Wednesday, October 11, 2017

John Malveaux: This year will mark the 35th Anniversary of the performance and recording of George Walker Cello Concerto in then Avery Fisher Hall

George  Walker

John Malveaux of writes:

Foremost American composer George Walker much anticipated Sinfonia No. 5 will be recorded by Albany Records and paired with his Cello Concerto recorded from a live performance in1982 by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta. The soloist was the principal cellist, Lorne Monroe. This year will mark the 35th Anniversary of the performance and recording of George Walker Cello Concerto in then Avery Fisher Hall renamed David Geffen Hall in 2015.

The unanswered question is why has none (not one) of the top 10 American Orchestras committed to a 2018 performance of Sinfonia No.5 composed by the only African American Pulitzer Prize winner in the history of classical music who is also the most accomplished senior in the entire field of classical composition. Please read George Walker discography and tell me if you think he should be thrown away WITHOUT A SWAN SONG by the top 10 American Orchestras after 95 years.

John Malveaux

Hartford Courant: Wesleyan Music Professor Tyshawn Sorey Awarded 'Genius Grant'

The MacArthur Foundation described Tyshawn Sorey: “A virtuosic percussionist and drum-set player who is fluent in piano and trombone, Sorey is an ever-curious explorer of the nature of sound and rhythm, ensemble behavior and the physicality of live performance.”
(John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur)

October 11, 2017
Tyshawn Sorey, a composer, experimental musician and music professor at Wesleyan University in Middletown, was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, popularly referred to as a "genius grant," it was announced Wednesday.
A release from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation cited Sorey for "assimilating and transforming ideas from a broad spectrum of musical idioms and defying distinctions between genres, composition, and improvisation in a singular expression of contemporary music."
Reached by phone at his office in Middletown, Sorey said he is stunned by the grant, even weeks after being told he got it.
"It's the biggest honor I've ever received in my life," he said. "I'm still processing it."
Sorey's life for the past year has been a series of high points.
"I just had a daughter on Dec. 26. I got my doctorate at Columbia, in composition. I moved to New Haven. I got a new job. I had a new recording," he said

The fellowship is a $625,000, no-strings-attached award given to individuals who show exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishments, and who have potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work. It comes in five annual increments.Sorey, who is 37, said the grant money will be used for future projects, but the honor is more than money.
"It's a lot about advancing my career beyond where it is, increasing visibility, being able to show my work at new venues," he said.Sorey said he has a few ideas for his next musical projects, but he would not go into detail.
Sorey said growing up in Newark, N.J., he had a limited notion of what an African American composer could be.
"There was that tradition of a black composer writing tunes, assembling a collective of musicians to play them," he said. Then he discovered the work of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, an all-black collective of creative thinkers.
"There were so many different avenues of composition to go into. You can explore alternate ways and not be confined in how you think about music," he said. "You don't have to be confined to structures, so-called jazz or whatever. You don't have to worry about fitting into any category."
This is the third year in a row that an artist with Connecticut connections has won a genius grant. In 2016, poet Claudia Rankine, a professor at Yale University, became a MacArthur fellow. In 2015, Wesleyan grad Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the Broadway musical "Hamilton," was honored.
The MacArthur Foundation described Sorey: "A virtuosic percussionist and drum-set player who is fluent in piano and trombone, Sorey is an ever-curious explorer of the nature of sound and rhythm, ensemble behavior and the physicality of live performance. He erodes distinctions among musical genres as well as the line between composition and improvisation and incorporates sophisticated rhythmic and harmonic phrasing, highly prescribed improvisational sound worlds and real-time experimentation with sound, among many other structural elements. At the same time, he possesses a refined sense of restraint and balance that allows him to maintain his own unique voice while bringing a vast array of musical settings to life."In a July interview with the Courant's music writer Michael Hamad, Sorey described his approach to his work, and how he believed that the lesser regard for improvised music compared to composed music was inappropriate and limiting.
"We're in a society that looks at composition and improvisation as separate things, with composition being superior. In my music system, that's not how it works.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Valley News: Boston Symphony Plays the Streets [Thomas Wilkins, Conductor]

In this Oct. 1, 2017 photo released by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Wilkins, the BSO's youth and family concerts conductor, directs the symphony during a free outdoor concert in Franklin Park, Boston's largest green space. The Orchestra is reaching out to the city's more diverse urban neighborhoods to get a better grasp of their cultural roots and needs. (Aram Boghosian/Boston Symphony Orchestra via AP)

  • Valley News

  • Associated Press
    Sunday, Oct. 8
    Boston — Wander Boston’s more diverse neighborhoods and you’re more likely to 
    hear Beyonce than Brahms or Drake than Dvorak.
    The Boston Symphony Orchestra says that’s about to change.
    Starting this month, the renowned orchestra is reaching out to Jamaica Plain, 
    Roxbury and Dorchester — culturally vibrant corners of the city that haven’t fully 
    embraced classical music — to get a better grasp of their musical roots and needs.

