Thursday, January 24, 2008

John McLaughlin Williams, African American Conductor, Records Flagello & Rosner on Naxos CD

[Flagello/Rosner: Missa Sinfonica; Symphony No. 5; National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine; John McLaughlin Williams, conductor; Release date Feb. 26,2008]

AfriClassical is pleased to relay news from conductor and violinist John McLaughlin Williams:

“Just letting you know I have a new recording out soon on the Naxos label. Amazon link here:

You can find almost everything I've done on Amazon except my Grammy winning cd and the St. Georges recording. See the below links for more information. (At Naxos, look in the Artists Gallery, Conductors.) Thanks for your great efforts on behalf of black composers and musicians!
Best regards,

John McLaughlin Williams

“2007 Grammy Award winning conductor John McLaughlin Williams has been critically acclaimed for his outstanding interpretive abilities and engaging podium presence.”

“With the release of his acclaimed recordings on the Naxos label, his conducting has become familiar to listeners on both sides of the Atlantic, and he has been critically hailed in international publications such as Fanfare, Gramophone, Classic FM, The International Record Review and American Record Guide and the French recording journal Diapason. With the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine and the National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Williams has made world premiere recordings of orchestral works by well-known and neglected American composers for Naxos' celebrated American Classics series. In February 2007 John received a Grammy Award for his recording of Olivier Messiaen’s L’Oiseax Exotiques (Exotic Birds), in which he conducted the Cleveland Chamber Symphony with pianist Angelin Chang.”

“In 1999 Mr. Williams received the Geraldine C. & Emory M. Ford Award for American Conductors. John is known for his advocacy of music by African-American and minority composers, which led to his premiere performance of William Grant Still's newly discovered orchestration of Florence Price's piano work Dances in the Canebrakes with the Centennial Celebration Orchestra, (later broadcast on NPR’s Performance Today), and to his conducting Villa-Lobos’s epic Choros No. 6 with the East Texas Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Williams is an active violin soloist and chamber musician. He began violin studies at age ten in a Washington, D.C. public school. At age 14 the Cabinet wives of the Nixon Administration selected Williams to be soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Williams studied with Jerome Rosen at Boston University and Dorothy Delay at the New England Conservatory. He received his undergraduate (B.M., Violin) and graduate (M.M., Conducting) degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied conducting with Carl Topilow.”

John McLaughlin Williams won his 2007 Grammy Award for "Best Instrumental Solo with Orchestra". He played violin in the Coleridge String Quartet's recording Chevalier de Saint-Georges: String Quartets; AFKA SK-557 (2003); and in The Coleridge Ensemble's CD Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Chamber Music; AFKA SK-543 (1998). From 2001-2007 he recorded six CDs for the Naxos American Classics Series, with works of John Alden Carpenter, Henry Kimball Hadley, George Frederick McKay and Nicolas Flagello. His own compositions include Mr. Dreyfuss Goes To Washington, Cues for the History Channel film with Michael Kamen; Stray-Elling-Tones, Variations for Orchestra; Study in Seconds, for piano; Suite, Viola Solo; Symphonic Minute, Overture for Large Orchestra; The Road to Free, Big Band; and Where You'll Find Christmas, Voice and Piano or Orchestra.

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