Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Broadway "Decca And Chineke! Orchestra Announce First Album In New Partnership, 'Coleridge-Taylor', Out September 30"

The album features music by the celebrated African-British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor with an appearance by award-winning U.S. violinist Elena Urioste.

Broadway World

On September 30, 2022, the Chineke! Orchestra will release a new album, Coleridge-Taylor. The album features music by the celebrated African-British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor with an appearance by award-winning U.S. violinist Elena Urioste, plus a world premiere recording of a work by Coleridge-Taylor's daughter Avril Coleridge-Taylor.

Coleridge-Taylor will be the first release on Chineke! Records, the newly created partnership between Decca and the Chineke! Orchestra, Europe's first professional majority Black and ethnically diverse orchestra.

Executive Producer of Chineke! Records is Chi-chi Nwanoku CBE, Founder, Artistic, and Executive Director of the Chineke! Foundation, which supports, inspires, and encourages Black and ethnically diverse classical musicians working in the U.K. and Europe, by providing a platform on which to excel.

Chi-chi Nwanoku CBE says, "Chineke!'s debut concert began with Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and it could not be more fitting that we launch our first Chineke! Records album in partnership with Decca with music by the same composer whose music clearly comes straight from the heart. Included is a masterpiece by his daughter Avril. Their glorious music has been silent for too long; some of it never heard, and we promise an album that you will return to over and over again."

Tom Lewis and Laura Monks, Co-Presidents of Decca Label Group, say, "Chi-chi's vision, energy and ambition are extraordinary. She is a trailblazer with an important mission and, together with Chineke!, she has recorded compositions by some of the world's most important yet under-represented classical composers. We are committed to spreading the incredible music, talent and message of Chineke! around the world."

Coleridge-Taylor Tracklist

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor - Othello Orchestral Suite, Op. 79
Avril Coleridge-Taylor - Sussex Landscape, Op. 27
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor - African Suite, Op. 35
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor - Ballade in A minor, Op. 33
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor - Petite Suite de Concert, Op. 7

Sunday, July 31, 2022 "William Grant Still, Music for Violin and Orchestra" on Naxos includes "world premiere orchestral versions" of Still compositions

 William Grant Still (1895-1978)

July 29, 2022

Welcome to "For the Record,"'s weekly roundup of new releases of recordings by violinists, violists, cellists and other classical musicians. We hope it helps you keep track of your favorite artists, as well as find some new ones to add to your listening!

William Grant Still: Music for Violin and Orchestra
Zina Schiff, violin
Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Avlana Eisenberg conducting


Violinist Zina Schiff, a Heifetz protégé who recalls meeting William Grant Still as a young student, joins her daughter, conductor Avlana Eisenberg, in this recording that includes world premiere orchestral versions of Summerland, Violin Suite, Pastorela, American Suite, Threnody, Serenade, Fanfare for the 99th Fighter Squadron, Can’t You Line ‘Em and Quit Dat Fool’nish. 

Aaron Dworkin Interviews Rebecca Geoffrey Schwinden, Coordinator of BA Critical Studies at University of North Texas!

 Welcome to this week's episode of Arts Engines which now reaches over 
100,000 weekly viewers 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 show is co-curated by our Creative Partner, the University
of North Texas College of Music ,and our guest is Rebecca Geoffrey-
Schwinden, Associate Professor of Music History and Program
Coordinator of BA Critical Studies in Music and Society at UNT
, as
she talks about the importance of evolving our curriculum to
prepare students for today’s arts world.  Enjoy... and have a creative

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

John Malveaux: Dr Samantha Ege releases third album celebrating historical women composers

Faculty of Music

University of Oxford

Dr Samantha Ege has released an album of piano music by five trailblazing early twentieth-century African American female composers. The album is called Black Renaissance Woman: Piano Music by Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, Nora Holt, Betty Jackson King, and Helen Hagan (LORELT). As an album that brings more women composers of African descent to light and contextualises them in the historical era of the Black Chicago Renaissance, this project has been recognised as a significant contribution to scholarship and performance. It received the prestigious 2021 Noah Greenberg Award of the American Musicological Society in recognition of its outstanding contribution to historical performing practices. The sleeve notes additionally feature the scholarly and creative insights of Dr Artina McCain (University of Memphis), Dr Lucy Caplan (Harvard University), and A. Kori Hill (UNC Chapel Hill).

Black Renaissance Woman launched on 28 February 2022, with the support of Lincoln College’s Michael Zilkha Fund. Then, on 8 March 2022 - International Women’s Day - Dr Ege presented and performed aspects of the recording in an event called “Florence Price, Black Renaissance Women,” supported by Lincoln College, TORCH, and the Music Faculty.

Since its release, Black Renaissance Woman has been widely praised. In a 5-star review in BBC Music Magazine, critic Michael Church wrote, “Lorelt (Lontano Records) is a musical salon des refusés set up in 1992 with the aim of promoting important repertoire neglected by major labels. And this is its second recording from pianist and musicologist Samantha Ege, who wears her mission on her sleeve: her discovery of Florence Price set her on the path she is now successfully pursuing, as a champion of forgotten women composers from the early and mid-20th century.” Colin Clarke of International Piano Magazine wrote, “Samantha’s work on the music of Florence Price has already been revelatory.” Clarke also praised her “faultless” playing on this new recording.

