Saturday, January 25, 2020

A Black History Program - African American Legacies: Outstanding Moments in our History - 2/15/2020

African American Legacies: OutstandingMoments in our History 
February 15, 2020 3:00 PM

Knox Presbyterian Church
FREE admission!
AFRICAN AMERICAN LEGACIES – Outstanding Moments in our History is slated to be an event that should not be missed. If you appreciate Black History, are a lover of music, or enjoy the artistry of the spoken word, then this event is truly for you. Knox Presbyterian Church and the Georgia Laster Association of Musicians, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit affiliate branch of the National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc.(NANM), have teamed together to to showcase some outstanding African-American, historical moments through the works of arranger and composer, Hall Johnson, the brilliance of soprano, Jessye Norman, the passion in the poetry of Maya Angelou and much more. All are welcome and admission is free.  For more information about both organizations, visit and

The Barnstable Patriot: Ghanaian American pianist and scholar William Chapman Nyaho performing Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Africa”

William Chapman Nyaho

Symphony, guests take audience on ‘Africa’ journey

John Malveaux: America’s Racial Progress Is Real. So Is the White Supremacy That Threatens It

Lawrence D. Bobo
(Photo by Aaron Salcido.)

John Malveaux of writes:

1-23-20 Dr. Lawrence D. Bobo (Harvard University) interviewed by LA Times writer Sandy Banks at Zocalo Public Square WHAT DOES THE RESURGENCE OF WHITE SUPREMACY MEAN FOR THE FUTURE OF RACE RELATIONS?  Listen to podcast

Friday, January 24, 2020

On An Overgrown Path: An African-American in Moscow [John McLaughlin Williams Conducted Novaya Russiya]

John McLaughlin Williams

On An Overgrown Path

Thursday, January 16, 2020

In 1938 Fritz Reiner conducted Henry Kimball Hadley's concert overture 'In Bohemia' at a memorial concert for the composer. Now a very powerful new video from Moscow of the Novaya Russiya Orchestra playing 'In Bohemia' conducted by John McLaughlin Williams - seen above - has appeared on YouTube. Today Hadley is a forgotten figure, but he once played a leading role in American music. In 1911 he became the founding conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, the first American-born musician to hold a major conducting position, and he was associate conductor of the New York Philharmonic from 1921 to 1927. As a major figure in the early years of Hollywood film music he conducted the New York Philharmonic for the soundtrack of Warner Bros' 1926 film Don Juan starring John Barrymore, which was the first movie with synchronized music. He composed the score for the 1927 Barrymore film When a Man Loves, and among his other compositions are five symphonies (listen to symphonies 2 and 4 here and here) and five operas.

This Moscow concert video intrigued me as today performances of Henry Kimball Hadley's music are very rare. So I asked John McLaughlin Williams for the backstory, which he provided as follows:

My agent is Lena Khandros of Momentum Artists. She made the gig happen. Lena is Ukrainian and Jewish by birth and a longtime citizen here. She worked her magic in ways unknown to me. An American organization called the Foundation for Cultural Engagement was greatly involved in making my appearance happen. The concert was under the auspices of the Moscow Philharmonic Society and the orchestra is Novaya Russiya, which is Yuri Bashmet's orchestra. The concert program was billed as "Hollywood Melodies" and it was conceived and largely programmed by the Ivanov Brothers, Mikhail and Andrey, who are famous Russian jazz musicians. The concert also featured three singers: Chuck Wansley (an American song stylist presently residing in Prague), Mariam Merabova (nationally famous over there as a blues singer), and Tatiana Pavlovskaya (world famous operatic soprano resident at the Mariinsky). The performance was in the famous Tchaikovsky Hall.

Though the program featured the Ivanov brothers, I was asked to provide a program opener and in keeping with the American orientation of the extant program, Hadley's showstopper came to mind immediately. The concert's first half began with that and continued with some famous Sinatra arrangements featuring Chuck. I did Morgen (from Strauss' Four Last Songs) with Tatiana (wonderful!) and also did some choice Mancini: Breakfast at Tiffany's, Charade, and his arrangement of Jesus Christ Superstar. Tatiana is a world-class singer: in fact, all these folks are famous in their own fields.

