Saturday, November 23, 2019 MACCO Season Commits to Works from Diverse Voices

Antoine Clark, artistic and music director of the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra

Nov 20, 2019

Columbus conductor and clarinetist Antoine Clark wants women musicians and musicians of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds to be heard.

Clark, who serves as artistic and music director of the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra in Worthington, conducts around the state of Ohio and serves on the faculties of Kenyon College and Ohio Wesleyan University, is a fellow of the Chicago Sinfonietta’s Project Inclusion Conducting Freeman Fellowship Program, which seeks to eliminate institutional bias along the lines of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic background from classical music ensembles.

Part of that work involves programming music by women composers, composers of color and composers of diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

“Being a part of that program helped me to understand that, if no one else is doing this, then it really should fall on me, a person of color, to really promote these voices,” Clark said in a recent phone interview. “I felt, as an African American, that I should be one who could really help support those voices that are not being heard in the classical community.”

MACCO will present Voices Past and Present on Nov. 24, featuring music by present-day composer Jennifer Jolley alongside works by three well-known composers of the Classical era.

The idea is to show that, even in the past, we’ve had voices that we need to know more about, and in the present we need to be aware of the voices that are now…and how these generations intermingle and influence each other,” Clark said.

The concert will begin with a symphony by Joseph Boulogne, an influential black composer, conductor and violinist working in Paris during the time of Mozart and Haydn, then end with one of Haydn’s Paris symphonies.

“Boulogne was actually instrumental in helping to commission the Paris symphonies of Haydn, and he was the person to premiere those works,” Clark said.

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