virtuosi Tour September 30 to October 28, 2018

The Sphinx Virtuosi will embark on a national tour from September 30 - October 28, 2018. The tour will feature an exciting new program entitled Music Without Borders, illuminating works by composers from communities searching for harmony and separated by time, distance, hardship and conflict. 

The Sphinx Virtuosi national tour is made possible by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Robert F. Smith.

Sphinx Organization: Register Now for the 22nd Annual Sphinx Competition

Ifetayo Ali-Landing
(Photo: Kevin Kennedy)

Apply now via GetAcceptd for the chance to win up to $50,000, solo appearances with major orchestras, a performance with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, and a custom-made gold bow by Berg Bows International! 

Sphinx Organization: Apply Now for the SphinxConnect Showcase and Pitch Session

Photo: Kevin Kennedy

Don't miss your chance to perform innovative programming for a global audience and the nation's top presenters! The SphinxConnect Showcase and Pitch Session will inspire presenters and provide opportunities for artists: through a competitive review process, artists will be selected to perform/present to a panel of distinguished arts presenters from around the country, and the performance will be streamed live during SphinxConnect. The experience will pair artists with performance opportunities and provide the unique opportunity for artists to speak with leading and innovative presenters one-on-one to discuss industry trends, seek professional advice, and more.

To apply please visit

Friday, August 3, 2018

NOBLE Installs Houston Metro Police Chief Vera Bumpers as National President

Vera Bumpers
National President, NOBLE

August 3, 2018                                                                                                                                       
    The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) Installs Houston Metro Police Chief Vera Bumpers as National President
[Alexandria, VA] Houston Metro Police Chief, Ms. Vera Bumpers, has been installed as the 41st National President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) which serves more than 3,000 members worldwide. The announcement came at the conclusion of NOBLE's 42nd Annual Training Conference and Exhibition in Hollywood, FL. In her new role, President Bumpers will be responsible for the strategic direction while leading the efforts to continue the organization's trajectory of strengthening its fiscal resources and infrastructure.
Chief Bumpers brings a wealth of policing expertise, community relations and advocacy leadership to this role. NOBLE will continue to build on its mission, focus its efforts towards strengthening community and police relations, develop training that meets the challenges of today's law enforcement community as well as promote diversity and inclusion.

National President Vera Bumpers' priorities will be the following:
  • Youth: Youth Engagement, Procedural Justice, & Mental Illness Intervention
  • Technology: Smart Policing Taskforce
  • Training: Leadership Development, Implicit Bias, De-escalation & Crisis Intervention
Chief Vera Bumpers has been with the Houston Metro Police Department for more than 30 years and currently leads a team of 194 sworn personnel and 93 non-sworn personnel. She was a pioneer from the beginning, becoming the first woman to be promoted in every rank within the Department. Ms. Bumpers received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Texas State University and a Master's Degree from Prairie View A&M University. She is a graduate of the 230th session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

Chief Bumpers has been recognized as a 2016 Top 50 Black Professional and Entrepreneur and has been featured in the African American Newspaper and Houston Women Magazine. Chief Bumpers is the Chair of Houston Community College Police Academy Advisory Board, a member of International Association of Chiefs of Police, Texas Police Chiefs Association, Houston Area Police Chiefs Association, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association, National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, Women Transportation Seminar, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and Links Incorporated.
"I look forward to leading NOBLE at a time such as this, when our nation is facing so much divisiveness. We will continue our charge in building bridges between Law Enforcement and communities protecting both our officers and communities," stated Vera Bumpers, NOBLE National President.
"I'm excited about the installation of our new President for several reasons but most importantly because we have like-minded views about the urgent needs of our community. Vera is a true professional and a consummate leader," stated Clarence E. Cox, III, NOBLE Immediate Past National President. 

About the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives 
Since 1976, The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) has served as the conscience of law enforcement by being committed to justice by action. NOBLE represents over 3,000 members internationally, who are primarily African-American chief executive officers of law enforcement agencies at federal, state, county and municipal levels, other law enforcement administrators, and criminal justice practitioners. For more information, visit

Sergio Mims: Adedeji Ogunfolu of Chineke! appointed second horn of Pacific Symphony

Adedeji Ogunfolu

Sergio A. Mims forwards this release:

Chineke! Orchestra

Player feature: Adedeji Ogunfolu

August 2, 2018

Many congratulations to Chineke! French Horn player Adedeji Ogunfolu, who has recently been appointed second horn of the Pacific Symphony in California. We caught up with Adedeji, asking him a few questions about his experiences, what Chineke! means to him, and any advice he might give to aspiring musicians.

How did you become a musician/become involved in music?

From my first introduction to classical music, I knew that performing  would be a large part of my life in some capacity.  When I was a kid, I would watch classical music broadcasts on PBS and other public access television platforms.  I would use my allowance to buy CD's of my favourite artists. I played cello, trumpet and piano before settling my focus full-time on the French horn.  

What do you wish someone had told you when you were first considering becoming a musician?

I wish I was told to enjoy the process of growth more.  I spent a lot of time lamenting over not being exactly I wanted to be as a musician, both musically and technically.  As cliche as it sounds, everything happens in its own time.  I am 31, and still feel like I am getting better as a horn-player.  Sometimes I surprise myself!

How did you first hear about the Chineke! Foundation? What did you initially think of the idea and has that changed since you have been involved?

I initially saw a YouTube video of the Chineke orchestra approximately three years ago.  A few months later when Chi-chi contacted me asking me to perform with the group, I leapt at the opportunity.  I had never been to London, and I had a chance to play with some phenomenal musicians.  Definitely a win-win!

