Saturday, November 30, 2013

'George Walker: Great American Orchestral Works, Vol. 4' Includes Albert R. Lee, Tenor, in 'Lilacs for Voice and Orchestra' on Albany Troy1430

Albany Records Troy1430 (2013)

Albert Rudolph Lee, D.M.A.

The American classical pianist and composer George Walker, 91, distinguished himself at a young age and has been honored with numerous awards in his long and productive career. In 2012 he received the Aaron Copland Award of ASCAP.

George Walker has a website at and has been featured as a highly accomplished Composer of African Descent at since the website's early days. He has also been the subject of numerous posts at, as his works have been frequently performed and recorded. In addition to releases of complete recordings of his works, compilation CDs have sometimes paired his works with those of other composers.

A recent example is his first recording on the Delos label, Our American Roots: Gershwin, Barber, Walker, Copland; Emmanuel Feldman, cello; Joy Cline Phinney, piano; Delos 3449 (2013). George Walker is represented on the disc by Sonata for Cello and Piano (1957).

The Albany Records release George Walker: Great American Orchestral Works, Vol. 4, Troy1430, is comprised of four works, all conducted by Ian Hobson. Sinfonia No. 4 (Strands) and Antifonys for String Orchestra are performed by Sinfonia Varsovia. Sinfonia da Camera performs Lilacs for Voice and Orchestra, with Albert R. Lee, tenor, and Movements for Cello and Orchestra, with cellist Dmitry Kousov.

The liner notes by the composer tell us Sinfonia No. 4 (Strands) was co-commissioned by the New Jersey Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony and the National Symphony. The New Jersey Symphony gave the premiere performance in March, 2012, the composer writes, and the other three orchestras included the composition in their 2012-2013 seasons.

Sinfonia No. 4 (Strands) is written in a single movement, with a length of 10:45. It makes use of excerpts from the spirituals There Is A Balm In Gilead and Roll, Jordan, Roll. George Walker writes that Antifonys for String Orchestra (7:08) “...was composed in 1967 for a double string quartet, seven winds and percussion. It received its premiere at the Composers Conference at Bennington College in Vermont in 1967.”

With respect to the third work on the recording, the liner notes tell us “Lilacs for Voice and Orchestra received the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 1996.” George Walker was the first composer of African descent to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Music during his lifetime. The notes explain that the Boston Symphony commissioned the composition “...for a concert in honor of the tenor, Roland Hayes who had made his American orchestral debut with that orchestra.”

The Walt Whitman poem When Lilacs Last In The Door-yard Bloom'd is the source of the text of the song. The liner notes remind us that the poem was “...a poignant reflection on the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.” The vocalist is the tenor Albert Rudolph Lee, D.M.A.,, who recently received his doctoral degree from the University of Florida. Dr. Lee is on the Voice Faculty of the University of Nevada in Reno. He has received critical praise for performances with numerous prominent ensembles, including the Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh and Berkshire Opera Company, his website tells us.

The recording concludes with a very recent work, Movements for Cello and Orchestra, which has three movements and was finished in Spring, 2012. The cellist is Dmitri Kousov. The composer explains: “Its three movements incorporate significantly revised material from an earlier work. The ascending motive that begins the introduction of the first movement becomes an integral and unifying connection within the movement.” He later writes: “Figurations in the solo cello part are interrupted by explosive passages in the brass.”

“Harp and strings” precede the principal theme of the second movement, the notes indicate. The final paragraph of the liner notes begins: “The vigorous beginning of the third movement employs the identical intervallic content heard in the opening of the first movement.”

The latest Albany Records recording continues to expand George Walker's recorded repertoire of modern classical music with a distinctive sound which is both accessible and rewarding to the listener. 

Disclosure:  A review copy of this recording was provided by the record label.