    Thomas Wilkins, the BSO’s youth and family concerts conductor, said the goal is “to build deep and meaningful relationships with people ... alongside the rich cultural 
    offerings of their unique neighborhoods.”
    “We must share this amazing music that touches so many of us with those who
     may not otherwise be able to experience it,” said Wilkins, the 136-year-old 
    orchestra’s first black conductor. “It’s the right thing to do.”
    It’s part of a growing trend of U.S. symphonies taking it to the streets. Florida’s 
    Jacksonville Symphony, New Jersey’s Newark Symphony, the Detroit Symphony 
    Orchestra and others are bringing the classics to audiences whose musical 
    traditions have favored other genres.
    The “BSO in Residence” initiative kicked off last weekend in Jamaica Plain with a free outdoor concert in Franklin Park, the city’s largest green space, followed by a question-
    and-answer session at Margarita Muniz Academy, a dual English-Spanish 
    language high school.
    Next up: appearances and workshops at other schools to give young Bostonians 
    of color a chance to meet and play with key orchestra members.
    For years, the Boston Symphony and its sister orchestra — the Boston Pops — have worked to expose residents of the city’s ethnic neighborhoods to classical music.
    But those efforts mostly have involved bringing people to Symphony Hall 
    or to the orchestra’s summer home at Tanglewood in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts.
    “ ‘Maybe we shouldn’t ask them to come to us — maybe we should go to them’ 
    is a good concept,” said David France, executive director of Revolution of Hope,
     a world-class youth orchestra in Roxbury.
    France, a classical violinist who’s performed with Quincy Jones and John Legend but also plays in the subway, said he’s learned the value of bringing music to places 
    • In this Oct. 1, 2017 photo released by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the BSO plays a free outdoor concert in Franklin Park, Boston's largest green space. The Orchestra is reaching out to the city's more diverse urban neighborhoods to get a better grasp of their cultural roots and needs. (Aram Boghosian/Boston Symphony Orchestra via AP)

    Saturday, October 7, 2017

    Twitter: Out today on EM Records! Catch me & cellist Joseph Spooner at the English Music Festival this eve playing music from our latest CD!

    Twitter: 11h11 hours ago
    Out today on EM Records! Catch me & cellist Joseph Spooner at the English Music Festival this eve playing music from our latest CD!

    The Post and Courier: Colour of Music Festival celebrates contributions of blacks to classical music

    Anyago Yarbo-Davenport

    The Colour of Music Festival presented the
    Verdi Requiem in 2014

    Lee Pringle is Founder of the Colour of Music Festival

    Soprano Angela Brown 
    will join the fifth annual Colour of Music Festival.

    Adam Parker

    Oct. 7, 2017

    Attend one of the programs mounted by the fifth annual Colour of Music Black Classical Musicians Festival, set for Oct. 18-22, and you might be surprised at what you see and hear.

    The festival, which presents solo recitals, chamber music programs and large-scale concerts, is a showcase of black talent meant to shake up a classical music world that's a little too set in its ways and to raise awareness among audiences.
    Think of classical music and surely Europe comes to mind first. That’s where the music originated: in the continent's churches and, eventually, drawing rooms and concert halls.

     Today, the favorites of the classical music repertoire are mostly the old Italian and German chestnuts — works by Vivaldi, Puccini, Verdi, Rossini, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert and Wagner — along with a pieces by Russian, French, English and American composers such as Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Elgar and Copland.

    Black composers, whether European or American, are hardly acknowledged, though there are many of them, including Joseph Boulogne (the Chevalier de Saint-George), George Bridgewater, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Harry Lawrence Freeman, Maurice Arnold Strothotte, Will Marion Cook, Scott Joplin, Robert Nathaniel Dett, William Grant Still, Florence B. Price and George Walker.
    How much of their classical music have you heard?