Black Renaissance Woman is available now on CD and all digital and streaming platforms.

John Malveaux: George Walker and Latonia Moore

John Malveaux and Latonia Moore

John Malveaux of writes:

Sunday July 24, 2022 WCRB classical 99.5 Tanglewood Boston Symphony Orchestra broadcast included composer William Grant Still's "In Memoriam, The Colored Soldiers Who Died for Democracy" and soprano Latonia Moore singing composer George Walker's Pulitzer Prize "Lilac" (text by Walt Whitman). I was a close friend of George Walker and current friend of Latonia Moore. RIP George Walker. See pic of Latonia Moore and John Malveaux

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Sergio A. Mims - The Baltimore Sun: Jonathon Heyward named BSO music director, replacing Marin Alsop...

Jonathon Heyward
(Laura Thiesbrummel/Laura Thiesbrummel)

Sergio A. Mims forwards:

The Baltimore Sun

July 21, 2022 

Jonathon Heyward named BSO music director, replacing Marin Alsop and becoming only Black conductor to helm major U.S. symphony orchestra

Jonathon Heyward, the 29-year-old classical music phenom whose skill on the conductor’s podium has generated international headlines, was named Thursday as the next music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

When Heyward begins his five-year contract in the fall of 2023, he will be the only Black American conductor leading a major U.S. symphony orchestra and just the second in history. He will be the BSO’s 13th music director.

“I think we are poised for great things at this moment,” said Brian Prechtl, chairman of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and a member of the search committee seeking a successor for former music director Marin Alsop. “The hiring of Jonathon Heyward is going to be a marquee moment for The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.”

Heyward’s appointment occurred at warp speed in classical music terms, where the search for a new music director frequently can take two or three years. Initially, symphony officials said that a successor to Alsop, the first woman to helm a major American symphony, might not be appointed until the spring of 2024.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Jeri Lynne Johnson: Press Release: Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra Receives Major Support From The Mellon Foundation

Jeri Lynne Johnson

 Press Release: 

Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra/The Mellon Foundation

Jeri Lynne Johnson
Founder and Artistic Director,
Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra
30 South 15th Street, 15th floor
Philadelphia, PA  19102
p  267.702.2809

Mellon Foundation makes $300,000 grant to Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra to support diversity and excellence in Classical music

Philadelphia, PA – July 21, 2022. Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, the nation’s most diverse professional orchestra, was awarded a major grant from The Mellon Foundation. Founded in 2008, Black Pearl Chamber
Orchestra has spent the last ten years proving that a visible commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion can have a lasting and positive impact on communities AND the orchestra. With the purpose of supporting its
community-centered programming for the next three years, the $300,000 grant represents a significant recognition of the organization’s work and impact over the last 13 years. 

Based in Philadelphia, the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra was established as a model for the 21st-century American orchestra with a mission to take the audience beyond spectatorship to participation in the musical experience by combining artistic excellence with cultural diversity and innovative community engagement. In recognition of its world-class performance quality, Black Pearl has received numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. And Maestro Johnson's innovative projects have made Black Pearl the only organization in the country to have been awarded three prestigious Knight Arts Challenge grants from the JohnS. and James L. Knight Foundation. But this grant from the Mellon Foundation is the largest investment in the organization’s mission to date.

As part of this grant, Black Pearl will undertake a new project, called the “Kaleidoscope Initiative” to support the next generation of rising young composers, especially composers of color. This project represents an
expansion of Black Pearl’s mandate to normalize diversity in classical music by focusing on creating access and opportunities in the creative process of music-making. Spread across its concert season, the works of three talented young composers will receive a premiere performance that will be recorded so the composers can promote their works through high quality live instrument versions of their works rather than digital MIDI realizations. Such recordings play an important role in building a creative career through competitions, prizes, fellowships, job positions, and promotion for performance with other orchestras.

Black Pearl’s Founder, Maestro Jeri Lynne Johnson, was delighted to receive the news that the important and impactful work of the organization would be supported for the next three years.

“Given the incredibly difficult circumstances ALL arts and culture organizations have had to weather during the COVID-19 pandemic, this grant from the Mellon Foundation will provide Black Pearl with the resources to continue to deliver concert and community programming to diverse communities across Philadelphia that enjoy our work. We are deeply grateful for this support and excited to begin this new
relationship with the Mellon Foundation to continue to create more inclusive, equitable Classical music experiences and to foster compositional talent that will continue to impact ll continue to impact the field far into the future."

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Givonna Joseph: OperaCreole in BreakThru Media Magazine!

