Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Bill Doggett: You are Invited to Celebrate Adolphus Hailstork@80 April 17th on YouTube at 11:30 AM ET, 8:30 AM PT, 10:30 AM CT, 3:00 PM London

Adolphus Cunningham Hailstork III

Bill Doggett writes:

A Milestone approaches.

April 17th 2021 marks the 80th birthday of the esteemed American composer,
Adolphus Hailstork

Please join us for the premiere of the Birthday Celebration Film with long time colleagues and friends which I executive produced on the YouTube channel of Theodore Presser Music on April 17th.

The film premiere time is 11:30AM ET, 8:30AM PT, 10:30AM CT, 3:30PM London/ Cordially, Bill Doggett

John Malveaux: Michael Cooper lecture at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, “Black Feminism, Margaret Bonds, and the ‘Credo’ of W.E.B. Du Bois” was recorded

Rediscovering Margaret Bonds
Art Songs, Spirituals, Musical Theater and Popular Songs
Louise Toppin, Editor
Videmus African American Art Song Series

John Malveaux of writes:

Dr. Michael Cooper lecture March 24, 2021 at the Royal Irish Academy of Music titled “Black Feminism, Margaret Bonds, and the ‘Credo’ of W.E.B. Du Bois” was recorded for posterity. See

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Intercultural Music Initiative: Upcoming Events to Share - Streaming in April!


Upcoming events to share - Streaming in April!

A very special event, streaming soon on Facebook or on your mobile device,

Sugar Hill Salon 2021 Concert #3 is this Sunday April 18th @ 4pm! This month's concert will feature flutist Julietta Curenton and oboist Hassan Anderson! This concert will feature duos and trios by Adolphus Hailstork, Alyssa Morris, Shawn E. Okpebholo, Fred Onovwerosuoke, and Heitor Villa-Lobos. Hope to see you there! 

Wendy Hymes (flute), Hank Skolnick (bassoon), and Mary Bryant (clarinet), - an IMI Season Finale Concerts event streaming soon, right here on our Facebook page, or on your mobile device!

Ebonee Thomas (flute), Titus Underwood (oboe), and Alex Laing (clarinet), - an IMI Season Finale Concerts event streaming soon, right here on our Facebook page, or on your mobile device! 

The African Concert Series: Rebeca Omordia in new partnership with Wigmore Hall

 John Gilhooly announces that the African Concert Series is to join the Wigmore Hall’s partnership family.

In the year of the Wigmore Hall’s 120th anniversary, Artistic Director, John Gilhooly has announced that the African Concert Series, spearheaded by the Nigerian-Romanian pianist Rebeca Omordia will be joining the Wigmore Hall’s family of partners. This is an enormous tribute to Rebeca, whose inspiring leadership over the last three years, has brought together brilliant talents from the wide diaspora of African art music, which forms a bridge between Western classical music and traditional African music. Her early CD ‘Ekele’ for Heritage, featuring the piano music of a number of composers from Nigeria, including Ayo Bankole, Fred Onovwerosuoke and Christian Onyeji, proved a hit and prefigured the success of the concert series.


Rebeca Omordia is an award-winning pianist of Nigerian-Romanian heritage, being born and raised in Romania during the Ceaușescu regime. After graduating from the National Music University in Bucharest in 2006 she came to this country with a scholarship to study for a Masters at Birmingham Conservatoire, where she won the Delius Prize. It was here that she met up with Julian Lloyd Webber and soon began a very successful partnership with him from 2012 till 2014, performing together at Wigmore Hall and Kings Place.


She also collaborated with cellists Raphael Wallfisch, Jiaxin Lloyd Webber and Razvan Suma (with whom she toured the UK and Romania), Chineke!, saxophonist Amy Dickson and pianist Mark Bebbington with whom she recorded piano music by Ralph Vaughan Williams for two pianos, which reached no. 3 in the UK Classical Music Chart. 