The second half featured the Ivanovs and was constructed like a detective story with music. This half began with Mancini's Pink Panther and went on to feature the big main title songs from James Bond films. The singers delivered these in various combinations along with copious extemporizations from the Ivanov brothers' and their two bandmates. All were excellent. The concert was sold out and was apparently a great success. There was a lot of P.R. for it and the entire concert will be available for online viewing. That's pretty much it. I got an opportunity and tried to make the most of it! I'm presently inquiring about future recording.
We can all learn from John's self-effacing observation that "I got an opportunity and tried to make the most of it". But this story raises two important questions. Why does Henry Kimball Hadley's music have to travel to Moscow to receive the attention it deserves? And why, despite the much-celebrated 'Sheku effect', does John McLaughlin Williams have to travel to Moscow to receive the attention he deserves?

John Malveaux: The lost neighborhood under New York’s Central Park

John Malveaux of sends this link:


A historically black village’s destruction made way for Central Park’s creation.

Sergio Mims: André J. Thomas will conduct the London Symphony Orchestra in a concert of gospel symphonic music in March

André J. Thomas

Sergio A. Mims writes:

The London Symphony Orchestra has just released a press release announcing that next month the conductor/composer/arranger Andre J. Thomas will conduct a concert of symphonic gospel music with the orchestra.

"On Sunday 1 March 2020, leading American gospel music specialist André J Thomas will conduct the London Symphony Orchestra in their first ever full concert of gospel symphonic music. The evening will bring together the full orchestra, a 400-strong choir comprising the London Adventist Chorale, with LSO Community Choir, Hannah Brine Choirs, Hackney Empire Community Choir, and Milton Keynes Community Choir with guest soloists, NaGuanda Nobles (soprano), Jason Dungee (tenor) and Brandon Boyd (piano)".
'André J Thomas said: “This concert brings together two forms of music that are indigenous to African Americans: the slave song as spiritual and the gospel song which came after emancipation and grew out of the spiritual. Now we’re putting that in symphonic setting, with full orchestra and choir. This is music of the soul, of a people who were so close to music. It’s music about their lives. As Africans, that’s a crucial part of our expression – in the African village everyone dances and sings. That extended itself to the time of slavery; add the religious element on top, and it creates something incredibly powerful'.
'Kathryn McDowell, Managing Director of the LSO added: “Every year LSO Sing, the umbrella title for our range of singing projects for vocal enthusiasts of all ages, gets stronger and stronger, with an ever-broadening repertoire. For our Christmas Concert in 2018 we added a gospel element, and received such a wonderful warm response from our audiences and had a great time performing the music that the Orchestra decided it was time to present a full evening with gospel music at the heart. I am delighted that this has come to fruition. It’s a pleasure to welcome André J Thomas to conduct, and a thrill that on stage we have the wonderful London Adventist Chorale under the leadership of Ken Burton, and most of all, that we will be bringing together four community choirs to raise the roof of the Barbican Hall.”
'The programme for the evening will be in two parts: opening the evening will be selection of well-known and less familiar spirituals, with André J Thomas’ own composition Gospel Mass – A Celebration of Love and Joy forming the second part of the evening'. 

Thursday, January 23, 2020

John Malveaux: Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra in "Hiawatha," "A Lincoln Portrait" & "Afro-American Symphony" at SGI Auditorium January 18

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)

Aaron Copland

William Grant Still (1895-1978)

John Malveaux of writes:

January 18, 2020 Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra annual Martin Luther King Holiday Concert at SGI Auditorium in Santa Monica equaled or exceeded previous years. Maestro Guido Lamell opened with Overture to "Hiawatha" by Afro-British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. KUSC radio host Rich Capparela was an effective narrator for "A Lincoln Portrait" by Aaron Copland. The second half featured all four movements of William Grant Still's "Afro-American Symphony No. 1". The special afternoon ended with an appreciative audience singing the traditional "We Shall Overcome" with added solo improvisations from four orchestra players. See pic 1 Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, pic 2 Aaron Copland, pic 3 William Grant Still.

Sergio Mims: Sheku Kanneh-Mason's New Decca Recording of Elgar's Cello Concerto Makes UK Album Chart history

London Symphony Orchestra
Sir Simon Rattle

Sergio A. Mims writes:

This weekend Gramophone Magazine announced that Sheku Kanneh-Mason's new Decca recording of the Elgar Cello Concerto with London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle earned a place in the Top 10 of the UK Official Album Charts  it premised last week as No 8 on the charts and not since  Nigel Kennedy's recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons in 1989 has a British classical musician earned a place in the Top 10 of the UK Official Album Charts album  The album also, not unsurprisingly, also landed as No 1 in the Specialist Classical Chart.