    A lack of diversity is not limited to programming. It extends to staffing. Orchestras and opera houses tend to be overwhelmingly white, though a significant number of blacks are graduating from conservatories and entering the field, especially in recent years.

    It’s difficult, for anyone, to master an instrument of classical music, to afford one, to pay for private lessons, to devote hours to practice. For many African Americans, it can be even harder due to socio-economic disadvantages and cultural biases.

    Organized by Lee Pringle, the Colour of Music Festival assembles an orchestra for two “Masterworks” concerts at the Gaillard Center on Saturday, Oct. 21 and Sunday, Oct. 22. It also includes organ, piano and vocal recitals, three chamber music concerts, a symposium celebrating soprano Leontyne Price and a book event at which Christopher A. Brooks and Robert Sims present their bestselling biography, “Roland Hayes: The Legacy of an American Tenor.”

    Pringle said he’s reduced the scope of the festival this year in an effort to allow demand to catch up to supply and to assist with a reorganization and fundraising effort. Programming could be tweaked further next year as Pringle and his colleagues search for the proverbial sweet spot.

    Friday, October 6, 2017

    Sergio A. Mims: Conductor Rafael Payare will conduct the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association’s prestigious training ensemble

    Rafael Payare

    Sergio A. Mims writes:

    Conductor Rafael Payare will conduct the Civic Orchestra of Chicago,  the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association’s prestigious training ensemble for emerging professional musicians and the only one of its kind affiliated with a major American orchestra, in a concert of Bartok and Mahler after his CSO concerts Jan 17-20


    Thursday, October 5, 2017 A Fully Staged Opera in the Music Box Village October 21 & 22, 2017, 7:30 PM

    To purchase tickets, to go:  
    VIP ticket holders will hear a lecture on Scott Joplin and explore the Music
     Box houses at 6:30  prior to the performance!

    Black Tudors: The Untold Story by Miranda Kaufmann will be published by Oneworld on 5th October 2017.

    Black Tudors: The Untold Story by Miranda Kaufmann will be published by Oneworld on 5th October 2017.

    ​The book is available for pre-order on Amazon...

    Music @ The Wallis: Harlem Quartet Returns to The Wallis with Game-Changers Concert Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 7:30pm

    (Beverly Hills, CA October 5) When the Harlem Quartet stepped onto the stage of the Bram Goldsmith Theater in 2016 for its debut at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (The Wallis) in Beverly Hills, it brought down the house. Praised for its “panache” by The New York Times, the acclaimed quartet is “bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing and intelligent,” says the Cincinnati Enquirer. That new attitude will be on full display at The Wallis when they return with Harlem Quartet: Game-Changers on Sunday, October 15 at 7:30pm.
    Harlem Quartet’s members include violinists Ilmar Gavilan and Melissa White, violist Jaime Amador and cellist Felix Umansky. The evening program explores game-changing works from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries—including Claude Debussy, Dizzy Gillespie and Gabriela Lena Frank, as well as a work by Gavilan’s father Guido Gavilan, one of Cuba’s most celebrated composers and conductors.
    “We are delighted to welcome back the amazing Harlem Quartet whose eclectic musical tastes mixes classical with Dizzy Gillespie, chamber music with jazz,” said Paul Crewes, The Wallis’ Artistic Director.  “The quartet’s mission aligns with ours here at The Wallis—to bring classical music to diverse audiences in new and non-traditional programs that both celebrates the arts and moves them forward.”
    Single tickets are now available for $25 – $75. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit, call 310.746.4000, or stop by in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Ticket prices subject to change.
    The Wallis also offers three different options to subscribe to the 2017/18 season: the Premium Subscription Series; the Design-Your-Own option; and the new 3-show Flex Pass for $99, created for busy young professionals—39 and younger—giving the most flexibility to join The Wallis family of subscribers. Learn more at
    About Harlem Quartet:
    Harlem Quartet advances diversity in classical music while engaging new audiences with varied repertoire that includes works by minority composers. Their mission to share their passion with a wider audience has taken them around the world, from a 2009 performance at The White House for President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to a highly successful tour of South Africa in 2012, and numerous venues in between. The musically versatile ensemble has performed with such distinguished performers as Itzhak Perlman, Ida Kavafian, Carter Brey, Fred Sherry, Misha Dicter, Jeremy Denk, and Paquito D’Rivera. Their most recent recording, Hot House, with jazz master Chick Corea and percussionist Gary Burton was a 2013 multi-Grammy Award winner.