Antony Barlow, Press and PR

Monday, April 12, 2021

NOBLE Responds to Latest Excessive Force Incidents

National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) Responds to Latest Excessive Force Incidents

Alexandria, VA. – April 12, 2021 – Even as police reform measures are being enacted across many municipalities, as advocacy for reform grows, moreover as our nation is in the very midst of the trial for the death of George Floyd, with evidence and excruciating witness testimony bearing out the circumstances surrounding his death, we continue to be confronted with examples of excessive use of force, lack of transparency and understanding of the precept for police engagement fitting the encounter, and another unfortunate fatality of a citizen of color.

Yes, a complete picture of the events and actions surrounding the vehicle stops of Army 2nd Lt. Caron Nazario and Daunte Wright, which ended tragically, are still being investigated, but it begs the question of how we keep ending up "here?” How do we keep ending with physical force exceeding the perceived infraction? And why?

When will police executives and civic leadership stop having to explain away failures of those determined to flout the tenet of "serve and protect?”

Our thoughts and sincere prayers are with those at the center of these latest tragic circumstances; NOBLE remains committed as a partner for improved relations between public safety and the community, for transparency around deployed actions of force, and as importantly, advocating justice through action.


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 "Black Classical Music History in One Convenient Box": CBS Black Composers Series Reissued by Sony on 10 CDs

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799)

San Francisco Classical Voice

Richard S. Ginell on April 11, 2021

It’s not news anymore that the day has come for a major emergence of neglected Black composers into the mainstream of concert life. Some of this was underway before George Floyd’s death kicked the Black Lives Matter movement into a higher gear, but now it has become a bandwagon, with one orchestra and small group after another adding historic figures like Florence Price and Julius Eastman and contemporary voices like Jessie Montgomery to their pandemic streams. And a convenient way to get a basic handle on the history of classical music by Black composers is available in one box of 10 CDs.

Let’s go back to the 1970s when some major record labels were still fronted by enlightened visionaries like Goddard Lieberson, who came out of retirement in 1973 to resume his old position as president of Columbia Records after the firing of Clive Davis. It was in Lieberson’s second term that Columbia Masterworks joined up with Afro-American Music Opportunities Organization (AAMOA) to start the Black Composers Series, a sequence of albums that would give major-label exposure to a whole lineup of neglected figures.

Columbia spared nothing to give the project every chance to succeed, enlisting top-flight orchestras — the London Symphony in five of the albums, the Detroit and Baltimore Symphonies and Helsinki Philharmonic in the others — the Juilliard Quartet, violinists Jaime Laredo, Sanford Allen (the first Black member of the New York Philharmonic), and Aaron Rosand, cellist Janos Starker, and the label’s roster of producers and engineers. Paul Freeman, one of just a few working Black conductors of classical music, served as artistic director and conductor. The first four albums in the series came out in March 1974, four more followed in June 1975, and the original plan was to keep on releasing four albums per year through 1978.

Alas, something fell through — funding? disappointing sales? — and only one more album emerged in January 1978, delayed for two years after the recording date (Lieberson had retired for the second and final time in 1975). The series had a rather short shelf life; the last five albums went out of print before the decade was out, while the first four hung on for a while into the 1980s until they, too, got the deletion axe. Decades later, Freeman rerecorded several of the pieces with his Chicago Sinfonietta for Cedille’s smaller-scale, three-volume African Heritage Symphonic series, but otherwise, most of the music returned to obscurity.

It’s hard to imagine any of the three “major” corporate labels coming up with such an adventurous, systematic project today. But Sony — the current owners of the Columbia archive — did the next best thing two years ago by reissuing all nine Black Composers Series albums in a handsome, compact, inexpensive box, adding as a bonus another Freeman album, Symphonic Spirituals, made after the project was over for Columbia’s red pop label.

