Wednesday, May 8, 2019

W. Hazaiah Williams Memorial Concert presented by Four Seasons Arts May 18

Dr. Lynne Morrow

Four Seasons Arts 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; British soprano, Alison Buchanan; baritones William Warfield, Benjamin Matthews, Robert Sims, and Autris Paige; pianists Jeanne Stark, Leon Bates, Yin Cheng-Zong, and Cyprien Katsaris.

On Saturday May 18th, the next Memorial Concert will take place at St. John’s Presbyterian Church of Berkeley at 3:30 PM.  The Pacific Edge Voices, conducted by Dr. Lynne Morrow, will present a program of works by Johannes Brahms, Olivier Messiaen, Maurice Duruflé,  Dylan Tran, Thomas Dorsey and a set of African American Spirituals arranged by Moses Hogan.  The attached flyer has details about the program and reservation methods.

The May 18th  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.”

We continue to appreciate your work with AfriClassical – you give us such important information in difficult times.

Mary Jo Hudgel
Four Seasons Arts


In celebration and in memory of the Founder
of Four Seasons Arts, Dr. W. Hazaiah Williams,
the first African-American impresario of a
major classical music program.
Dr. Lynne Morrow, Music Director,
presented by Four Seasons Arts
Saturday, May 18 - 3:30 pm.
St. John’s Presbyterian Church
2727 College Avenue, Berkeley

Choral Works by Maurice Durufle, Samuel Barber, Dylan Tran, Jennifer Higdon, and others.

African American Spirituals

Dr. Hazaiah Williams

In celebration and in memory of the Founder of Four Seasons Arts, Dr. W. Hazaiah Williams, the first African-American impresario of a major classical music program.

To Order Your Tickets:
U.S. Mail: Four Seasons Arts, 2930 Domingo Ave., #190, Berkeley 94705
(please enclose self-addressed, stamped envelope)
Telephone: 510-845-4444
- Your Tickets will be held for you at the Box Office -
Children 6 and over are welcome

Comment by email:
Thank you, Bill.  We so much appreciate your efforts to educate AfriClassical readers about the concert and Dr. Williams’ legacy. Mary Jo [Mary Jo Hudgel]

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