Friday, May 4, 2018

Four Seasons Arts Presents W. Hazaiah Williams Memorial Concert 3:30 PM May 12th, St. John's Presbyterian, Berkeley, CA

FREE general admission tickets required.  To order, give your name, number of tickets ordered, your address, phone and email address.  Limit 2 tickets per person.  Ages 6 and above.  Call Four Seasons Arts at 510-845-4444 OR email your order to

Mary Jo Hudgel writes:

Dear Mr. Zick,

Four Seasons Arts is again preparing to present the W. Hazaiah Williams Memorial Concert.  The event honors Dr. Williams, the first African American impresario of a major classical music concert series in the U.S. and founder of Today’s Artists Concerts/Four Seasons Arts. Memorial performances have featured world-renowned artists such as American soprano Veronica Tyler; Polish contralto Ewa Podles; baritones William Warfield, Benjamin Matthews, and Robert Sims; pianists Jeanne Stark, Leon Bates, Yin Cheng-Zong, and Cyprien Katsaris.

On Saturday May 12th, the next Memorial Concert will take place at St. John’s Presbyterian Church of Berkeley at 3:30 PM.  The artists featured will be Alison Buchanan, soprano, and Autris Paige, baritone.  The attached flyer has details about the program and reservation methods.

The May 12th  concert is designed to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Williams who was dedicated to the racial and cultural integration and expansion of the classical music audience and of the concert stage. In 1958, he began presenting concerts by co-sponsoring the recital of Marian Anderson at the San Francisco Opera House.

Dr. Williams presented hundreds of concerts in the Bay Area and directed Four Seasons Concerts until his death in 1999. In addition, for 22 years, he presented a series of concerts in New York’s Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall which included debuts of a number of African American artists as well as a music festival celebrating the 100-year anniversary of Franz Liszt.

The series in the Bay Area has featured many solo, chamber, and orchestral concerts. To name just a handful: Pianists: Leon Bates, Lazar Berman, Michel Beroff, Idel Biret, Roy Bogas, Aldo Ciccolini, Georges Cziffra, Annie Fischer, Natalie Hinderas, Ivan Moravec, Tatayana Nikolaeva, Don Shirley, Rosalyn Tureck, Tamas Vasary, Terrence Wilson, Oxana Yablonskaya.
Vocalists: Betty Allen, Marian Anderson, Teresa Berganza, Thomas Buckner, Grace Bumbry, Roland Hayes, Sherrill Milnes, Autris Paige, Gerard Souzay.
Intrumentalist/Ensembles: Ahn Trio, Beaux Arts Trio, Budapest String Quartet, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Pierre D’Archambeau, Shanghai String Quartet, and Julian Lloyd Webber.  
Jazz/Popular/World: Francis Bebey, Kamala Buckner, Theodore Bikel, Donald Byrd, Giora Feidman, Miriam Makeba, Thelonious Monk, Odetta. 
Choruses/Orchestras: American Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Children’s Choir, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, New Stockholm Chamber Orchestra, Oakland Symphony and Chorus, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.

Dr. Williams’ achievements include 8 years of service on the Berkeley Board of Education during the time when the schools were racially integrated; founding an interdenominational community church, the Church For Today; founding and directing the Center For Urban-Black Studies at the Graduate Theological Union; and founding the Alamo Black Clergy, a San Francisco East Bay consortium of ministers of various denominations. His work in the Arts and in Civil Rights focused on bringing people together for occasions where inclusion was emphasized and community created.

Dr. Williams’ words continue to light our way:  “The reason we love Art is that it is indigenous to the human spirit. We are a part of the beatific structure that is the universe, and when we hear a melody, we are brought back to the beauty in ourselves, and reminded that we are a logical extension of all the beauty in the world.”

Thank you for your work with AfriClassical, a very important and helpful web site for our current time.

Mary Jo Hudgel
Four Seasons Arts

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