Friday, January 17, 2020 Santa Monica Symphony Performs William Grant Still's "Afro-American Symphony" 2 PM Saturday Jan. 18

Civil rights leader Martin Luther King is remembered with concerts, a parade and other events this holiday weekend.
Los Angeles Times
AFP/Getty Images

He had a dream

Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra’s annual MLK holiday concert remembers the civil-rights leader with a program that features Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” narrated by KUSC’s Rich Capparela, as well as William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 1, “Afro-American.” SGI Auditorium, 525 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. 2 p.m. Saturday Free.

The Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles performs inspirational music including an orchestral and choral setting of King’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A. 7 p.m. Saturday. Free; reservations recommended. (310) 440-4500.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Lara Downes Music: What's new in the New Year!



2019... it was a year of milestones and marvels. Some high points:


My first No. 1 on the Billboard Chart!!
My album For Love of You debuted with two weeks at #1, and brought the music of Clara and Robert Schumann to so many ears and hearts - more in the NY Times and Boston Globe...


I hosted NPR's From the Top with a cast of ridiculously talented young musicians who are also spectacular human beings. Listen to the show! (I'm hosting again in May, stay tuned...)


My album Holes in the Sky brought me the miraculous gift of collaboration with artists including Judy Collins, Rhiannon Giddens, Simone Dinnerstein, Leyla McCalla... check out the constellation of goddesses HERE


I played with the Boston Pops, at Tanglewood, Washington Performing Arts, Ravinia, National Sawdust, Joe's Pub, and here and there and everywhere, and during my last trip of 2019, my trusty red suitcase gave up the ghost.



2020 starts with a series of recordings dropping TODAY! I am so happy to share with you these world-premiere releases of the piano works of Florence Price, whose music has enthralled me for many years. Ms. Price's story is a complicated one, as American stories usually are. She was a trailblazing, fearless, tireless, phenomenal woman who accomplished extraordinary things and wrote extraordinary music. Get my recording of her Fantasie Negre No. 4 today, and you can sign up HERE to be notified when new EPs drop later this month.


My album SOME OF THESE DAYS is coming in April. This project has been a long time coming in my heart and soul, and I can't wait for you to hear it.


I'm beyond thrilled to be making my debut this summer with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, playing Price's fabulous Piano Concerto (in its premiere performance with this iconic orchestra) as well as a world premiere of Paola Prestini's new concerto Let Me See the Sun, commissioned for me by the Ravinia Festival, the Louisville Orchestra and the Oregon Bach Festival.

Where you'll find me...

2020 is bound to be a year of change, and I hope that brighter, more peaceful days are in store for all of us.

In the meantime, let the music play...

You can find my schedule HERE, and I hope to see all of you soon on my travels.

To all of you, my warmest wishes for everything good in this New Year!

Many thanks to

My family - the phenomenal women of Holes in the Sky - My team at Cadenza Artists - Bonnie Barrett and Yamaha Artist Services - Sony Masterworks - Naxos of America - John Michael Cooper - Adam Abeshouse - Tad Wheeler/Tenderdyn Arts - 8va Music Consultancy - Noelle Panepento - Austere Visuals - The New York Times - The Boston Globe - WQXR - The San Francisco Ballet Orchestra - Washington Performing Arts - Ravinia - Oregon Bach Festival - The Louisville Orchestra - From the Top - Mondavi Center - Sphinx Organization - - and all my friends and colleagues who are fighting the good fight.

John Malveaux: July 1, 2020 concert BROTHERHOOD of MAN to include L.A. premiere of 'Bicentennial Symphony' by composer Roy Harris

Roy Harris

William Grant Still

John Malveaux of 

MusicUNTOLD is currently developing a July 1, 2020 concert titled BROTHERHOOD of MAN, to include Los Angeles premiere of composer Roy Harris 'Bicentennial Symphony'.  The symphony premiered in Washington DC with Maestro Murry Sidlin conducting the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in 1976 to celebrate the 200th birthday of our nation. It is the strongest musical statement on U.S. History, slavery, and race relations ever made by an American composer.  The work was written for orchestra with large chorus.  The chorus carries the larger part of the work with passages from the Preamble to the Constitution, the Gettysburg Address, and the Emancipation Proclamation as well as original passages. 

