Wednesday, December 21, 2011

'Deep River: Music for Violin and Piano by Composers of African Descent' by Phoenix Park-Kim & Merwin Siu

[Deep River: Music for Violin and Piano by Composers of African Descent; Phoenix Park-Kim, piano; Merwin Siu, violin; MSR MS1372 (2011)]

Visitors to have long heard a movement from Cinnamon Grove of R. Nathaniel Dett by pianist Phoenix Park-Kim, and have found a link to the duo performances of Phoenix Park-Kim and Merwin Siu on WGTE, Toledo Public Radio. Deep River includes works of three composers who are featured at Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, R. Nathaniel Dett and Hale Smith. The complete works of R. Nathaniel Dett and Hale Smith have been compiled by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,, and are found at

Pianist Phoenix Park-Kim and violinist Merwin Siu have recorded Deep River: Music for Violin and Piano by Composers of African Descent on the MSR label. The catalog number is MS1372: 

Composers represented on the recording are: David Baker Jr., Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, R. Nathaniel Dett, Ellis L. Marsalis Jr., Hale Smith, Howard Swanson.

Phoenix Park-Kim is an active and accomplished soloist and avid chamber musician, with performances that have taken her throughout the United States, South Korea, Taiwan, Italy, Switzerland and Russia.” “Upcoming performances include an appearance at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in March 2012 with Soprani Compagni as part of the Distinguished Concerts Artist Series. Dr. Park-Kim is dedicated to bringing music to the underserved public as well as providing more exposure to music by African-American composers. In this endeavor, she was awarded the Lilly research grant and was a featured performer on Live From FM 91 on WGTE radio. She was also a finalist at the 2011 Liszt-Garrison International Piano Competition. Dr. Park-Kim graduated from Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, and subsequently completed graduate work at Miami University (MM) and at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, Conservatory of Music (DMA) under the tutelage of Dr. Robert Weirich. She is currently Associate Professor of Piano at Indiana Wesleyan University.”

Merwin Siu particularly enjoys introducing audiences to works by 20th and 21st century composers.” “A frequent soloist with the Toledo Symphony, he has also appeared with the New Mexico Symphony, Racine Symphony and Cleveland Pops Orchestra, and has been featured on performing arts series throughout the American Midwest. Mr. Siu is a member of the Zin String Quartet, Bezonian Trio and Cathay Trio. An enthusiastic educator, Merwin Siu maintains a large private studio alongside a schedule of regional and statewide adjudication, lectures, workshops, master-classes and coaching. In 2004, he was recognized as one of the Toledo Business Journal’s 20 Under 40, celebrating young community leaders. Mr. Siu holds a MM degree from Indiana University and degrees in English and Music from Montreal’s McGill University. He currently holds the David W. Robinson Chair as the Toledo Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Second Violin, and serves as the orchestra’s Artistic Administrator.”

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)

DEEP RIVER for violin and piano, Op.59 No.10

R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943)

CINNAMON GROVE - Suite for piano (1928)
Moderato molto grazioso
Adagio cantabile
Ritmo moderato e con sentimento - Quasi Gavotte

Howard Swanson (1907-1978)
NOCTURNE for violin and piano (1951)

Hale Smith (1925-2009)
EPICEDIAL VARIATIONS for violin and piano (1979)

David Baker (b.1931)
ETHNIC VARIATIONS ON A THEME OF PAGANINI for violin and piano (1976)
Variation I (Bebop)
Variation II (Swing)
Variation III Funky groove
Variation IV Calypso
Variation V (Swing) Bluesy
Variation VI Left hand pizz
Variation VII Heavy rhythm and blues
Variation VIII (Spiritual)
Variation IX Finale

Ellis L. Marsalis, Jr. (b.1934)
THE FOURTH AUTUMN for piano (ca.1985)

Comment by email:
Interesting cd. Thanks for alerting us to it.  JMW [John McLaughlin Williams]

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