MusicUNTOLD wins Los Angeles area production rights for Nkeiru Okoye's opera 'HARRIET TUBMAN: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom'

Nkeiru Okoye

John Malveaux of writes:

Composer Nkeiru Okoye selected MusicUNTOLD for production and promotional rights to the two-act theatrical opera HARRIET TUBMAN: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom in the Los Angeles metropolitan market. MusicUNTOLD is affiliated with Edna Hammett Porter Chapter of National Association of Negro Musicians in Los Angeles. 

The 2014 National Association of Negro Musicians National Convention is scheduled for Los Angeles on July 20-24. MusicUNTOLD will target July 20-24, 2014 for a reading and staging of scenes from HARRIET TUBMAN: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom. The opera is written for 5 lead roles (soprano, soubrette, contralto, tenor, bass-baritone) and will include chorus/supporting roles.
John Malveaux

John Malveaux: Eartha Kitt and Melba Moore in 'Timbuktu!' Musical set in 1361, in Timbuktu, the Ancient Empire of Mali, West Africa.

John Malveaux of writes:

The production starred Eartha Kitt and Melba Moore with 221 performances and 22 previews. It was directed, choreographed and costume designed by Geoffrey Holder
Please see Eartha Kitt's famous entrance

Also see: In this May 11, 1978 file photo, Eartha Kitt, star of the Broadway Play "Timbuktu", arrives on the shoulders of Tony Carroll, Mr. Universe of 1977, at New York’s Waldorf Astoria. (Source: Associated Press)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Toronto Sun: Nathaniel Dett Chorale Presents 'An Indigo Christmas: Songs to the Black Virgin' Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 at St. Timothy’s Anglican Church, Toronto

R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943) is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List and a Bibliography by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,

Dr. Brainerd Blyden-Taylor

The Toronto Sun

Nathaniel Dett Chorale has a new voice

Toronto group entertains listeners while introducing them to Afrocentric history and culture

By , QMI Agency

First posted:
Positioning yourself as “Canada’s first professional choral group dedicated to Afrocentric music of all kinds” brings with it heavy expectations from various communities, both musical and racial.
But since its formation 15 years back, Toronto’s Nathaniel Dett Chorale has lived up to all of them. And then some.
Daring and innovative, the world-renowned choir has earned a reputation for blowing minds and moving hearts with brilliantly executed shows that enlighten us on little-known black historical facts and figures.
In fact, the Chorale takes its name from the celebrated African-Canadian composer R. Nathaniel Dett, who is highly regarded for the vocal works he composed based on African-American spirituals.
The group’s next concert, An Indigo Christmas: Songs to the Black Virgin, is firmly in the classically trained choir’s tradition of introducing ears to worlds and cultures we’re unfamiliar with.
The show, which happens Tuesday at St. Timothy’s Anglican Church, features triumphant and evocative musical offerings exalting the mysteries of the Black Madonna.
“I have been fascinated with The Black Madonna for many years,” the group’s artistic director Dr. Brainerd Blyden-Taylor tells me. “I was born in Trinidad at a time when Roman Catholicism was predominant and I became aware of the veneration of the Virgin Mary and also of depictions of her as black.

Blyden-Taylor says while there is a lot of music around the world celebrating the Black Madonna, he chose to focus on the Christian aspects “in keeping with the traditional recognition at Christmastime of the Virgin and Child.
“The underlying connections, however, are never far from my mind,” he adds.

NOTE: An Indigo Christmas: Songs to the Black Virgin happens Tuesday at 8 p.m. in St. Timothy’s Anglican Church. 100 Old Orchard Grove. Tickets are $20 - $35 and available by calling 416.408.0208.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

John Malveaux: Forty-one Members of Southeast Symphony Orchestra Perform at American Music Awards

Maestro Anthony Parnther, Southeast Symphony Orchestra at

John Malveaux of writes:

Rihanna received the first ICON award during the November 24, 2013 American Music Awards and she performed 'Diamonds In The Sky' supported by a large orchestra which included 41 members of the Southeast Symphony Orchestra - the oldest African American founded orchestra in the world. Bassoonist and conductor of Southeast Symphony Orchestra, Anthony Parnther, is ambitiously pursuing opportunities for himself and the orchestra in television and film production.  See
John Malveaux

Join us at SphinxCon-Solutions to discuss, share, and challenge ideas surrounding diversity issues in the performing arts, February 21-23, 2014

David C. Howse
David C. Howse, Boston Children's Chorus

David will engage the audience, go beyond "diversification", and embrace in the joy of choral singing

Gabriela Frank
Gabriela Frank, American Pianist and Composer

Gabriela Frank challenges audiences to embrace cultural diversity in music in her role as a composer 

Betty Siegel
Betty Siegel, VSA* Kennedy Center

Here to discuss Arts and Disabilities is Betty Siegel, Director of VSA and accessibility at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Vince Paul
Vince Paul, Music Hall Detroit

Here to share a vision about Diversity in Programming is Vince Paul, President and Artistic Director of Music Hall Detroit

*Founding Partner

Start the conversation now! Go to our google community page and post your thoughts, ideas, concerns, or questions about the issues of diversity in the performing arts! Your posts will help shape the convening in February.

To read more and check out this year's roster, go to

February 21-23, 2014 in Detroit, MI!
To join the conversation, REGISTER NOW!

L'Académie performs 45 chamber music concerts, becomes 'Ensemble in Residence' at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Donate Today

Leslie Kwan


Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks to you, L’Académie has performed 45 chamber music concerts for patients, staff and families at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute since December 2012.  Because of this unique and innovative series, L’Académie has been granted “Ensemble in Residence” status from DFCI. 
As the DFCI Ensemble in Residence, L’Académie will continue its mission to present weekly, community-driven chamber music concerts by its professional, world-class musicians for DFCI as an official part of the DFCI community. We are proud to be part of this groundbreaking Boston alliance that promotes a new kind of thinking about healing, quality of life, and music.

This announcement will be made publicly in a few days, but we wanted to share it with you first. Your contributions built this soulful, life-affirming chamber music series that touches the hearts of cancer patients each week. It simply doesn't get any better than that.

We are grateful your support which paved the way for this residency and we are honored to be given this opportunity- Make a donation to this heartwarming series today.

Best wishes to you and your family for a safe and relaxing holiday.

Leslie Kwan
Harpsichordist, Conductor, General Director

John Malveaux: Bass-Baritone Mark S. Doss Opens Nov. 28 as 'The Four Villains' in 'The Tales of Hoffmann' at New National Theatre, Tokyo

Mark S. Doss

John Malveaux of writes:

Bass-Baritone Mark S. Doss will sing at Tokyo New National Theatre Foundation 
Nov. 28; Dec. 1, 4, 7, 10, 2013

Work: The Tales of Hoffmann
Role: The Four Villains (Lindorf / Coppelius / Dr. Miracle / Dapertutto)
John Malveaux

Give the Gift of Music this Holiday Season To Those Who Need it Most for Music Kitchen’s Project 8 for the 2013-2014 Season at

Kelly Hall-Tompkins discusses Indiegogo on YouTube

“Just Three blocks from Lincoln Center…The concerts have an air of authenticity and directness that sometimes does not exist in concert halls.”
Also featured on and

Give the Gift of Music this Holiday Season
To Those Who Need it Most
for Music Kitchen’s Project 8 for the 2013-2014 Season

$10,000 by December 31 on
“Thank you for your gift of music today as we endure some very hard times.  You were a breath of fresh air where hard times exist.  A temporary relief!!! Thank you for your care and concern!” - Sherry W., Shelter client

There's no better way to celebrate the holidays than giving back to our community.

