Monday, November 30, 2020

The International Florence Price Festival: Consider a donation to The International Florence Price Festival this #GivingTuesday

Florence B. Price (1887-1953)

The International Florence Price Festival

This Tuesday, December 1st consider a donation to The International Florence Price Festival! Your gift will go a long way toward supporting inclusive programming and PriceFest 2021. 

Also, save the date for December 21, 2020 when we will launch a special online Give-A-Thon event via social media. More details to come!

Give today at

John Malveaux: Chineke! Orchestra performed the first movement of Florence Price's Symphony No. 1 in E minor at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall

John Malveaux of writes:

Chineke! Orchestra performed behind closed doors at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall, in a concert entitled Black Landscapes.
The programme honoured a trailblazing African-American female composer of the twentieth century, Florence B. Price.
Conducted by Roderick Cox. 

This is the first movement of her award-winning Symphony no. 1 in E minor.

Sergio A. Mims: On Tuesday Dec. 22 on my classical music program on WHPK-FM I will be playing the Naxos CD of Adolphus Hailstork's Symphony No. 3

Sergio A. Mims writes:

This is the perfect opportunity to let you and your readers know that on Tuesday Dec. 22 on my classical music program on WHPK-FM in Chicago (which has now returned to the air station after being temporarily closed for months due to CO-VID) that I will be playing the Naxos recording of Adolphus Hailstork's Symphony No, 3 conducted by David Lockington and the Grand Rapids Symphony.

Also on the program will be Dvorak's string quartet in F major op. 96 ("American") and Scott Joplin's opera Treemonisha in Joplin's original 12 piece orchestra arrangement with AnnMarie Sandy.  Edward Pleasant, Frank Ward Jr., Chauncey Packer, other singers with chorus and The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra conducted by Rick Benjamin.

The show can be heard 12-3PM (Central U.S. Time) locally in the Chicago area on 88.5 FM and worldwide livestream on


Chi-chi Nwanoku Updates on Chineke!: An evening with Chineke! at Wigmore Hall, London; Chineke! Black Legacies from Wigmore Hall; Recent interview

Chi-chi Nwanoku writes:

Dear Bill

I hope you’re keeping well and that it’s okay for me to send you a few Chineke! updates, including our Chineke! Gala from Wigmore Hall last week :

Chineke! Black Legacies, from the Royal Festival Hall :

Then today a CNN programme ‘Africa Avant-Garde :

It would be great if some of it could be published on your website.

Many thanks  and keep well.

Very best wishes,

Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, FRAM, HonFTL
Founder and Artistic & Executive Director, Chineke! 


Sunday, November 29, 2020

H. Leslie Adams: The Gilmore presents Dominic Cheli, pianist performing H. Leslie Adams' Etude No. 2 in A flat Minor from Piano Etudes, Book 2

H. Leslie Adams

 November 29


The Gilmore presents

Dominic Cheli, pianist
performing H. Leslie Adams' 

Etude No. 2 in A flat Minor 
from Piano Etudes, Book 2

(Originally telecast Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 4 pm)


This work was played on "Rising Star Series" featuring Dominic Cheli.
I thought it might be serviceable for my work to be clipped and perhaps used for marketing purposes (if that's possible).  Incidentally I have a Ticket Number 589413, which may or may not work for you.  There is an admission fee that indicates the artist is indeed considered "rising and coming" (professionally).  In event you can't get through to the telecast, know it will be available for several weeks. 


Asheville Symphony Orchestra performs George Walker's "Lyric for Strings" in YouTube video "Reflections of Healing" (7:28)

George Walker (1922-2018)

Asheville Symphony Orchestra

This video was produced by the Asheville Symphony in partnership with the Asheville Art Museum with support from the Asheville Area Arts Council. In the summer of 2020, protests broke out in cities around the country, including Asheville, N.C., to stand in solidarity with the black community following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others. At that time, dozens of murals honoring the importance of the moment sprang up across downtown Asheville. This project is meant to document these public works of art and this historic time. Lyric for Strings by George Walker. Used by permission of Lauren Keiser Music Publishing. Recorded at Echo Mountain Recording on June 17, 2020 A Man Who Dreamed: Chineke! Orchestra Monday 14 December, 11:30 AM Pacific Time; 2:30 PM Eastern Time


Chineke! Orchestra  

Kalena Bovell, conductor

Aaron Akugbo, soloist  


Coleridge-Taylor, Ballade for Orchestra, Op.33

Haydn Trumpet Concerto in E Flat

Hailstork, Epitaph for a Man Who Dreamed 

Dvorak Symphony No 8 in G

View on Chineke You Tube Channel

Chineke! Event Link

Bill Doggett writes:

On December 14th, 2020 at 2:30PM Eastern Standard Time and 11:30AM Pacific Time, the European premiere of Adolphus Hailstork's Epitaph for a Man Who Dreamed  performed by Chineke! Orchestra under the baton of  Maestra Kalena Bovell will be Livestream broadcast by Chineke Foundation on their YouTube channel.

Written to honor the life and memory of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in 1979, Epitaph For A Man Who Dreamed is an impactful symphonic work championed and recorded by the late Conductor Paul Freeman.

This historic European premiere performance is conducted by Kalena Bovell, the gifted young Assistant Conductor of The Memphis Symphony.

