Friday, January 30, 2009

Montclaire String Quartet & Pennsylvania Sinfonia Play Music of William Grant Still Jan. 31

[Africa: Piano Music of William Grant Still; Denver Oldham, piano; Koch 3 7084 2H1 (1991)]

The music of the African American composer William Grant Still (1895-1978), who is profiled at, will be heard at two performances on Saturday, January 31, 2009. The ensembles will be the Montclaire String Quartet and the Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra:
“On Saturday night (January 31), Kanawha United Presbyterian Church will be the site of the Montclaire String Quartet's second subscription concert. Beginning at 8 p.m., the group will present an array of works by American composers including Charleston-born George Crumb.” “The remainder of the concert will feature other works by American composers including Darol Anger, Zhou Long, Scott Lindroth, Ljova and William Grant Still.”

The Express-Times
“It's a new collaborative event -- one that's sure to create quite a 'Clash' in the community. It's a gospel choir competition where the audience will have a say in Saturday's 'Faith! -- A “Clash” of the Valley Choirs' at Allentown Symphony Hall. The event is being presented as a kickoff to Black History Month by the Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra in cooperation with various community organizations. Sinfonia conductor Allan Birney says the event will include music by black composers William Grant Still and Mary Howe.” “Birney says the Sinfonia will be performing works by Still and Howe for the first time. 'It's been interesting getting to know about these pieces,' he says. 'I've been doing a fair amount of listening in deciding what to do and have happily come to terms.' The word is 'lyrical,' he explains, with performances of Howe's 'Sand' and 'Stars,' and Still's 'Serenade' and 'Mother and Child.'” Geoff Gehman of The Morning Call adds: “Throughout the evening the Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra plays pieces by two prominent African-American composers: William Grant Still (1895-1978), who wrote symphonies and arranged music for blues master W.C. Handy, and Mary Howe (1882-1964), who wrote symphonic poems and co-founded the National Symphony Orchestra.”

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