During a brief recent visit to the United States, Shawn Harris, elder son of Roy Harris, sent me ONE TENTH of OUR NATION with music composed by Roy Harris.  See Shawn Harris is a former popular music musician and producer who also served as president of Barry Manilow's publishing company before retiring from music in 2004.

The July 1, 2020 BROTHERHOOD of MAN concert second half will be devoted to 125th anniversary of William Grant Still. Concert location to be announced February 2020.

Sergio Mims: Florence Price's Symphony No. 1 in top ten of most performed published classical works in 2019

Florence B. Price (1887-1953)

Sergio A. Mims writes:

You and your readers will be interested and happy to know that Florence Price's Symphony No. 1, published by G.Schirmer Inc., was listed as No. 8 in the top ten of published classical compositions performed in 2019 according to the music publishers website Zinfonia

Her Symphony No. 3, also published by Schirmer Inc., was listed as No. 36. Hopefully when her Symphony No. 2, which as yet t be found though researchers thin they know where the score be located, will be eventually restored and published soon for performance

The entire list can be found at this link  Zinfonia 2019 Review | Peter Grimshaw's Blog

Friday, January 10, 2020

Lara Downes: World Premiere Florence Price recording drops today!

Lara Downes writes:

Dear friends,
I'm happy to bring some good news this morning! My world premiere recording of Florence Price's Fantasie Negre No. 4 is here! 
This is a really extraordinary piece of music that exposes Ms. Price's layers of creative expression in their unique and beautiful complexity. You can read the fascinating history of the piece in Michael Cooper's forward to his new source-critical edition, available now from G. Schirmer. 
This is the first part of my series of world premiere Price recordings, on EPs dropping throughout this month. You can sign up to be notified of the new releases HERE, and please feel free to be in touch with your questions/comments etc.
Also, please share this with any & all friends and fans of Ms. Price!!
My journey with her music continues to change my life and fill my heart.
Much love,


Lara Downes
Skype: LaraD88

Sergio Mims: Kurt Weill/Langston Hughes opera Street Scene on WHPK-FM Tuesday Jan. 21

Langston Hughes

Sergio A. Mims writes:

I wanted you and all your readers to know that on my weekly classical music show on Tuesday Jan 21. I will be playing Kurt Weill's and Langston Hughes' opera Street Scene based on the Pulitzer Prize winning 1929 play by Elmer Rice with music by Weill and lyrics by Hughes. The opera premiered on Broadway in January 1947.

"It was Weill who referred to the piece as an "American opera", intending it as a groundbreaking synthesis of European traditional opera and American musical theater. He received the first Tony Award for Best Original Score  for his work. Considered far more an opera than a musical, Street Scene is regularly produced by opera companies but has never been revived on Broadway. Musically and culturally, even dramatically, the work inhabits the mid-ground between Weill's Threepenny Opera  and Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story."  

It was both Weill and Rice who choose Hughes to write the lyrics for the opera with Weill citing that Hughes could  "lift the everyday language of the people into a simple, unsophisticated poetry."

"In order to enhance the realism of the new work, the collaborators utilized dialogue scenes, sometimes underscored by music. To create music that would portray the ethnic melting pot of characters described in Rice's book, Weill traveled to neighborhoods in New York, watching children at play and observing New Yorkers. Hughes took Weill to Harlem nightclubs to hear the musical idioms of black American jazz and blues". 

Hughes wrote: "The resulting song was composed in a national American Negro idiom; but a German, or someone else, could sing it without sounding strange or out of place"  Weill and many critics have considered the score to be his masterpiece."

The show is broadcast on WHPK-FM in Chicago every Tuesday from 12-3PM (U.S. Central Time) and can be heard locally on 88.5 FM and livestream worldwide on

John Malveaux: "The Big Finish" is the Autobiography of Judith Anne Still, Daughter of William Grant Still

John Malveaux of writes:

Judith Still is the daughter of composer William Grant Still  "the Dean" of African-American composers, and Jewish musician/librettist Verna Arvey. I am privileged to receive copies from Judith Anne Still of her autobiography THE BIG FINISH. The book is part of THE PHOENIX RISING BOOK Series. What was life like for a child of two artistic geniuses? What were the difficulties for mixed-"race" families in the mid 20th century? How did slavery, segregation, intolerance, chauvinism, jealousy, greed, and intellectual theft impact the only successful so called 'Negro' classical music publisher in America?