$10,000 =
$50 × 200 people
$100×100 people
$200×50 people
$500×20 people
$1,000×10 people
$5,000×2 people
$10,000×1 person
$10,000 Matching Gift
Or All of the above!
Music Kitchen- Food for the Soul  brings top musicians in concert in homeless shelters in New York City and beyond. Since 2005, we have presented 66 concerts (including 1 in Paris, France), over 100 top musicians and reached over 10,000 homeless shelter clients!  Music Kitchen has been featured in The New York Times,, and the Hallmark Channel, among other media outlets. Music Kitchen is a creative project through which we present the best works of chamber music, classical to jazz and world, with top players. To celebrate Music Kitchen’s 8 seasons and to bring even more great music to the community, we are launching Project 8, a festival of 8 concerts and 8 ensembles from solo to octet.  Music Kitchen audiences have called the concerts “Blissful” and “Awesome” so please help us reach our goal before December 31st.  Not sure what to give this holiday season? Give The Gift of Music to those who need it most.
Project 8 =
A Festival of 8 concerts and 8 ensembles, Celebrating Music Kitchen's 8 Seasons
Quintet - Schubert 2 Cello
Sextet - Brahms G Major
Septet - Stravinsky L'Histoire du Soldat
Octet - Mendelssohn Octet!!!!

Like Donor Perks?  Check them out on our campaign page:

Ensemble du Monde: CD Release of Hampson Sisler's Oratorio 'The Second Coming' Sat. Dec. 14, 2013 at 7:30 PM, New York Society for Ethical Culture

Maestro Marlon Daniel:

On Saturday, December 14, 2013, 7:30 PM Ensemble du Monde celebrates the CD release of prolific American composer Hampson Sisler’s monumental oratorio for orchestra and chorus, The Second Coming, with the World Premiere performance of the complete work in The Auditorium of the historic New York Society for Ethical Culture.

The concert also features Max Bruch’s delightful Scottish Fantasie, Op. 46 performed by Gwendolyn Howard, the dynamic 15-year-old winner of the Ensemble du Monde Young Artists Concerto Competition in 2013 sponsored by Global Women for the Arts.

Ensemble du Monde makes their DEBUT at the New York Society for Ethical Culture as the newly appointed ORCHESTRA-IN-RESIDENCE.

This concert is also the release of the new compact disc of the work featuring me conducting the Sofia Sinfonietta.

Tickets can be purchased on

'Happy Thanksgiving' from Ritz Chamber Players, 'Where Culture and Community Converge'

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

LATimes: "Janai a rapturous Pamina ready for prime time. Lawrence Brownlee presents a bright Tamino"

LA Opera's Magic Flute
Lawrence Brownlee (Tamino) in L.A. Opera's performance of Mozart's "Magic Flute" at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times /November 24, 2013)

John Malveaux of writes:

Los Angeles Times Mark Swed review of Los Angeles Opera production of Magic Flute includes "Janai Brugger, who has sung secondary roles with L.A. Opera, is a rapturous Pamina ready for prime time. Lawrence Brownlee presents a bright Tamino" See 
John Malveaux

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

John Malveaux Quotes Maya Angelou: 'The more you know of your history, the more liberated you are.'

John Malveaux of sends the above poster

ArCoNet's 6th Annual Holiday Concert at 6PM Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013 in Science Center Theater, Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA

This announcement was received from Adriana Linares, Artistic Director of ArCoNet, The Arts & Community Network

Featuring the outstanding musicians from the 
 Elite Strings Orchestras
conducted by Venezuelan Violist Adriana Linares
and Swiss-Venezuelan violinist Simon Gollo

Guest performers... 

