Sunday, September 22, 2019

US Premiere of Bongani Ndodana-Breen’s Safika: Three Tales on African Migration

Dr. Bongani Ndodana-Breen
(Photo: Anna Morris)

Dr. Bongani Ndodana-Breen writes:

Dear William: Please see attached press release on an upcoming concert. Regards, Bongani 

Claiming Power 
~Featuring the US Premiere of Bongani Ndodana-Breen’s Safika: Three Tales on African Migration~
Sat, Sept 28, 2019 at 8:00 PM 
Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall 
154 W. 57th St., New York, NY

New York, NY – The Mimesis Ensemble presents “Claiming Power” a vocal and chamber music concert exploring the complex journey of rediscovering and reclaiming inner power after it has been taken away. The program features the US Premiere of Bongani Ndodana-Breen’s Safika: Three Tales on African Migration, for piano quintet. 

The program opens with an arrangement of Margarita Mimi Baez Fariña’s Bread and Roses for four female voices. This union song demands that workers receive enough pay for both bread and roses, to nourish both body and spirit. This is followed by Arnold Schoenberg’s Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte, Op. 41, a piece that exposes and cries out against the abuses of people in power. This is followed by Margaret Bonds’ The Negro Speaks of Rivers, a somber setting of a Langston Hughes poem that turns to the ancestral memory of rivers that carry identity.

The second half of the concert opens with Max Richter’s On the Nature of Daylight, from The Blue Notebooks. The Blue Notebooks protests against the Iraq war, and this particular piece transports the listener to the intense inner world as a refuge against the violence of the world.

The next piece is Bongani Ndodana-Breen’s Safika: Three Tales on African Migration, a piece that journeys into ancestral memory as a source of healing and restoration from the colonial oppression of black people in South Africa. The concert ends with Wu Man’s Glimpses of Muqam Chebiyat, a piece written by the composer for pipa and transcribed for string quartet. Man brings the sound of the pipa to this string quartet, allowing the power of this ancient Chinese instrument to breathe new life into the string quartet genre.

The concert is Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 8:00 pm, at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall inNew York City. Tickets are $25 general admission and $12 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office at 57th St/7th Ave, by calling Carnegie Charge at 212-247-7800, or at

Margarita Mimi Baez Fariña, Bread and Roses (1974) 
Arnold Schoenberg, Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte, Op. 41 (1945) 
Margaret Bonds, The Negro Speaks of Rivers (1941)-


Max Richter, On the Nature of Daylight, from The Blue Notebooks (2003) 
Bongani Ndodana-Breen, Safika: Three Tales on African Migration (2011) [US PREMIERE] 
Wu Man, Glimpses of Muqam Chebiyat (2015) 

María Brea, soprano
Jasmine Muhammad, soprano
Hai-Ting Chinn, mezzo-soprano
Tammy Moore, mezzo-soprano
Nathan Resika, reciter
Ling Ling Huang, violin
So Young Kim, violin
Yuri Namkung, violin
Rachyl Duffy, viola
Samuel Marchan, viola
Dara Hankins, cello
Valeriya Sholokhova, cello
Carlos Barriento, double bass
Katie Reimer, piano

The Mimesis Ensemble ( is a New York City based ensemble dedicated to performing 20th and 21st century music. The ensemble strives to create programs that reflect the experience of modern human experiences. Founded in 2008 by pianist Katie Reimer, Mimesis has performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Symphony Space, the Miller Theatre at Columbia University, and the Kennedy Center in 
Washington D.C.

Mimesis released their debut CD on Bridge Records, featuring Mohammed Fairouz’s opera, Sumeida’s Song, for orchestra and 4 singers. This recording was chosen by Opera News for their “Dazzling Dozen” releases of 2013. The group is currently working on their second album, Dancing Circles in the Night, a vocal and chamber music album to be released on Arabesque Records.

For more information, contact Katie Reimer, 646-323-9351, or

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