Thursday, January 9, 2020

The Orion Ensemble Premieres Arrangement of Ugandan Composer Justinian Tamusuza's Quartet in March

Justinian Tamusuza

The Orion Ensemble

Plus Works by Rolla, Huydts, Dvorák in Chicago, Evanston, Aurora

Highlighted by a premiere arrangement by and for its musicians, The Orion Ensemble, winner of the prestigious Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, continues its 27th season with a diverse chamber music program combining classics with modern works. Performances, which also feature guest violist Stephen Boe , take place at a new venue this season--New England Congregational Church in Aurora--March 1, followed by a benefit reception; PianoForte Studios in Chicago March 4; and Music Institute of Chicago's Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston March 8.
The program
A highlight of the concert is the premiere of Orion clarinetist Kathryne Pirtle and Orion violinist Florentina Ramniceanu's arrangement of Ugandan composer Justinian Tamusuza's Mu Kkubo Ery 'Omusaalaba (On the Way of the Cross) for clarinet quartet (1993), a rhythmically innovative and captivating work earlier recorded by the Kronos Quartet. Tamusuza blends Western classical and Ugandan traditional styles in his compositions, including African folk elements, minimalist techniques and poly-rhythms.
The Concertante Duo in E-Flat Major for violin and viola, Op. 5 by Alessandro Rolla features the highly expressive strains of early Romanticism, tempered by the charming elegance of Classical era influences. Known primarily as Paganini's teacher, Rolla was a viola and violin virtuoso whose many accomplishments include writing one of the first viola concertos.
Continuing a long and fruitful partnership with Chicago-based composer Sebastian Huydts (b. 1966), Orion performs selected movements of his Delicias de Blancanieves (Snow White's Delight, 2015), a highly imaginative work consisting of 27 fairy tales with a decidedly Spanish flavor. Strongly melodic and tuneful, offering much rhythmic variety and a fair amount of harmonic spice, each piece harbors a little story, suggested by its title. Orion's performance features selections Huydts has arranged specifically for the ensemble as well as original versions played by Orion pianist Diana Schmück.
Dvorák had an international reputation when he completed his Piano Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op. 87 in 1889. Responding to his publisher Simrock's request, Dvorák composed this work only after completing his opera, The Jacobin. This masterful chamber work displays extraordinary writing for piano and prominent expressiveness for strings, resulting in an exquisitely crafted work in overall texture and tone.
Orion's 27th season
Orion's 2019-20 season, which includes violist Stephen Boe on all programs, concludes with Mozart, Borodin and Schumann, featuring guest violinist Mathias Tacke, in May. Orion appears on the broadcast series "Live from WFMT" May 11, 2020.

The Orion Ensemble
Founded in 1992, The Orion Ensemble, winner of the prestigious Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming for its critically acclaimed millennium celebration "An Inside Look at Contemporary Music," features a roster of four superb musicians--Kathryne Pirtle (clarinet), Florentina Ramniceanu (violin), Diana Schmück (piano) and Judy Stone (cello)--who have performed throughout North America, Europe and Asia, as an ensemble and individually in solo, orchestral and other chamber music roles. The Chicago Tribune called Orion "one of Chicago's most vibrant, versatile and distinctive ensembles," and Peter Schickele (aka PDQ Bach) said Orion is "what chamber music should be all about: Individual virtuosity melded into a group personality." The Orion Ensemble is supported in part by grants from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, the Farny R. Wurlitzer Foundation Fund, the Illinois Arts Council and generous donations from its patrons.
For a brief history, click here

Performance and ticket information
The Orion Ensemble's third concert program of its 27th season takes place Sunday, March 1 at a special time of 3 p.m., followed by a wine and cheese benefit reception, at its new venue, New England Congregational Church, 406 W. Galena Boulevard in Aurora; Wednesday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the PianoForte Studios, 1335 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago; and Sunday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. at Music Institute of Chicago's Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston. Single tickets are $30, $25 for seniors (65+) and $15 for students; admission is free for children 12 and younger. A four-ticket flexible subscription provides a 10 percent savings on full-priced tickets. For tickets or more information, call 630-628-9591 or visit

