Wednesday, September 23, 2020

John Malveaux: Los Angeles Philharmonic’s SOUND/STAGE media project, an online compendium of concert films, debuts Friday, September 25, 10am

 J'Nai Bridges

John Malveaux of writes:

The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s SOUND/STAGE media project, an online compendium of concert films, debuts Friday, September 25, at 10am with “Love in the Time of COVID.” Friday, September 25, 2020, at 10AM Series Available at
This first episode will be narrated in Spanish by actress María Valverde, wife of LA Phil Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel.

As previously announced, the debut episode features J’Nai Bridges and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by Dudamel, performing one of Peter Lieberson’s Neruda Songs: “Amor mio, si muero y tú no mueras.” The performance also includes George Walker’s Lyric for Strings, and Gustav Mahler’s Adagietto from his Symphony No. 5.

Each SOUND/STAGE concert film is accompanied by additional artistic content to provide context to the individual pieces and broader concert themes. “Love in the Time of COVID” includes online a playlist from Bridges and an interview in which the singer discusses returning to the stage and promoting the work of African American composers. Bridges’ performance of songs by Florence Price will be released alongside the third episode of SOUND/STAGE, “Power to the People!” Further supporting content is provided in the form of a set of poems, Love Poems in Quarantine, written by playwright and 2006 MacArthur Fellowship recipient Sarah Ruhl.

All programs are offered for free with donations encouraged. The concert will be broadcast at a later date by Classical KUSC.

All SOUND/STAGE performances were filmed outdoors at the Hollywood Bowl under strict adherence to public health guidelines, with all performers maintaining social distance.


Love in the Time of COVID
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
María Valverde, narrator
J'Nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano
LIEBERSON Neruda Songs: “Amor mio, si muero y tú no mueras”
WALKER Lyric for Strings
MAHLER Adagietto from Symphony No. 5

Includes an interview with J’Nai Bridges, a playlist from Bridges, and poems by Sarah Ruhl

Longy School of Music of Bard College Appoints Assistant Dean of Artistic and Social Change Dr. Ian Saunders

 Dr. Ian Saunders

Longy School of Music of Bard College

Cambridge MA 02138

Dr. Ian Saunders is the conservatory’s new Assistant Dean, effective September 14.

Dr. Ian Saunders comes to Longy having worked as an educator and performer after receiving his Musical Arts doctorate from the University of Maryland. Prior to joining Longy, Dr. Saunders was the Classical Roots Coordinator at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, where he began his relationship with the Orchestra as a Diversity Fellow. Previously, Saunders was the Associate Dean of Students at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina.

“We are honored to welcome Dr. Ian Saunders to the Longy Community. He is an incredible musician and leader, and our students, faculty and staff will benefit greatly from his expertise,” said President Karen Zorn. “I look forward to working closely with him to advance our social change mission and to create meaningful change for students and communities through music.”

Longy prepares our students to become the musicians the world needs them to be. Dr. Saunders will develop and grow programs that will guide students on how to use their artistry to drive positive change in their communities.

“I am excited about my new role at Longy. The School’s commitment to preparing our students to become citizen musicians is inspiring. Talent is spread evenly across humanity, but the opportunity to nurture that talent is not. By modeling what equitable and authentic community relationships are to our students, they graduate capable of shaping careers rooted in social change.”

Dr. Saunders will work with faculty and program directors to guide some of Longy’s signature programs including:

  • Sistema Side by Side. An orchestra comprised of Longy students and young musicians from Massachusetts-based El Sistema-inspired programs, Sistema Side by Side is centered on mentorship and musical excellence.
  • Music as a Healing Art. Partnering with the Music for Healing and Transition Program, Longy offers an academic year class as well as a summer program leading to certification as Music Practitioner. This training prepares musicians at all levels to use their artistry for healing within a variety of settings (hospitals, assisted living facilities, hospice care, transitional housing, etc.).
  • Teaching Artist Program. Longy was among the first music conservatories to require its students to study and practice teaching artistry, placing its students in community organizations, schools and other venues around the city. Through the teaching artist program, Longy students learn how to interact with new audiences and create meaningful musical experiences in a variety of settings.
  • Music and Civic Engagement. Preparing students to make an impact in the community is a prominent feature of Longy’s Catalyst Courses. In this class, students learn how human-centered design can help them identify social needs through music.
  • Musician’s Portfolio. At the heart of being an artist in society is self-awareness and identity and determining what you have and wish to say to the world.

Saunders will also cultivate partnerships with national and international institutions, including area public schools and health care facilities, and the El Sistema network.

“Dr. Ian Saunders joins our Academic Affairs team as a musician who has truly lived Longy’s mission of creating equity and social impact through music,” said Dean Dr. Judith Bose. “He brings significant experience as a performer, speaker and educator, and is the perfect choice to lead some of our most important initiatives. We are thrilled to announce his appointment.”