    About the Program:
    WEBERN Langsamer Satz
    GUIDO GAVILAN Cuarteto en Guaguancó
    DEBUSSY String Quartet in G Minor

    About the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts:
    Since opening its doors in October 2013, The Wallis has produced or presented more than 150 dance, theater, opera, classical music and family programs to an ever-expanding audience. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Paul Crewes and Managing Director Rachel Fine, The Wallis brings audiences world-class theater, dance and music, performed by many of the world's most talented and sought-after artists. Featuring eclectic programming that mirrors the diverse landscape of Los Angeles and its notability as the entertainment capital of the world, The Wallis offers original and revered works from across the U.S. and around the globe.
    The mission of The Wallis is to create, present and celebrate unique performing arts events and educational programs that reflect the rich cultural diversity of our community. Nominated for 28 Ovation Awards, four L.A. Drama Critic's Circle Awards and the recipient of six architectural awards, The Wallis is a breathtaking 70,000-square-foot venue that celebrates the classic and the modern and was designed by Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA of Studio Pali Fekete architects. The building features the restored, original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office (on the National Register of Historic Places) that serves as the theater's dramatic yet welcoming lobby, and houses the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, GRoW at The Wallis: A Space for Arts Education (a gift of Gregory Annenberg Weingarten and Family and the Annenberg Foundation) and the contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater. Together, these structures embrace the city's history and its future, creating a performing arts destination for L.A.-area visitors and residents alike.
    The Official Sponsors of The Wallis’ 2017/18 Season include: Delta Air Lines (Official Airline Sponsor), Montage Beverly Hills (Preferred Hotel), Meridith Baer Home (Official Décor Sponsor) and Mercedes-Benz of Beverly Hills (Official Automotive Sponsor).

    Comment by email: 
    Wonderful! Thank you so much Bill. We very much appreciate it!
    All the best, Sarah

    Wednesday, October 4, 2017

    CSO: The African American Network invites you to see Sacred Masterworks by Poulenc & Gounod (Oct 5 & 7)!

    The African American Network invites you to see Sacred Masterworks by Poulenc & Gounod (Oct 5 & 7)! French conductor Alain Altinoglu leads a program of richly scored works, including Poulenc’s joyfully devotional Gloria. The power of Gounod’s Saint Cecilia Mass is best described by his contemporary Saint-Saëns: “This simplicity, this grandeur, this serene light which rose before the musical world like a breaking dawn…at first one was dazzled, then charmed, then conquered.”
    SPECIAL OFFER: Get $35 tickets for
    Sacred Masterworks by Poulenc & Gounod (Oct 5 & 7)
    when you use promo code RSVP on
    or when calling 312-294-3000!
    $35 tickets are also available for the concerts below. Browse the complete lineup on
    *This offer is only valid for the specified performances and excludes boxes. $35 ticket are available for Main Floor, Upper Balcony and Gallery seats. $55 tickets are available for Lower Balcony seats This offer is not retroactive, cannot be combined with other offers and is subject to availability. Other restrictions may apply
    Sandrine Piau

    Sacred Masterworks by Poulenc & Gounod
    October 5 & 7
    Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Alain Altinoglu conductor
    Sandrine Piau soprano
    Michael Schade tenor
    Andrew Foster-Williams bass-baritone
    Chicago Symphony Chorus
    Duain Wolfe chorus director
    Prokofiev Suite from The Love for Three Oranges
    Poulenc Gloria
    Gounod Saint Cecilia Mass Mississippi Symphony Orchestra Voicing Joplin Saturday 7:30, Thalia Mara Hall

    Scott Joplin is featured at

    Mississippi Symphony Orchestra 
    Voicing Joplin Saturday, Oct. 7, 7:30, 
    Thalia Mara Hall

    Selby and Richard McRae Foundation

    Joplin’s uplifting opera featuring full orchestra on stage, a star-studded cast of national/local singers, and the choirs of Jackson State University, Mississippi College and Tougaloo College.
    In African American composer Scott Joplin’s opera, Treemonisha, the libretto (written by Joplin), portrays a young woman on a former slave plantation who, educated during her youth, rallies her community against superstition and ignorance.  Although she faces hostility for it, she is successful in helping them understand that education is the key to success and they ultimately choose her to lead them on this path. 
    In celebration of the Mississippi Bicentennial, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra will presents this concert performance of Treemonisha as an offering that looks forward through the lens of our shared history.