Wednesday, January 8, 2020 23rd Annual Sphinx Competition Finals Concert 7:30 PM Saturday, February 8 at Fisher Music Center, Detroit

Hour Detroit

Be a part of one of Detroit’s most diverse classical performances, the 23rd annual Sphinx Competition Finals Concert, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center. Eighteen musicians from around the country will come to Detroit to compete in the Sphinx Competition for young black and Latinx string players. At the Finals Concert, the three finalists compete for the $50,000 Robert Frederick Smith Prize and solo appearances with major orchestras. Audiences will experience the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, led by guest conductor Roderick Cox, and Sphinx founder Aaron Dworkin’s new spoken word multimedia work, The American Rhapsody. The Sphinx Organization will also host SphinxConnect, a global convening known as the epicenter for artists and leaders in diversity, Feb. 6-8 at The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit hotel. Registration includes access to sessions, performances, networking opportunities, and more. Visit for more information.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Black History Month Concert: The Ebony Trio Set To Perform in New York City, National Opera Center, 8 PM Friday, February 7, 2020

Jasmine Thomas (Soprano)
Andrew Egbuchiem (Countertenor)
Echezonachukwu Nduka (Pianist)

Date: Friday, February 7, 2020
Venue: Marc A. Scorca Hall, National Opera Center
330 7th Ave. New York, NY 10001
Time: 8 pm
Entry: Suggested donations of $20

The American Guild of Organists: The Music of H. Leslie Adams, 3:30 PM March 15, St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Lakewood, OH

Sunday, March 15, 2020 
3:30 pm
St. Peter's Episcopal Church
18001 Detroit Road
Lakewood, OH 44107

Monday, January 6, 2020

John Malveaux: Raye Jean Montague was an American Naval Engineer Who Created the First Computer-Generated Rough Draft of a U.S. Naval Ship

Engineered for Greatness
Raye Jean Montague
A publication of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
John Malveaux of 

Raye Jean Montague (née Jordan; January 21, 1935 – October 10, 2018) was an American naval engineer credited with creating the first computer-generated rough draft of a U.S. naval ship. She was the first female program manager of ships in the United States Navy.  

John Malveaux: Santa Monica Symphony MLK Jr. Concert Includes William Grant Still's Afro-American Symphony, 2 PM, Jan. 18, SGI Auditorium

William Grant Still (1895-1978)

John Malveaux of 

Santa Monica Symphony annual MLK Jr. concert January 18, 2020 at SGI Auditorium to include performance of William Grant Still's Afro-American Symphony. 

Friday, January 3, 2020

"The Obama Portraits" coming from Princeton University Press in February 2020

The Obama Portraits
Princeton University Press

The Obama Portraits (Publication Date: February 11, 2020) is a reception history and historicization of the meaning of Barack and Michelle’s portraiture by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald. 

The book features
  • A reversible cover so that buyers can either feature Barack’s portrait or Michelle’s 
  • Never-before-seen behind-the-scenes photographs of the artists at work
  • Photographs the unveiling ceremony by the Obama’s photographer Pete Souza
  • Essays about how Wiley and Sherald were commissioned for the project, how the National Portrait Gallery’s visitors doubled as a result of these portraits, the unprecedented responses to the portraits and their legacy in African American art
  • A transcript of the unveiling ceremony
The book’s contributors include

  • Taína Caragol is curator of painting and sculpture and Latino art and history at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
  • Dorothy Moss is curator of painting and sculpture at the National Portrait Gallery, where she also directs the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition and serves as coordinating curator of the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative. 
  • Richard J. Powell is the John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History at Duke University and the author of Cutting a Figure: Fashioning Black Portraiture and Black Art: A Cultural History, among other books. 
  • Kim Sajet is director of the National Portrait Gallery.

Chicago Sinfonietta: Sinfonietta Traditions. Impactful Social Issues. MLK Tribute Concert, Naperville 3 PM Jan. 19 & Chicago 7:30 PM Jan. 20

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Cedille Records: I Care If You Listen: "Project W" should be considered a great success and a large step forward for modern orchestral music

Project W
Works of Diverse Women Composers
Chicago Sinfonietta
Mei-Ann Chen
Cedille Records

Cedille Records

"Chen and the ensemble take special care with stylistic accents and stresses like true experts
. . . Project W should be considered a great success and a large step forward for modern orchestral music."