 What Columbia uncovered here is a little-used, not as carefully maintained highway running parallel to the main expressway of the classical-music repertory, passing through mostly the same neighborhoods, used by the same vehicles (symphony orchestras, choruses, a string quartet, etc.). Now and then, the highway veers off to serve some urban neighborhoods that the main expressway bypasses, but always remaining parallel.

Some musicians and writers have insisted upon calling jazz “Black classical music” — always an aggrandizing misnomer to me; jazz is jazz, and there’s nothing wrong with that — but this box contains literally, and more accurately, Black classical music if we accept the form as music with European roots composed by Black musicians. Not much could be said to be ahead of its time, even the most gnarled modernist pieces — nor out of its time.

Inevitably, the set launches with the first historically significant Black composer, Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, whose delightful Symphony No. 1 is a slice of Haydn classical language that could grace any socially-distanced chamber orchestra program. The Juilliard Quartet performs the Chevalier’s polite String Quartet No. 1 in C; the Symphonie Concertante is given a lush orchestral treatment by Freeman and the LSO; period-performance practices had not yet taken a vise-like grip on all 18th century music performances in the 1970s. Another historical figure based in Europe, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, is represented at his most Romantic in an aria from Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast and at his most light-hearted in the Danse Negre from his African Suite.

As you go through the set, you can find several worthy pieces that can be easily punched into the general repertory by alert impresarios. George Walker’s Trombone Concerto wears well after a number of  listenings, a viable modernist work of considerable contrast and a winning finale (unlike the disagreeably severe Piano Concerto), a gift to curious trombone soloists faced with a dearth of solo material. José Mauricio Nunes Garcia’s Requiem Mass is good enough to substitute for Mozart’s well-trodden Requiem — try a blindfold listening test on people and see who they think wrote it — as Walker’s increasingly-played Lyric for Strings could stand in for Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings.

Roque Cordero wrote his Violin Concerto for Allen, who revels in its abstract, twisting, turning lines, while on the other hand, José White Lafitte’s Violin Concerto is a virtuoso piece straight out of the middle of the 19th century, done to a spectacular turn by Rosand. A greatly underrated violinist with an unshakable dark-colored tone, Rosand, who was white and Jewish, has written that this was the only record that he was allowed to make for Columbia mainly because more famous violinists on the label didn’t want to learn the Concerto due to its technical difficulties. He did not mention racism as a reason. 

Sunday, April 11, 2021 Dr. William Chapman Nyaho is special guest in SUNY Fredonia's Piano Festival Session April 12, 2021; free online registration required for Zoom links

Dr. William Chapman Nyaho

April 11, 2021

A series of virtual experiences celebrating the lives and works of underrepresented composers will be showcased at the State University at Fredonia School of Music’s second annual Robert Jordan Piano Festival during April.

Named in the memory of Professor Emeritus Robert Jordan, who taught at the School of Music from 1980 to 2004, the festival will feature solo and collaborative piano music written by diverse/underrepresented composers, including women, African Americans and members of the LGTBQ community.

All festival events will be virtual and free to the public, but online registration is required to receive Zoom links. The registration link is

Special guest William Chapman Nyaho will be featured in the festival’s first session, “In and Out of Africa: Exploring Piano Music of Africa and its Diaspora,” on Monday, April 12, at 7 p.m. Dr. Nyaho, who teaches at Pacific Lutheran University, will discuss the diversity of styles of piano music, the influences of traditional musical forms, such as dance, jazz and blues, as well as Western European compositional practices on compositions in Africa and African diaspora.

Fr. Sean Duggan, SUNY Fredonia School of Music professor, said he considers Nyaho, who he knew when both were living in Louisiana, to be a wonderful pianist and musician who has been doing the musical world a great service by bringing together wonderful piano compositions by various underrepresented composers.