I was familiar with the premise of Chineke! through my affiliation with the Sphinx Organization in the states.  So the idea of Chineke! was not completely foreign to me. I was happy to shine a light on diversity in classical music.  

Have you found that there are any specific challenges associated with being a BME musician? If so, what are they?

I think the biggest challenge for me being a BME musician is not seeing yourself as you see peers from other backgrounds. That reality does not make me enjoy my profession any less, but when you are the "only one" that reality can be somewhat isolating.  

What is the musical accomplishment you are most proud of? 

Playing guest principal with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in April of this year, and a couple of months later, winning my job with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra

How has playing with Chineke! helped you/your personal development as a musician?

Chineke! reminded me to stay flexible and to keep an open mind.  Playing styles and interpretations can vary vastly depending on where you are in the world, and all approaches are valid in their own ways.

What advice would you give to an aspiring young BME musician?

I would say find examples of role models with whom you identify.  For me that was Jerome Ashby, former Associate Principal horn of the New York Philharmonic.  He continues to serve as inspiration for me to this day.  The first time I laid eyes on him was watching a New York Philharmonic broadcast.  Seeing Mr. Ashby also made me know that it was possible to pursue this career. 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Eric Conway: Shirley Dunlap voted into membership of the National Theatre Conference

Dr. Shirley Basfield Dunlap

Eric Conway of Morgan State University writes:

Hello Morgan Fine and Performing Arts Community,

Dr. Shirley Basfield Dunlap was recently voted into membership of the National Theatre Conference (NTC).  

The NTC, a not-for-profit, was founded in 1925 and created to bring theatre professionals of note together for a “think-tank” on the major issues of theatre arts in the United States.   The membership is limited to theatre professionals who have brought acclaim to the field. 

Morgan alumna Dr. Shirley Basfield Dunlap will now serve in this membership, beginning in December during their next national conference.  Once again, Morgan faculty is displayed on the national stage. 

Congratulations Shirley! You make us proud at Morgan!


Eric Conway, D.M.A.
Fine and Performing Arts Department, Chair
Morgan State University

Michigan State Univ.: Mark Rucker in Concert on the Bay, 8 PM Aug. 24, Bay Harbor, MI

Mark Rucker

Michigan State University

Concert on the Bay


Cellist Suren Bagratuni, Violinist Dmitri Berlinsky, Baritone Mark Rucker & Pianist Sadie Rucker, and Pianist Margarita Shevchenko

Join fellow Spartans in Northern Michigan for a concert featuring acclaimed performers from the MSU College of Music in the newly-opened Great Lakes Center for the Arts.

8:00 p.m.

Great Lakes Center for the Arts
800 Bay Harbor Dr. | Bay Harbor, MI

There is no charge for admission, but advance registration is required.

Please register by Friday, August 17.

Registrations will be accepted in the order received
up to the capacity of the venue.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Photo of Marlon Daniel after receiving conducting prize in Bucharest, Romania

Marlon Daniel after receiving conducting prize in Bucharest, Romania

Marlon Daniel writes about yesterday's post on the Bucharest Symphony International Conducting Competition:

Dear Bill,
Thank you for the article.
Here is a photo from the Competition you may want to share in the article.
It is of me and the administrators of the competition, heads of the Bucharest Symphony Orchestra and Bucharest Music Institute (BMI) after they awarded me the prize. Nokuthula Ngwenyama & Emerson String Quartet at Lincoln Center

Nokuthula Ngwenyama

Harry Rolnick

The Concord of the Emersons
New York
Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center
07/30/2018 -
Henry Purcell: Fantasia upon One Note, for Five Viols
Johann Sebastian Bach: Fugue in D Minor, from Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 (Arranged by Emanuel Alois Förster)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: String Quintet in G Minor, K. 516
Felix Mendelssohn: String Quintet No. 2 in B-flat major, Opus 87

Nokuthula Ngwenyama (Viola), Emerson String Quartet: Eugene Drucker, Philip Setzer (Violins), Lawrence Dutton (Viola), Paul Watkins (Cello)


Had he lived his more than three-score-years-and six, had he not caught that fatal respiratory disease because his wife made him sleep on the ground after too many ales in the local tavern, Henry Purcell would have altered music more than Monteverdi or Beethoven or Stravinsky. No doubt of it. And under the ten “skilled hands” of the Emerson Quartet and guest violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama, even the first five minutes of last night’s concert would have proven that.

It was a transposition, of course. Purcell had composed his Fantasia upon One Note for five viols, and the quintet last night had the finest of strings to “civilize” the sounds which viols make so roughly. Besides that, it was a puzzle, a joke, a challenge for the composer to start off with the treble viol (in this case Second Violist Ngwenyama) to play the note C, and continue with that single note as a drone against the other instruments.


The Emerson Quartet is so experienced (even with a few changes of personnel) that one knows this will be music played with utmost skill, with expected brio and expected meditation when needed. For the Mozart and Mendelssohn, the Emerson offered sheer excellence and (in Purcell’s words) “angelical voices”.

Added to this was Ms. Ngwenyama, Californian born, with a Zimbabwean/Japanese heritage. So effortlessly did she blend in with the ensemble that she could rarely be singled out. But in those lovely duets in thirds during the Mendelssohn, with First Violist Lawrence Dutton, one could hear what a talent she is.


With the Emerson and Nokuthula Ngwenyama, one felt a momentum throughout the work, brilliant playing for a work whose own brilliance had intelligence, freshness and Classical symmetry.