Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Leslie Dunner & Kirk Edward Smith Conduct Works of Mary Watkins & Olly Wilson for CBMR/Albany CD

[Kirk Edward Smith (Top); Leslie Dunner (Bottom)]

Suzanne Flandreau is Head Librarian and Archivist of the Center for Black Music Research (CBMR) at Columbia College Chicago. She was kind enough provide more details concerning the AfriClassical post “'Five Movements in Color' of Mary Watkins Recorded at CBMR With 'Visions & Truth' of Olly Wilson.” The correct title of the Olly Wilson work is Of Visions & Truth. The post presented a comment by the African American conductor and violinist John McLaughlin Williams. Suzanne Flandreau writes:

“Here's a little more detail for you on the Williams post:

“The CBMR is actually the original commissioning agency for Wilson's "Of Visions and Truth." It was commissioned for our Black Music Repertory Ensemble, and it was recorded last week by some of the musicians who originally performed it way back then. Kirk Edward Smith, who conducted it at some of our residencies, was the conductor for the recording.

“Leslie Dunner conducted the Watkins piece, recorded by our New Black Music Repertory Ensemble, a racially-mixed orchestra made up of Chicago musicians. The New BMRE replaced the original BMRE when we wanted a group that was both larger and more flexible for our many performance projects, starting in the late 1990s.

“The Watkins/Wilson CD will appear on Albany Records."

Suzanne Flandreau

1 comment:

JMW said...

I should add that the First Violinist for the recording of Olly Wilson's Of Visions & Truth was Sanford Allen. Allen is notable for his effortless violin virtuosity and for his being the first African-American musician to be made a member of the New York Philharmonic in 1962. He is also the soloist on the classic Columbia recording of Roque Cordero's Violin Concerto, released decades ago as part of that label's pioneering and visionary Black Composers Series.