Thursday, June 30, 2022

ImaniWinds.com: THE 12TH ANNUAL IMANI WINDS CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL JULY 7-17, 2022

 

BACK IN PERSON!
MANNES SCHOOL OF MUSIC, NEW YORK CITY

IWCMF is devoted to performance excellence, career development and the JOY of chamber music.


Overview

Through coachings, masterclasses, performances and workshops, the festival’s core curriculum focuses on:

  • Chamber Music/Solo Musicianship

  • Communication Entrepreneurship/Networking

  • Composing and Arranging Education/Outreach Training

  • Performance & Career Development

  • Work with Imani Winds and their catalogue


Fellowship Curriculum

  • Regular rehearsals and intense training within an assigned ensemble

  • Full mentorship with regular coachings from members of Imani Winds

  • Performance participation in masterclasses with esteemed guest artists

  • Perform in solo instrument classes by members of Imani Winds

  • Performance in culmination concerts


Emerging Composers Program (ECP) Curriculum

  • Reading/mentorship sessions with Imani Winds and IWCMF Composer-in-Residence

  • Rehearsals and readings in collaboration with fellowship ensembles

  • Promotion and broad exposure of ECP fellows on the festival’s media outlets

  • Orchestration focus on developing new works for winds

  • Performance of work within the Visionaries Composer Showcase Concert

  • Interactive workshops specifically designed for composers


ECP COMBO Curriculum

  • Combination of the two above programs

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Caramoor Presents "The Chevalier," a Concert Theater Work About Black Composer, Conductor, and Violinist Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (July 10)


 Left to right: Sarah Baskin, Brendon Elliott 
(photo: Will Hawkins), Bill Barclay 
(photo: Bronwen Sharp), RJ Foster,  Ian Unterman

(June 2022)—On July 10, Caramoor presents The Chevalier, a concert theater work about Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, a prolific 18th-century composer, virtuoso violinist, abolitionist, general of Europe’s first Black regiment, acquaintance of both Mozart and Marie Antoinette, and the finest fencer in Europe, whose story was nonetheless forgotten by history. Called “absorbing and illuminating” by Chicago Classical Review, The Chevalier is written and directed by Bill Barclay and features both actor RJ Foster and violinist Brendon Elliott as the title character; Barclay chose to divide the role to convey the immense breadth of Bologne’s accomplishments as a conductor, composer, violinist, activist, and swordsman. Other featured actors include Sarah Baskin, Ian Unterman, and Barclay himself, and the music is performed by the Harlem Chamber Players. Leading up to the performance is a pre-concert talk with creator Barclay.
 
The Chevalier is one of the linchpins of Caramoor’s 2022 summer season, which celebrates music’s power to unite people, heal divisions, and inspire discovery. With performers and composers representing a vast array of backgrounds and lived experiences, the season spotlights many whom systemic forces have historically suppressed, and focuses on music as a collective cultural heritage for the entire world. Bologne is a prime example of one of these underrepresented artists deserving greater recognition, and The Chevalier is a demonstration of Caramoor’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as a core operating practice.
 
Barclay says:
“We are so thrilled to tread the boards at this summer’s Caramoor festival and to bring Bologne's neglected story and music to one of New York’s most iconic and exciting outdoor stages. Performing The Chevalier with the Harlem Chamber Players will be a particular thrill as they have long advocated for highlighting marginalized voices and programming composers of color. Concert Theatre Works commends Caramoor for their deep commitment to supporting musicians of color. The march for equity goes on.”
The Chevalier is a play with orchestra based on the remarkable life of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745–1799), particularly his relationships to Mozart, with whom he lived under the same roof for some months in 1778, and Marie Antoinette, to whom he taught music at Versailles. Bologne produced a considerable body of work as a composer, and served as conductor of the Concert de la Loge Olympique – considered one of the finest orchestras in Europe – under the auspices of which he commissioned Haydn’s rapturously received Paris Symphonies. Bologne’s high profile was not restricted to music: besides being the finest fencer in Europe and general of Europe’s first Black regiment, he also crusaded for the abolition of slavery.
 