          *Special Recognition 
for Creative Achievement in Opera
For our original opera 
2019 Gambit's Tribute to the 
Classical Arts Awards

*National recognition:
Southern Living Magazine's

Monday, July 11, 2022

Chicago Sinfonietta: Lights, Camera, MUSIC! A formal invitation to MORE LIFE, July 16th from Chicago President and CEO Blake-Anthony Johnson

 Lights, Camera, MUSIC!

A formal invitation to MORE LIFE, July 16th 

from Chicago President and CEO Blake-Anthony Johnson

Chicago Sinfonietta is proud to be a part of Chicago. The City of Chicago is  lauded as the number one, most-diversified economy among the largest U.S metropolitan districts*  and there is a reason for this! Chicago’s creative industries (arts & culture) not only are a key part of the collective economic body, but we are the connective tissue that supports, protects, and gives structure to our world-class city.

A vibrant cultural landscape is more than just a fun evening of entertainment; the creative industry sector is instrumental in the economic development and job creation of every city and town in which it operates.  The arts are the shiny jewels businesses spotlight when luring talent to Choose Chicago, as well as the anchor to the community needed to retain both the familiar and new. The arts are the digital and physical cultural corridors that support socio-economic development, small local businesses, community investments, tourism, consumer purchases, and a city-wide culture of innovative ideation across sectors.

The arts are also a bridge between the old and the new, and Chicago Sinfonietta in particular is an active vanguard in this area. In 2020, I had the pleasure of introducing two new Chicago Sinfonietta (CS) programs: an expansion to our internationally acclaimed Freeman Fellowship Program (formerly named Project Inclusion) by adding composition as a fourth discipline, and our inaugural 2020-2023 Artist in Residence partnership - with  Kathryn Bostic, a member of the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences and the first female African American score composer in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Bostic was the perfect partner to highlight Chicago’s national film score connections and CS’ work both on and off stage (including working with our new composition fellow). Did you know that Illinois is the 3rd largest movie and recording workforce in the country - and growing! In 2021, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Film Office at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced a new initiative to strengthen Chicago’s TV and film industry titled Chicago Made.

Chicago Sinfonietta, fellow alumni, and affiliate artists have an extensive list of credits and partnerships within film & television. CS Music Director Mei-Ann Chen chose Michael Abels (score composer for Get Out which CS performed in 2019) as a partner for her first recording with Chicago Sinfonietta as Music Director in Delight & Dances.  Too many credits to list;  you can hear the global impact of Chicago Sinfonietta’s network in small independent films up to mega hits like Jordan Peele’s US, the Lion King directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, and so much more!

Beyond Chicago Sinfonietta, the city of Chicago has dominated the scores of recent films. Both Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings franchises utilized talent nurtured by the city of Chicago’s nationally acclaimed film score composition & recording collegiate programs, not to mention Chicago being home to some of the biggest living legends in the industry  - Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock. Chicago Sinfonietta’s industry - the TV, Film, & Music industry, is just one of the many connective tissues that supports, protects, and gives structure to this word-class city.

The arts offer so much to the communities in which we live, and connect through collaborations across the genres. We invite you to see collaborative arts in action - join us, the Chicago Sinfonietta, this Saturday, July 16 at Millennium Park for the third installment of our new SINFONIETTA IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD series with  MORE LIFE,  an all-day event from 3 - 7 pm. Free and open to the public celebrating Chicago’s legacy and influence in art, design, and entertainment, this unique program allows you to experience the best of  “Summer Chi”  while highlighting homegrown talent with an all-star fashion design panel, and performances by DJs and musicians supporting Chicago’s cultural ecology of regional entrepreneurs in art, design, and music! We look forward to seeing  you there! 

Happy Summer,

Blake-Anthony Johnson

President & CEO, Chicago Sinfonietta
2022 Chicago Community Trust Daniel Burnham Fellow
Voting Member, Recording Academy
Cultural Advisory Council, City of Chicago (DCASE)

Friday, July 8, 2022

Sinfo-Nia's 2K22 Summer Orchestra Academy Update


Summer Academy Schedule Change

Tremendous Tuition Discount

We appreciate your continued interest and support of Sinfo-Nia Youth Orchestra. In our efforts to restart, we are experiencing extremely low registration numbers and have therefore streamlined the Summer program to a One-week Day Camp taking place July 18 - 22, 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM (drop-off as early as 6:45 AM, pick-up as late as 6:00 PM). The culminating performance will occur on Friday, July 29, 4:00 PM. The Camp and Performance location is Open Word Christian Ministries, 6230 Highway 92, Fairburn, Georgia 30213.

We are offering a tremendous discount of $80.00 for the entire week of camp. Breakfast and Sandwich Lunch are included. 

Our summer program really provides musicians an opportunity to be ahead of their classmates when they return to their school orchestra for fall session.  We accept students as young as seven years old and welcome string students on all levels for violin, viola, cello, and double bass. Advanced level band students in winds, brass and percussion can attend as well. The camp consists of fun-filled musical days emphasizing proper technical execution to include posture, bow hold, reading music, scales, expression and performance.

For more information:,, (404) 428-3804.