In addition to his oversight of Longy’s signature programs and partnerships, Dr. Saunders will directly manage co-curricular and professional development opportunities. He will also be responsible for the artistic design and curation of Longy’s concert season. Saunders looks to continue Longy’s work of decolonizing the classical music cannon and amplifying the voices of Black and brown, women and LGBTQ musicians.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Utah Symphony: Sep. 24, 25 and 26 program includes Valerie Coleman's "Afro" and "Danza," and Quinn Mason's "Changes/Transitions"

Quinn Mason
(Masonian Music)

Valerie Coleman

Utah Symphony

PROGRAM: J.S. BACH: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 | SCHOENBERG: Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night) | VALERIE COLEMAN: “Afro” and “Danza” from Afro-Cuban Concerto for Wind Quintet | ANDREA VENET: Omnes Trio | QUINN MASON: Changes/Transitions

Schott EAM: Alvin Singleton Named Karel Husa Visiting Professor of Composition at Ithaca College Amidst a Flurry of Upcoming Performances Online


Schott EAM

Sep. 18, 2020

Alvin Singleton has been named the Karel Husa Visiting Professor of Composition at Ithaca College for the 2020-21 academic year. The Karel Husa Visiting Professor of Composition is a position awarded annually to a major figure in music composition today. Visiting Professors lecture on their music and issues relevant to contemporary composition and conduct private lessons with the School of Music's composition majors. During the course of the Professorship, several of Alvin Singleton's works will be studied and performed by Ithaca College School of Music faculty and students. 

Listen to Alvin Singleton's PraiseMaker (1998):

(PraiseMaker/Alvin Singleton/Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Robert Spano, conductor)

This month, Alvin Singleton's After Choice is being streamed as part of the Bard Music Festival's "Out of the Silence" series. Commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University for the Orchestra of the League of Composers, Alvin Singleton's 8-minute After Choice is a true gem -- one of his most resourceful pieces. This extremely listenable work for string orchestra utilizes licks from the late violin master Leroy Jenkins in a manner at once austere and opulent. This work, in memory of Mr. Jenkins, juggles and juxtaposes a recurring pizzicato phrase against arco lines as it relentlessly grows. The elements of sudden silences and suspense are, as in many of Singleton's works, major players.

Additionally, on September 26, the Locrian Chamber Players will perform In My Own Skin as part of their "Online Festival of Solos." The title of this one-movement highly-pianistic creation lets us know clearly where the composer is comfortable. But within that skin in this work are two competing sonic worlds. Beginning chorally in big harmonies, that mood is soon interrupted by loud, running 16th note octaves. The drama of In My Own Skin lies within these disjunct phrases, as each seems to argue as to what the whole piece should be about. Jazz and classical implications also keep things interesting. Some might hear those opening chords not so much as a classical chorale as like jazz big-band brass and winds, the running 16ths as something out of Lenny Tristano or Thelonious Monk. Of course Singleton fans know that it is about both, sonic and cultural worlds which live in his skin in comfortable equality.

Finally, on October 18,  Seth Parker Woods will play Argoru II as part of the livestreamed Bang on a Can Festival. Argoru II for cello is the second in a series of solo pieces for various musical instruments. This composition, like all the Argoru pieces, provides a musical platform for sheer virtuosic display. The title, Argoru, comes from the Twi language (spoken in Ghana) and means "to play."

Performers may wish to explore Alvin Singleton's entire Argoru collection, recently released on PSNY.

To learn more about Alvin Singleton, visit:

Alvin Singleton
After Choice (2009)
for string orchestra

In My Own Skin (2010)
for piano

Argoru II (1970)
for solo cello

John Malveaux: DEEP RIVER-The ART of the SPIRITUAL (academic discussion of Negro spirituals as art songs including comments and vocal performances)

Kevin Deas

John Malveaux of writes:

DEEP RIVER-The ART of the SPIRITUAL (academic discussion of Negro spirituals as art songs including comments and vocal performances by baritone Kevin Deas

Bass Baritone Kevin Deas volunteered performances of two opera arias during MusicUNTOLD Nov. 21, 2015 concert at Constitution Hall (Washington DC) celebrating the '150th Anniversary 13th Amendment to US Constitution – ABOLISHMENT OF SLAVERY'.
Kevin Deas sang: I Made Me A Man from Adolphus Hailstork opera Rise for Freedom: The John P Parker Story and No Man’s Possession from Ulysses Kay opera Jubilee. Victor Simonson pianist.  

Monday, September 21, 2020

Rebeca Omordia: Meridian Records releases "21st Century Double Bass" with Leon Bosch, Double Bass, and Rebeca Omordia, Piano

21st Century Double Bass is accompanied by Rebeca Omordia on Piano and features the music of Robin Walker, Simon Parkin, Philip Wood, Ivor Hodgson, David Ellis, Malcolm Lipkin and Roxanna Panufnik.