Interweaving scenes between the actors with music excerpts, Barclay’s work blends Bologne’s compositions with his fascinating history, and juxtaposes the period of the French Revolution with today’s social and political unrest. Barclay explains:
“The dramatic possibilities of these three characters conversing right before the French Revolution began was just too tempting to ignore. And then the politics of the French Revolution [compared to] 2019 and 2020 made me realize that history was rhyming and that there was a way to showcase the problems that we were having politically today by examining this particular decade of history.”
Along with Foster and Elliott in the title role, The Chevalier features Barclay as Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, the author of Les Liaisons dangereuses who wrote the libretto for Bologne’s first opera; Sarah Baskin as Marie Antoinette; and Ian Unterman as Mozart, whose music is heard alongside Bologne’s and that of Christoph Willibald Glück, arranged by Barclay.
 
Edward J. Lewis III, Caramoor’s President and Chief Executive Officer, comments:
"Caramoor is honored to present Bill Barclay’s brilliant concert theater work, The Chevalier. As we play our part to help expand the canon of classical music, it is our hope that this collaboration with Concert Theatre Works and the Harlem Chamber Players will enlighten our audiences on the important contributions of historic people of color whose artistic works and voices resonate as strongly as ever."

About the Performers

Writer, director, actor and producer Bill Barclay (Pierre Choderlos de Laclos) – hailed as a “personable polymath” by The Times of London – was director of music at Shakespeare’s Globe from 2012-2019, producing music for more than 120 productions and 150 concerts, and is currently the artistic director of Concert Theatre Works. A passionate advocate for evolving the concert hall, he has created works of concert theater for the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
 
RJ Foster (Joseph Bologne) has performed in New York theaters such as the Pearl Theatre Company and Classic Stage Company, as well as in many regional Shakespeare productions including a full season at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He has appeared on multiple television shows such as Fringe (FOX), Guiding Light (CBS), Damages with Rose Byrne and Campbell Scott (FX), Blue Bloods with Donnie Wahlberg (CBS), The Blacklist with Paul Reubens (NBC) and Person of Interest with Michael Emerson (CBS). Foster was nominated for Best Actor by BroadwayWorld for his portrayal of Othello in 2015. Raised in Baltimore, MD, Foster received his B.A. in Theatre Performance from Fordham University at Lincoln Center. 
 
Brendon Elliott (solo violin) has performed with the New York Philharmonic and was recently guest soloist with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Richmond Symphony Orchestra. In 2015 and 2019, he toured with the Sphinx Virtuosi Ensemble, appearing at Carnegie Hall, and was a three-time semifinalist in the National Sphinx Competition, earning the National Sphinx Competition Achievement Award in 2012. He was also a National Finalist in the American String Teachers Association National Solo Competition. Elliott portrays the young adult version of the Afro-European child violin prodigy George Bridgetower in a feature-length documentary based on Rita Dove’s poetry collection Sonata Mulattica. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in 2016, where he studied with Pamela Frank and Joseph Silverstein, and earned his master’s degree at the Juilliard School in 2018, studying under Sylvia Rosenberg and Ronald Copes. 
 
Sarah Baskin (Marie Antoinette) is a Canadian/American actor and filmmaker based in New York. She is particularly interested in the development of new work and the collaborative process. Baskin has originated roles in Death of a Driver (Urban Stages, dir. Kim T. Sharp), The Unbelievers and Three Women Mourn the Apocalypse (Theatre Center in Toronto, dir. Marina McClure), L’Amour Fou (Dangerous Ground Productions, dir. Doris Mirescu), Cardenio (American Repertory Theatre, dir. Les Waters), On The 5:31 (Rising Phoenix Rep / Cino Nights, dir. Taibi Magar), and Wolves (59E59, dir. Mike Klar).
 
