Saturday, March 31, 2012

John Malveaux Suggests CDs of Composers of African Descent for Classical Music Radio

[George Walker: Great American Orchestral Works, Vol. 3; Albany Records TROY1334 (2012)]

John Malveaux of sends his comments, and those of Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma and Jim Svejda. While only one radio host is named, the suggestions are suitable for other classical music broadcasts as well. Readers may wish to suggest some of the recordings to their own local radio hosts:

John Malveaux
Below are earlier requests emailed to Jim Svejda,, and responses from Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma (who was copied on requests). Jim Svejda also responded to request for George Walker. MusicUNTOLD has received a copy from Jim Svejda of a five (5) hour interview with George Walker. 

I have heard William Grant Still's Symphony No. 1 in A flat, "Afro-American" Symphony, on KUSC more than one time, but do not recall hearing one of his operas. "Highway One" is a short opera (about an hour) and can be produced with only one set. William Grant Still, Highway One (Opera) Albany Records Troy 734.

Distinctly different from the "Afro-American" Symphony is William Dawson's "Negro Folk Symphony". The "Negro Folk Symphony" is in three movements. The first movement, 'The Bond of Africa,' opens with a haunting theme played by solo French horn that may symbolize a call to the ancestors or a break in the human chain due to the slave trade. During the approximate 37 year tenure of now retired Los Angeles Philharmonic African American French horn playerRobert Watt, I dreamed of seeing and hearing Mr. Watt play the opening solo.
Pianist Natalie Hinderas performed with major orchestras across the United States and abroad including the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. See This is to request NATALIE HINDERAS Piano Music by African American Composers (2 CD set). CRI 629. 

In 2008, I attended a recital by emerging pianist William Chapman Nyaho at Loyola Marymount. Senku: Piano Music by Composers of African Descent, MSR Classics MS 1091. 

Dominique-René de Lerma

Dear John,
Natalie was one of my most cherished friends. She was a gentle but ardent champion of Black music as soon as she was free from domestic obligations. A splendid pianist and very sweet person, loved by all. It was Hale Smith who phoned me that she was quite ill with cancer. 

Beyond the CD reissue by CRI of her earlier LP, there remains still a second LP that has not been reissued (Natalie Hinderas plays sensuous music). Her real name was Natalie Henderson, then Mrs. Lionel Monagas -- the name change suggested by Olga Samoroff-Stokowski (born in Texas as Olga Hickenlooper). Her career encouraged a friend, Joanne Rile, to get into artist management (which has since soared). Her mom, Leota Henderson, was also a pianist and composer. A work of hers is included on the single LP recorded privately by her student John White, former faculty member at Lincoln University (PA) who died of AIDS soon after his Carnegie Hall debut. She also taught Leon Bates and was on the faculty of Temple University.

John Malveaux
Ulysses Kay was a member of the State Department's first cultural exchange with the Soviet Union and a prolific composer. Please see the Ulysses S. Kay page at This is to recommend "ULYSSES KAY : Works for Chamber Orchestra,” Metropolitan Philharmonic Orchestra, Kevin Scott Conductor; "MARKINGS: Symphonic Essay-A Tribute to Dag Hammarskjold,” London Symphony Orchestra, Paul Freeman Conductor. Also see world premiere of Ulysses Kay: "Once There Was A Man" - William Warfield, narrator, Detroit Symphony, Sixten Ehrling, conductor

George Walker has an extensive discography. I attended the west coast premiere of "Lilacs" at California State University-Dominguez Hills. See Please see list of recording at 

Dominique-René de Lerma
Yes, George Walker's position is at the very top of composers and pianists. Further, one of his sons, Dr. Gregory Walker, is worth very serious attention. I'm afraid I do not know any of his music, but it is known that he is a quite independent thinking -- I'm reminded of the distance between J.S. Bach and Johann Christian. He appears in his father's discography as a violinist. I hope we need wait not much longer before he is represented on CD as a composer.

Jim Svejda
Did you hear the five-hour program I did with George? It actually aired twice.

1 comment:

John Malveaux said...

I have received a copy of the five(5) hour interview of George Walker by Jim Svedja, host KUSC, Classical Radio.
John Malveaux