Sunday, August 2, 2020

Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival, Virtual Edition, August 10th-12th, 2020


We are very excited to present an online 3-day
Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival

August 10-12, 2020

All ages, musical backgrounds and levels are welcome.





Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival is an intense 11 day summer program devoted to performance excellence and career development. Since 2010, over 500 participants have been a part of our festival. Help us continue this tradition!

You Make The Difference!

The Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival is an initiative of the
Imani Winds Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)3 arts institution whose mission is to make meaningful connections through music.
Please consider a tax deductible donation of any amount.

Contributions via check should be made payable to
Imani Winds Foundation, INC.
and sent to
Imani Winds Foundation, 123 West 128th St., Apt. 1, New York, NY 10027

Thank you! Maestro Marlon Daniel is interviewed for an hour on Community Radio in Missouri

Marlon Daniel

KOPN Community Radio

Speaking of the Arts • Episode 120

The Arts in the Time of Masks part 47.5

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Arts Engines: Aaron Dworkin Interviews Chairman of London Philharmonic Orchestra!

Greetings and welcome to this week's episode of Arts Engines, in partnership with Detroit Public Television, Ovation TV, The Violin Channel and American Public Media including Performance Today and YourClassical. Arts Engines seeks to share the most valuable advice and input from arts administrators who tell their stories of creative problem-solving, policy, economic impact, crisis management and empowering the future of our field.

This week's guest is Victoria Robey OBE, Chairman of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Founder of London Music Masters.  Enjoy... and have a creative week!

John Malveaux: Research of Michael Cooper PhD reveals works of Margaret Bonds and Florence Price, now published and being reviewed by MusicUNTOLD

Philip A. Ewell, PhD

John Malveaux of writes:

Michael Cooper PhD is professor of music at Southwestern University, Georgetown, Texas. His research includes previously unknown but recently published compositions by Margaret Bonds and Florence Price. MusicUNTOLD is currently reviewing these edited compositions for performances in Los Angeles. Additionally, I am also greatly appreciative to learn from Michael Cooper about a paper by Philip A. Ewell PhD titled MUSIC THEORY and the WHITE RACIAL FRAME.  See

Friday, July 31, 2020

Luke Welch: Life As a Black Classical Pianist

Life As a Black Classical Pianist

From an early age, as I was first enrolled in piano lessons, I was quick to realize that there were not (m)any other young black pianists who were learning how to play classical music – at least that I had ever met. Fast forward a couple of decades, and nothing has changed. No “growth of the sport”, no “catering to a wider audience”. There are so many ways this writing can go… is it a question of the chicken/egg concept (i.e. is there a lack of interest in classical music within the black community because it is so underrepresented at the highest levels/”misunderstood music”/etc., or is the lack of representation yet another form of systemic discouragement towards some groups of society)?

I have always loved everything classical music has to offer – from a seemingly endless expanse of amazing music spanning hundreds of years, while providing those who choose to play it a parallel variety of technical, musical, and ideological challenges. No matter how many hours of practice, there will always be more work to do and new heights to reach. Delving into the diverse works of J.S. Bach and Domenico Scarlatti could by themselves cost a lifetime of exploration, let alone engaging into the oeuvres of Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms, and beyond. As “musically gifted” as I was told to be when I was young, there were so many other pianists who seemed to be light years ahead of what I thought I could ever achieve. Therein remained the goal to improve and become the best version of my musical self that I could be.

Luke Welch performing at the Embassy Festival in the Netherlands

While I was committed to my own improvements, and those my piano teachers laid out for me, I was often met with equal confusion, resentment, discouragement, and sometimes straight-up disdain from others around me. I don’t “look” the part of a classical musician, nor do I talk as such (whatever that means). I have often been told – especially during my time living abroad – to perhaps switch my musical focus to something more in my lane, such as jazz music. I have even been stopped from entering a concert venue in which I was the performer until I was able to convince the unidentified individual (thankfully not the concert promoter!) to actually look at the advertising poster to confirm that I should even be allowed inside the building. In another instance I was questioned, while at a music store looking for recordings of pieces I was intending to prepare and perform, as to whether the music I sought was actually for me. Once stated that I, too, am a classically-trained musician, the look of shock was also followed by the comment “Wow, you definitely can’t judge a book by its cover!”