Ian Unterman (Mozart) is an actor and assistant director who has appeared in the TV series The Sinner and the movies Brittany Runs a Marathon, Confetti and The Many Saints of Newark. He currently stars alongside Michael Keaton, Rosario Dawson, and Peter Sarsgaard in Hulu’s Dopesick as Jonathan Sackler, the brother of Purdue Pharma’s president and CEO, Richard Sackler.
 
The Harlem Chamber Players is an ethnically diverse collective of professional musicians dedicated to bringing high-caliber, affordable and accessible live classical music to people in the Harlem community and beyond. In addition, the Harlem Chamber Players builds diverse audiences for classical music through community and educational outreach, as well as through collaborations with Harlem's other arts organizations, schools and cultural institutions, while creating opportunities for classically trained musicians of color.

About Caramoor

Caramoor is a cultural arts destination located on a unique 80-plus-acre estate with Italianate architecture and gardens in Northern Westchester County, NY. Its beautiful grounds include the historic Rosen House, a stunning mansion listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Besides enriching the lives of its audiences through innovative and diverse musical performances of the highest quality, Caramoor mentors young professional musicians and provides music-centered educational programs for young children.

Getting to Caramoor

Getting to Caramoor is simple by car or public transportation. All parking is free and close to the performance areas. Handicapped parking is also free and readily available. By car from New York City, take the Henry Hudson Parkway north to the Saw Mill River Parkway north to I-684 north to Exit 6. Go east on Route 35 to the traffic light (0.3 miles). Turn right onto Route 22 south, and travel 1.9 miles to the junction of Girdle Ridge Road where there is a green Caramoor sign. At the junction, veer left and make a quick right onto Girdle Ridge Road. Continue on Girdle Ridge Road 0.5 miles to the Caramoor gates on the right. Approximate drive time is one hour. By train from Grand Central Station, take the Harlem Division Line of the Metro-North Railroad heading to Southeast, and exit at Katonah. Caramoor is a 3.5-mile drive from the Katonah station.
 
A FREE shuttle from Metro North's Katonah station runs before and after every concert.

Caramoor presents Bill Barclay’s The Chevalier

Sun, July 10 at 4pm
Venetian Theater
The Chevalier
A Concert Theater Work about Joseph Bologne
Written and directed by Bill Barclay
Brendon Elliott, violin
Harlem Chamber Players
RJ Foster (Joseph Bologne)
Sarah Baskin (Marie Antoinette)
Ian Unterman (Mozart)
Bill Barclay (Pierre Choderlos de Laclos)
3pm conversation with Bill Barclay

Monday, June 27, 2022

DailyKos.com: "As Black Music Appreciation Month comes to a close, it’s fitting to spend this last #BlackMusicSunday in June exploring it"

attribution: Pete Souza / The White House via Getty Images 



Sunday, June 26, 2022

Black music, its history, its composers, and its musicians cross almost every musical genre and are lauded and played across the globe by people of all races, ethnicities, and nationalities. There’s no wonder why it has often been part and parcel of the political life of this nation and welcomed into the hallowed halls of the White House.

As Black Music Appreciation Month comes to a close, it’s fitting to spend this last #BlackMusicSunday in June exploring it. Let’s dive into its genesis and the historical connection between U.S. presidents and the music that is one of America’s greatest offerings to the globe. President Jimmy Carter first designated June as Black Music Month in 1979, and it’s been proclaimed by the White House each year since then. Though the name has shifted over the years, the subject has remained the same.

According to music historians and those who have documented White House history, the first known appearance of a Black person to perform there was a young, blind, enslaved child who was known as “Blind Tom,” and whose name has been recorded as Thomas Greene, Thomas Wiggins, and Thomas Bethune. Born in 1849, Thomas performed at the White House in 1859.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Parnassus Records: "Black Swans": "This CD contains the first recordings made by black classical performers, singers and instrumentalists"

 

Black Swans by Parnassus Records is 79 minutes long and contains both vocal and instrumental music "dating from approximately 1917-1922..."  The front cover contains warm endorsements by Grace Bumbry and Rita Dove.