@RebecaOmordia Tweeted: Out now! Very special to record The South African Double Bass with duo partner @leonbosch! The recording is out now on

Rebeca Omordia Elizabeth Llewellyn joins Wigmore regular Simon Lepper for a programme including Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's set of six songs dedicated to his wife.

 Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)

Wednesday, 23 September 2020, 1.00pm

A British opera singer who debuted with the English National Opera, Elizabeth Llewellyn joins Wigmore regular Simon Lepper for a programme including Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's set of six songs dedicated to his wife.

This concert will be live streamed on this website in HD. Watch live here:

All concerts in the Autumn Series will be available on demand for 30 days after the date of the concert.

Log in or create an account on our website to access live streams and our video library. Creating an account only takes two minutes.

Published on 21 September 2020

Sunday, September 20, 2020

NYTimes: Anthony McGill, ‘Citizen Musician,’ Wins $100,000 Award

Credit...Miranda Barnes for The New York Times

The New York Philharmonic’s principal clarinet, and a leader in promoting racial representation, was chosen for the Avery Fisher Prize.

Sept. 15, 2020

Anthony McGill, the New York Philharmonic’s principal clarinet, hasn’t been heard onstage at Lincoln Center since the coronavirus pandemic abruptly ended the orchestra’s season in March. But he has been difficult to miss online, whether as the instigator of #TakeTwoKnees performances in response to the killing of George Floyd, or as a prominent voice in subsequent conversations around racial representation in classical music.

Those sides of his artistry — as a captivating virtuoso on the stage, and as a longtime advocate for social change extending beyond it — have earned him the Avery Fisher Prize, an honor that comes with $100,000, the Avery Fisher Artist Program announced on Tuesday.

Mr. McGill was chosen for the award last December; an announcement had been planned for April, with a celebration to follow in June, but both were canceled because of the pandemic. (The ceremony will now be virtual, and streamed Tuesday evening.) Still, his contributions this year to the Black Lives Matter movement have reinforced why he won the prize in the first place, said Deborah Borda, the Philharmonic’s president and the chairwoman of the executive committee of the Fisher program, which is administered by Lincoln Center.

“I have the highest admiration for what I would call the citizen musician,” said Ms. Borda, who as Mr. McGill’s Philharmonic colleague recused herself from the award vote. “He is the embodiment of that.”


Mr. McGill joins the ranks of previous winners, who in recent years have included the new-music champions Leila Josefowicz and Claire Chase, as well as the pianist and writer Jeremy Denk. Because an in-person celebration was not possible, Mr. McGill has been granted an additional $30,000 to donate; he chose the Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program, of which he is the artistic director and which seeks students from backgrounds generally underrepresented in classical music.

That extra money, combined with added gifts from Mr. McGill and Weston Sprott — a trombonist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the dean of Juilliard’s preparatory division — will be used to create a $100,000 scholarship fund.

“We’re trying to ensure openness and opportunity for all kids, regardless of background, race, religion, sexual orientation,” Mr. McGill said in an interview. “That’s my No. 1 goal and passion.”

Mr. McGill was the Philharmonic’s first Black principal musician when he joined in 2014; he is currently its only Black player. He appears at David Geffen Hall and elsewhere as a concerto soloist, and is in a trio with his brother, Demarre McGill — the principal flute of the Seattle Symphony — and the pianist Michael McHale. In 2009, he performed at Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration. Utah Symphony’s cautious opening proves a moving experience: Fela Sowande’s “Joyful Day” opened the show in festive fashion.

Fela Sowande (1905-1987)

[Fela Sowande is considered the Father of Nigerian Art Music. His career is profiled in detail at]

Utah Symphony’s cautious opening proves a moving experience

By Catherine Reese Newton

September 19, 2020

The Utah Symphony opened its 2020-21 season on time Thursday night, ending a six-month intermission. Earlier the same day the Utah Department of Health reported a state record of 911 new cases of the novel coronavirus.

The orchestra took abundant care in its first concert since the Covid-19 pandemic stopped the music world in its tracks. The Abravanel Hall stage was extended to allow at least 6 feet of distance between the night’s performers—about 40 string players, joined briefly by harpist Louise Vickerman and even more briefly by principal percussionist Keith Carrick.  

Fela Sowande’s “Joyful Day” opened the show in festive fashion. In this first movement from the Nigerian composer’s 1944 African Suite based on West African tunes, it may have taken a few bars for the string sound to coalesce, but the orchestra soon showed itself in top form.        

John Malveaux: Mezzo Soprano Denyce Graves Montgomery was a dear friend of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Denyce Graves Montgomery and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

John Malveaux of writes:

Mezzo Soprano Denyce Graves Montgomery was a dear friend of  Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  MusicUNTOLD presented Denyce Graves-Montgomery in recital at Long Beach Performing Arts Center June 19, 2011. The following YouTube performance is dedicated to the Honorable Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg See pic Justice Ginsburg and Denyce Graves Montgomery