“Wow, you definitely can’t judge a book by its cover!”

The amount of restraint it took to not lose my temper in that moment took every fibre of my being. I remember discussing the situation with my father shortly afterwards, and was even more disheartened to hear his sincere, yet candidly matter-of-fact response: “Well, son, get used to it.” Unfortunately, he was one hundred percent correct.

During all of my academic years, from elementary school through university, I did not encounter a single other black pianist. This interesting observation extends not only at my own schools, but also to competitions, professional performances, piano masterclasses, or any other musical environment. It was not something I dwelt on at the time, as I was so preoccupied with building my own career and completing my education that I didn’t have the time to be as cognizant as I probably should have been. I only tended to notice the imbalance when people would bring it up to me in conversation as they were meeting me for the first time at my own performances.

Once the proverbial light bulb *finally* went off in my head, I realized the stakes were much higher than simply accomplishing great feats at the instrument and making a name for myself. I also came to understand and appreciate that I represented a community within the community – and by that I mean being a black classical musician (see: unicorn) in an already marginalized society (and yes, I admit that those who immerse themselves within the classical music community tend to be pigeon-holed as being on the fringes of mainstream). Not only was it – and still is – of paramount importance to be at my best on stage, but it was imperative to remain aware that the lights, camera, and attention may not necessarily stop for me just because the performance is over.

…it was imperative to remain aware that the lights, camera, and attention may not necessarily stop for me just because the performance is over.

I am not one to theorize whether or not my ethnicity impacts my career opportunities, nor do I care. It’s rather quite the opposite. I believe that quality will always succeed, so as long as I continue to prepare well, push myself to be a better musician tomorrow than I am today, maintain a respectful attitude, and appreciate the incredible support from everyone around me and those who have contributed to my career, the rest will take care of itself. I make no secret – diving even deeper into the seemingly infinite pool of classical music, travelling the world, seeing new places, meeting new people, performing, recording albums: these are among the many things that continue to fuel my passion for making music. If part of the job description involves being an ambassador of sorts, I fully welcome the opportunity every time, especially if it has the potential to encourage more young black individuals to explore a world they may not otherwise know exists, or feel entirely comfortable stepping into at first. It is a wonderful feeling to do what you love, regardless of perception as the next classical unicorn – or more importantly, as the next wonderful musician and human being.

The same sentiments hold true in between performances as well. As an independent artist, I have continued to focus the majority of my waking hours on building the practical component of my career – concerts and international travel to destinations around the world to share my music with others. Simultaneously, I have focused on teaching as well – working with students of all ages and abilities – first in Europe, and now here in Canada as well. It has been a long-standing dream of mine (again, no major revelation) to achieve a position within a higher-education institution such as a college or university – working with students who possess the highest level of talent, passion, and dedication to their art the way I also did.

It’s incredible how many positions just like these continue to be filled with faces and backgrounds which look remarkably the same. How many institutions in this vast expanse of the Great White North employ any teachers/professors/music educators who look anywhere similar to me? How long will this trend continue? Even as recently as a month or so ago, I applied for an associate professorship at a university not far from where I live where not only did I meet the outlined qualifications outlined in the job post, but I anticipated that my educational background in multiple continents in addition to my performance and teaching experience would have at very least warranted a cursory response. Unfortunately, there was not even so much as an acknowledgement to my follow-up let alone an invitation for a conversation. Gullible, yet optimistic, I remain for the next coveted opportunity.

Gullible, yet optimistic, I remain for the next coveted opportunity.   

My intention is to share some of my experiences with those who are willing to read about them, and maybe in some way can relate. Let us continue to live side by side in melody and harmony. Let us continue to learn from each other. Let us continue to come together (with the perfect excuse!) for our shared love of music. Stay healthy and safe!

Thank you very much for reading.