"Performers included are:

Harry Burleigh
Edward H.S. Boatner
Florence Cole Talbert
R. Nathaniel Dett
Antoinette Garnes
Roland Hayes
Hattie King Reavis
Clarence Cameron White"

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Aaron Dworkin Interviews Blake-Anthony Johnson, CEO of Chicago Sinfonietta!


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 Chicago Sinfonietta and our guest is Blake-Anthony Johnson, President & CEO of Chicago Sinfonietta, as he shares the important role of HR and economic development in arts organizations EDI work.  Enjoy... and have a creative week!


Friday, June 24, 2022

Julius P. Williams: Can't wait to Hear my composition “Those Heroes Who Healed A Nation" on July 4th performed by the magnificent Boston Pops Orchestra

Julius P. Williams
(Facebook)

Julius P. Williams writes on LinkedIn.com:

Can't wait to Hear my composition “Those Heroes Who Healed A Nation" on July 4th performed by the magnificent Boston Pops Orchestra and Tanglewood Festival Chorus, conducted by Keith Lockhart at the 2022 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular broadcasted LIVE NATIONALLY on BLOOMBERG TV and radio, and on WHDH-TV! The program also includes the performance of ten-time Grammy Award winner music icon Chaka Khan!

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular



Thursday, June 23, 2022

CommonsNews.org: Chamber Series concludes with Laredo, Robinson, Ngwenyama, and Hochman [Vermont premiere of Nokuthula's "Elegy"]


 Courtesy photo

Clockwise from left, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, Nokuthula Endo Ngwenyama, and Benjamin Hochman will be performing in the June 24 finale of the Brattleboro Music Center’s Chamber Series.

The Commons

June 22, 2022

BRATTLEBORO—The Brattleboro Music Center Chamber Series concludes with an evening of beloved piano quartets featuring Jaime Laredo (violin) Nokuthula Ngwenyama (viola), Sharon Robinson (cello), and Benjamin Hochman (piano).

Their performance will include the Vermont premiere of award-winning composer/violist Ngwenyama’s new piano quartet Elegy. This BMC co-commission was composed in response to the tragic events of spring 2020, including the killing of George Floyd.

Known for writing “music of bold, mesmerizing character” (Gramophone), Ngwenyama joins what The Washington Post calls “superstars of the chamber music world,” Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson, with Benjamin Hochman, for the finale concert of this season’s BMC Chamber Music Series.

Also on the program will be Mozart’s Piano Quartet in G minor, K. 478, and Brahms’s Piano Quartet in G minor, two of the most-revered chamber music works in the canon.

BMC artistic advisor Jaime Laredo is regarded as one of the top violinists of the late 20th century, especially notable as part of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio.

He has also been active as a conductor and educator. Performing for over six decades before audiences across the globe, “he has excelled in the multiple roles of soloist, conductor, recitalist, pedagogue, and chamber musician,” notes a news release.

“Mother of Peace” and “Lion” in Zulu, Nokuthula Endo Ngwenyama’s performances as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician garner great attention.

Gramaphone proclaims her as “providing solidly shaped music of bold mesmerizing character.” As a composer, Uptown magazine featured her as “A Poet of Sound.”

As a performer, she gained international prominence by winning the Primrose International Viola Competition at age 16. The following year she won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, which led to debuts at the Kennedy Center and the 92nd Street Y. A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, she has performed with orchestras and as a recitalist the world over.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Charleston Gospel Choir Returns After Two and a Half Year Covid-19 Hiatus: A Tribute Honoring the Legacy of Denmark Vesey | Sat June 25 | Charleston


Second Presbyterian Church

The critically acclaimed Charleston Gospel Choir, in partnership with Second Presbyterian Church, will present an evening of moving narration and music entitled A Tribute Honoring the Legacy of Denmark Vesey, Saturday, June 25, 2022, at 6 p.m., 342 Meeting Street, Charleston SC. This event is free and open to the public.