Alex Shaw, percussion
Allegro Voce Choir, Manena Contreras (Conductor)
Elite Strings Faculty and friends
Jesus Morales, Franklin Nino, Hannah Richards, Belmary Lorcas,
Christoperh Horner and Lisa Paino. 
Music selections to include...
  • Four Season's Winter by Vivaldi featuring violinists:
 Luis Cuevas, Puneeth Guruprasad and Mirna Monvlova
  • Serenade for Strings by Josef Suk
  • Tango La Muerte del Angel by Astor Piazzolla
  •  Spanish Fandangos 
  • Jazz It's Only a Paper Moon
  • Selections from Le Miserables 
Audience members are invited to join
ArCoNet's Holiday Sing-Along
(lyrics and bells provided) 



WHEN: Sunday December 15th
TIME: 6:00pm

WHERE: Science Center Theater
Montgomery County Community College 
(340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell PA, 19422)
Admission: $5 General Admission 

Harold Jones Leads Antara Ensemble in Program Including Ulysses Kay’s 'Suite for Flute and Oboe' 8 PM December 17, 2013 at St. Peter's Church, NYC

Ulysses Kay (1917-1995) is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma, 

Lil' Light O' Mine
Harold Jones, flute
Colette Valentine, piano

The Antara Ensemble
Performs works by Roussel, Handel-Halvorsen,
Kay, Chausson and Piazzolla
 Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.
Saint Peter’s Church at Citicorp
619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street, NYC 
On Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 8:00 PM, at Saint Peter’s Church at CitiCorp, 54th Street and Lexington Avenue, New York City, conductor/flutist Harold Jones will lead members of the Antara Ensemble in a program to include Albert Roussel’s Trio for flute, viola and cello, the George Frideric Handel-Johan Halvorsen Passacaglia in G minor for violin and viola, Ulysses Kay’s Suite for  flute and oboe, Ernest Chausson’s Le Poème for violin and piano, and Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango arranged by William Foster McDaniel for string orchestra.
Tickets are $25; seniors (62 and over) and students $20.  For information and reservations: (212) 866-2545 or

The ANTARA ENSEMBLE, now in its 20th season, was formed by Harold Jones to bring quality classical music at affordable prices to the culturally diverse neighborhoods of New York.  The group performs a repertoire spanning centuries and including works by American, African-American, European and Third World composers.

A native of Chicago and a graduate of Juilliard, HAROLD JONES has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Tully Hall, CAMI Hall and other New York venues, Jordan Hall in Boston, and throughout the U.S., Europe and Taiwan.  He has performed as flute soloist with The Bach Aria Orchestra, American Symphony, New York Sinfonietta, Brooklyn Philharmonia, National Orchestral Association, and is on the faculties of the Westchester Conservatory of Music and Manhattanville College.  His recordings on the Antara label include two LPs and three CDs: “Let Us Break Bread Together”, “Just As I Am” and “Lil’ Lite O’ Mine”.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Las Vegas Philharmonic performs "George Walker’s 'Lyric for Strings,' a lush and lovely showpiece for string orchestra."

Las Vegas Review-Journal
(Courtesy Las Vegas Philharmonic)

George Walker (b. 1922) is featured at,
and has a website at

Las Vegas Review-Journal

By Alan Adams

Philharmonic pays tribute to patriotism, JFK

Saturday’s Las Vegas Philharmonic program shared a theme, “Love of Country,” but spanned three centuries in the process. Two Beethoven works were composed in the early 1800s, a little-known piece by American composer George Walker dates from 1946, and Peter Lieberson’s “Remembering JFK” had its premiere in 2011.
In keeping with the observance of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the concert was preceded by a presentation of the colors by an honor guard from Nellis Air Force Base and soprano Ellie Smith singing our national anthem.” The anthem featured a new and special arrangement and orchestration that were fresh and effective.
Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Coriolan Overture” began the program. By the time the overture was finished the play for which it was intended had ended its run in Vienna. It is likely the play and its overture were heard together only once. The spirit of the brief (seven minute) work begins with triumph but leads to indecision and turmoil, ending in a sense of self-destruction.
Then came, in stark contrast, George Walker’s “Lyric for Strings,” a lush and lovely showpiece for string orchestra. In introducing the work, guest conductor George Hanson characterized it as being “…the most beautiful work you’ve never heard.” He’s right. “Lyric for Strings” should have found its way into the mainstream repertoire by now.