– LW

Oskar Morawetz Scherzo - Luke Welch Official

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Orli Shaham's Bach Yard and Kaufman Music Center present Bach Yard Playdates, celebrating the life and music of Florence Price, premiering Sunday, August 2

Free interactive video series for children
This week's episode celebrates the life and music of Florence Price, premieres on Sunday, August 2

Who is Florence Price?
Written and illustrated by the Special Music School Middle School 

It's hard to believe, but our last  Playdate  episode of the summer is finally here - and its a big one! Orli Shaham's Bach Yard is teaming up with Kaufman Music Center's Special Music School Middle School to  celebrate the life and music of Florence Price.   The video premieres on Sunday, August 2, 2020 at 11 am EDT on  Kaufman Music Center’s website .

The episode centers around  a book about the life of composer Florence Price that was written and illustrated by middle school students at Kaufman Music Center's Special Music School. Orli Shaham will read the book aloud, share the stunning illustrations, and present performances of Price’s music by SMS students. Selections include Ticklin' Toes , The Goblin and the Mosquito, and Adoration.

Florence B. Price

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1887, Florence Price was a composer, pianist, organist, and music teacher. She composed orchestral music from symphonies to concertos, as well as chamber music, choral music, and even arrangements of spirituals. When the Chicago Symphony Orchestra premiered her 1st Symphony on June 15, 1933, Ms. Price became the first African-American woman to have her composition performed by a major symphony orchestra!
The Florence Price Playdate episode premieres Sunday, August 2 at 11:00 am EDT on Kaufman Music Center's website . All Playdate episodes are archived for  on-demand  viewing.  Bach Yard  Playdates  is presented by   Kaufman Music Center This series is especially for children up to early elementary, but every member of the household – human or animal, stuffed, or not – will enjoy this fun and unique series.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Darryl Taylor retweets: @umichsmtd: These @NatOperaAssoc videos comprise an oral history of the groundbreaking careers of African-American artists

Darryl Taylor retweets: @umichsmtd: These @NatOperaAssoc videos comprise an oral history of the groundbreaking careers of African-American artists. Watch some incredible personal narratives about contributions made by African-American artists to the field of opera in our Legacy Project's Oral History initiative!

John Malveaux: Latonia Moore Recital – Los Angeles Opera At Home (July 30)

Latonia Moore

John Malveaux of writes:

Famed soprano Latonia Moore will make her virtual company debut with the LA Opera in a recital featuring music from Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin,” Puccini’s “Edgar,” songs by Rachmaninoff, and music by American composer Wintter Watts. She will be accompanied by Roberto Berrocal.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020


Hear our President & Artistic Director Afa S. Dworkin's message and apply!

Sphinx Calls for Applications: DEI Grant Support

To propel our mission of transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts, the Sphinx Organization is now accepting grant applications for the Sphinx Venture Fund

Sphinx will invest up to $300,000 to catalyze initiatives designed to solve a challenge related to cultural diversity in the sphere of the performing arts, with an emphasis on classical music. A small number of proposals are selected each year with an average grant size of $50,000 – $100,000. Eligible Ventures will be executed in collaboration with or on behalf of an existing 501(c)(3) organization
Applications are due September 30, 2020.


Sphinx Organization

+++ ARTS ENGINES | Aaron Dworkin – With Arizona State University’s School of Arts Dean, Steven Tepper [EPISODE 5]

Social entrepreneur, author and artist, Aaron Dworkin has this week released the fourth episode of the new arts video series: ‘Arts Engines.’

Produced in partnership with the Detroit Public Television, Ovation TV, American Public Media and The Violin Channel, each episode highlights the perspectives of the thought leaders and game-changers who are creating significant impact in the field of the arts.

In this episode, Aaron sits down with Dean of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, Steven Tepper – as they discuss the inescapable need for the arts.

“If we don’t take seriously that people live in a symbolic world … and expression and narrative and story and song, poetry … that all of that is essential to how we navigate and understand? Then we’re always only going to have half the solution,” Steven Tepper has this week said.