After a two and half year hiatus due to Covid-19 the Charleston Gospel Choir will pay homage to the extraordinary 200-year legacy and life of Denmark Vesey, a self-educated Black man who planned the most extensive slave rebellion in U.S. history in Charleston, 1822. This event is in partnership with the congregation of Second Presbyterian Church, led by Senior Paster Cress Darwin.

The Choir will perform moving spirituals and gospel standards including Lawd, How Come Me Heah, Heaven Help Us All, and To Be Young Gifted and Black.

“The African American choral tradition is known as one of the common denominators that can bring a community together. The Charleston Gospel Choir’s history as community choir in residence at Second Presbyterian Church dates to 2008 and it is an honor to contribute our music and connect with people who value history and the vast array of contributions since Charleston’s founding in 1670,” said Lee Pringle, Founder and Artistic Director, Charleston Gospel Choir.

Charleston Gospel Choir

A Tribute Honoring the Legacy of Denmark Vesey

Dr. Jason A. Dungee, guest conductor

Saturday, June 25, 6 p.m.

Second Presbyterian Church, 342 Meeting Street, Charleston SC 29403

Free| General Admission

 

About the Charleston Gospel Choir

Now in its twenty-second year, the Charleston Gospel Choir celebrates and performs gospel, spirituals, and sacred music for annual concert events including a Palm Saturday weekend performance, Charleston Gospel Christmas, and regional events throughout the Southeast with numerous engagements internationally including Paris, London, Rome, Prague, and Ghana, West Africa. www.charlestongospelchoir.org

Charleston Gospel Choir • PO Box 22724 • Charleston SC • 29413-2724

 

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Chicago Tribune: "In her mighty performance of Price’s concerto, Cann didn’t just surmount the acoustic challenges of the Pritzker Pavilion stage..."


 Michelle Cann performs Florence Price's Piano Concerto in One Movement with the Grant Park Orchestra on June 15, 2022. 
(Chuck Osgood / HANDOUT)


By Hannah Edgar

June 16, 2022

Wednesday was a night for Grant Park Music Festival diehards.

First, those present had to brave the 90-plus degree heat, which bit a sizable chunk from opening night crowds in both the Pritzker Pavilion and on the Millennium Park Great Lawn. Festival orchestra musicians visibly sweltered in their concert blacks, with some busting out shorts and sandals for the concert.

Nor was the evening’s bluster any help. High winds yanked sheet music from stands, sent program books fluttering and caused a pair of speakers to swing perilously several yards above the head of Carlos Kalmar, Grant Park’s artistic director and principal conductor, for most of the evening.

But if soloist Michelle Cann won’t forget her festival debut anytime soon, it probably wasn’t because of the weather. The pianist has become one of the most visible exponents of the music of Florence Price, who launched her career in Chicago and enjoyed rare institutional recognition here as a Black female composer. But as Cann told Grant Park audiences in an emotional address, despite concertizing a new, authoritative version of Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement (1934) for more than a year now, she’s never performed Price’s music in the composer’s home city.

One wagers Grant Park audiences won’t soon forget Cann, either. In her mighty performance of Price’s concerto, Cann didn’t just surmount the acoustic challenges of the Pritzker Pavilion stage: She sailed over them with the grace and flexibility of a high jumper, her powerful fingerwork crisply enunciating her interplay with the orchestra. After a big-boned exposition, Cann toggled easily to the luscious, unaffected sincerity of the lyric middle section — with gorgeous solos by oboist Mitchell Kuhn and cellist Walter Haman — and later still, to the heady exhilaration of a ragtime-like Allegretto.