“His excellent five-volume anthology published by Oxford University Press, ‘Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora,’ is going to be a featured part of his presentation in our festival,” said Duggan, coordinator of the Piano Area. "Work of slavery-era composer gets new life from Handel and Haydn Society" - Jonathan Woody's version of Sancho's music streams 4/18 & 4/20

Jonathan Woody
(Keith Race Design, Photo Courtesy of Handel and Haydn Society)

Ignatius Sancho: An African Man of Letters

Reyahn King et al.
National Portrait Gallery of the U.K. (1997)

April 11, 2021

When the Handel and Haydn Society began in 1815, America was still four decades away from abolishing slavery. H+H would play concerts to support the Union Army, celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation and mourn the death of Abraham Lincoln. But H+H’s upcoming world premiere of a newly commissioned work by composer Jonathan Woody marks a profound milestone.

“The source material (for the commission) came from a formerly enslaved Black man, and I have a personal connection to that as a descendant of enslaved people in the United States,” Woody told the Herald. “It’s important to tell this story on a stage like Handel and Haydn’s stage.”

“Handel and Haydn was founded in 1815 in a United States that was still in the practice of enslaving Black bodies,” he added ahead of the April 18 and April 20 streaming concert. “For an organization to have lived that long and to find itself in the 21st century programming work by a living Black composer based on the work by a Black composer from the time of slavery, I think there is something special about that and important about that. I wish it had happened sooner, but I’m glad it’s happening now.”

Woody, who is also an in-demand soloist as a singer, composed his commission, Suite for String Orchestra, based on works by Charles Ignatius Sancho (1729–1780). Born on a ship carrying enslaved people, Sancho was sold into slavery in a Spanish colony in South America. As an adult, Sancho lived in England as a free man, becoming an abolitionist, composer and business owner, and is considered the first Black man to vote in a British election and the first person of African descent to publish classical music.

“I find his life very fascinating, especially the fact that he was the first Black man to have voting rights in a British parliamentary election because he was a property owner,” Woody said. “He made history for something as mundane and quotidian as owning a bookshop.”

Sancho’s dynamic achievements extended to music, but as a composer he left behind no great opuses, no grand symphonies or operas. This made turning his pieces into something fitting for H+H a challenge, a welcome one, for Woody.


For details on this streaming concert, go to

Saturday, April 10, 2021

International Florence Price Festival: Register Now for PriceFest 2021!

Florence B. Price (1887-1953)

We are excited to announce our registration page 

 is now open for PriceFest 2021 (August 20-23, 2021)!

Your registration will give you access to exclusive content including:

  • Green Room meetings with our featured artists
  • Live Zoom performances and presentations, and

  • Interactive chat rooms 

To register for PriceFest 2021, you must:

  • Fill out the registration form on

  • Click “Register” then click "Pay Registration Fee"

  • Select the appropriate registration fee, making sure the information on both forms matches.

    • Student Registration Fee: FREE (must include link to picture of Student ID)

    • Presenter Registration Fee: $25

    • General Registration Fee: $50

Registered attendees will receive an email with a link to our password-protected festival page later in the summer.

We at PriceFest work hard to keep the festival affordable. Please help us spread the word by sharing this flyer on social media and posting about your registration using the hashtag #newblackrenaissance or #PriceFest2021.

Friday, April 9, 2021 "Eleanor Alberga explores the whole gamut of the human experience in WILD BLUE YONDER"

Artist: Eleanor Alberga
Label: Navona Records
Release Date: April 23, 2021

"Eleanor Alberga explores the whole gamut of the human experience in  WILD BLUE YONDER, an equally diverse and coherent set of four contemporary chamber music pieces. While written over the course of twenty-two years, these pieces burst the limits of both space and time. No-Man’s-Land Lullaby reaches back over a century to World War I; Shining Gate of Morpheus enters the realm of the mystical; Succubus Moon explores the dark sides of the  human psyche; and The Wild Blue Yonder offers a glimpse into a world that is at once alien and  wonderful. Undauntedly, positively unsettling album; perfect listening for these unsettling times and a worthy addition to the much hailed album of Alberga's three string quartets from 2019."

Release Date: April 23, 2021

Catalog #: NV6346

Format: Physical & Digital