Eric Conway: Rockley Foundation Grant for Fine and Performing Arts Department at Morgan

Dr. Eric Conway

Eric Conway, D.M.A., Fine and Performing Arts Department Chairperson

of Morgan State University:

Hello everyone,

I am ecstatic to share with the greater Morgan Community that the Music Area of the Fine and Performing Arts Department at Morgan State University just signed a long-term partnership contract with the Rockley Family Foundation earlier this month, November 2013.  This is a non-profit Foundation that promotes music education by donating musical instruments to the music educational community.  They will raise money for these donations each year by holding a piano and instrument sale in the Murphy Fine Arts Center.  This piano sale will target the greater Morgan community, but will also be open to the public.  Below is a list of donations that the Rockley Family Foundation plans to give the Music Area totaling over $150,000 in instruments by the third year of the contract.  Each year the donations will be replaced with new instruments purchased with proceeds from the piano and instruments sale.

Year 1—beginning in January 2014
§  3 upright acoustic pianos (for classrooms and the dance studio)
§  3 grand pianos (2 for practice rooms, 1 for the choir room)
§  16 digital keyboards and an audio teaching console (for our group piano lab)
§  12 copies of Music Theory training software (for our computer lab)
§  12 copies of Ear Training software (for our computer lab)
Year 2
§  All of the pianos and keyboards from year 1 will be replaced with new instruments
§  20 string instruments including violins, violas, cellos, and string basses
Year 3
§  All of the pianos and keyboards from year 1 will be replaced with new instruments
§  All of the string instruments from year 2 will be replaced with new instruments
§  Various wind and percussion instruments

The impact of this partnership will be great. Not only will our music students benefit from new, functional instruments; it will also be a draw for prospective students.  Many non-music students enroll in our group piano courses.  They will greatly benefit from our new piano lab. This truly a way for 

If the sales are reasonably successful, this relationship could go on for years - an evergreen investment for Morgan.  I would like to commend Dr. Stephanie Bruning who was very "instrumental" in connecting with the Rockley Family Foundation on behalf of the department.  Also, Barbara Blount Armstrong, from the Morgan Foundation, initially connected the Rockleys with Morgan.  Thank you. 

This is another great day for Morgan State University!   

Eric Conway, D.M.A.
Fine and Performing Arts Department, Chairperson
Morgan State University

Michael S. Wright: Sojourner Truth Birthday brings to mind Gary Powell Nash's incredible work...'In Memoriam Sojourner Truth' Albany Troy104

Symphonic Brotherhood
Albany Troy104 (1992)

Dr. Gary Powell Nash
Associate Professor of Music
Fisk University
Nashville, Tennessee

Michael S. Wright writes about our post yesterday on Sojourner Truth's birthday, November 26:

Hi William,

Your e-mail reminded me! It is also worth mentioning Gary Powell Nash’s incredible work recorded 20 years back ‘In Memoriam Sojourner Truth’ on Albany TROY104
Surely it is time that work was revisited by a new recording!

Kind regards


Comment by email:
Hello Mike and William, Thanks for your e-mail, as well as the shout out.  As a matter of fact, it was roughly 20 years ago today when the Symphonic Brotherhood CD was released.  Happy Holidays!!  Gary P. Nash

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Empire Opera: Free 'Sing Noel' Christmas Concert and Year-end Celebration, Friday, December 13, 2013 at 8 PM, 349 West End Avenue, New York City

Celebrate Christmas with Empire at the year-end Christmas concert and party. 
All are welcome. This is a free event.
Any and all donations will be accepted.
Come hear great Christmas music performed by Empire artists, taste great food and wine, mix and mingle and enjoy the holiday.

Do you play an instrument? Bring it and share your music at the party!

Sing Noel!
Friday, December 13, 2013 8PM
349 West End Avenue
New York