Saturday, November 28, 2020 Adolphus Hailstork's "Christmas Canticle" will be streamed Sunday, Dec. 6 at 4 PM by Capital Singers of Trenton

Adolphus Hailstork

November 28, 2020

Capital Singers of Trenton (CST) celebrates the sounds of the season with its upcoming virtual Lessons and Carols concert, Winter Songs XIV.

The Concert will be streamed on Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. The show will include guest appearances by the Trenton Children’s Chorus Training Choir and soloist Rev. William N. Heard, pastor of Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church in Camden.

CST serves under Artistic Director and Conductor Vinroy D. Brown, Jr. and usually rehearses and performs at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Trenton. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the group’s unusual fall 2020 rehearsal season has taken place almost entirely online, with several small ensembles meeting to record at Sacred Heart, among other locations, following strict social distancing protocols.


The concert will include selections such as the second movement of Brahms’s Requiem, Adolphus Hailstork’s “Christmas Canticle” and the world premiere of a medley of six carols arranged by CST’s founder Richard M. Loatman.


For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 609-434-2781.

Juares De Mira of Brazil sings Harry Burleigh arrangement of Negro Spiritual "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child" on YouTube

Juares De Mira

Negro Spirituals Arranged By Harry Burleigh (1866-1949) 
Juarês De Mira (Singer) 
Analaura S Pinto (Pianist) 
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child 
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child 
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child 
A long ways from home 
A long ways from home 
A long ways from home 
Sometimes I feel like I'm almos' gone  
Sometimes I feel like I'm almos' gone 
Sometimes I feel like I'm almos' gone 
A long ways from home 
A long ways from home 
A long ways from home...

Arts Engines: Aaron Dworkin Interviews Chief Artistic Officer of Cleveland Orchestra!

Welcome to this week's episode of Arts Engines which now reaches over 100,000 weekly viewers in partnership with Detroit Public Television, Ovation TV, The Violin Channel and American Public Media including Performance Today and YourClassical. Arts Engines seeks to share the most valuable advice and input from arts administrators who tell their stories of creative problem-solving, policy, economic impact, crisis management and empowering the future of our field.

This week's guest is Mark Williams, Chief Artistic Officer of the Cleveland Orchestra.  Enjoy... and have a creative week!

Friday, November 27, 2020

Wallace M. Cheatham: "Racism: Opera's Unlisted Castmember," has now been published in the Ibadan Journal of Theater Arts

Wallace M. Cheatham

November 24, 2020

Wallace M. Cheatham writes:

The publication of my paper,  "Racism: Opera's Unlisted Castmember," has now been published in the Ibadan Journal of Theater Arts.

Wallace Cheatham Chineke!/Edusei review — defiance, rage, triumph and a seam of deep compassion

The programme was incisively conducted by Kevin John Edusei


November 24, 2020

When the Black Lives Matter protester Patrick Hutchinson was photographed in June rescuing an injured white counter-protester, the striking picture went viral. “I’ll stare at this image numerous times,” the poet Yomi Sode begins, “and then it will hit me . . . We have been here before.” His is a powerful critique, a response to current affairs that’s rooted in centuries of trauma. It forms the heart of a new piece by James B Wilson, Remnants, premiered in this Black Legacies streamed concert by Chineke!.

In truth, Wilson’s music is mostly a frame for Sode’s performance, anguished, urgent and eloquent. 

Eric Conway: Morgan State Choir sings "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

Eric Conway writes on November 26, 2020:

Happy Thanksgiving all!  

On this national day of Thanksgiving, when we all take time to thank God for all He has given us, I would like to share a song the Morgan choir learned earlier in the semester: Simon and Garfunkel’s iconic song:  "Bridge Over Troubled Water”. 

Paul Simon believed this was perhaps his greatest single piece that he had ever written.  It has been said that the piece gives the flavor of a white gospel song.  This song was immediately accepted by the public with immediate resonance from citizens in this country as well as the UK.  This piece was first released fifty years ago in 1970, and found favor in performance by Elvin Presley, Peggy Lee, the Jackson 5, and the Supremes.  In 1971, Aretha Franklin claimed this piece as a staple of her repertoire, confirming the Gospel feel of the song.  In subsequent generations, the piece was used to help heal in times of need.  Paul Simon performed this song for the victims of 9/11 in 2001 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. 

In 2020, the Morgan choir offers this piece to encourage all during this very unsettled period in our nation's history given the world-wide coronavirus pandemic.  We hope you enjoy this arrangement of this timeless song.


Thursday, November 26, 2020 New York Choral Society presents second installment of "Our Voices" with the premiere of Adolphus Hailstork’s "A Carol For All Children" Dec. 15

 The New York Choral Society (“NYCHORAL”) presents their second installment of Our Voices with the premiere of Adolphus Hailstork’s A Carol For All Children on December 15.

A Carol for All Children, composed by Adolphus Hailstork in 1995, celebrates the simple idea that all children have value and are brought into the world with hopes that their future and their world will be bright and full of possibilities. Choreographed through the lens of a Queer artist of Kenyan and Indian descent, the work further highlights the need for agency and solidarity, giving all children the right to be valued, loved and nurtured regardless of race, creed or means in an equitable and loving world.

Composer Adolphus Hailstork has written numerous works for chorus, solo voice, piano, organ, various chamber ensembles, band, and orchestra. Among his early compositions are Celebration, and Out of the Depths (1977) and American Guernica (1983). New commissions include Earthrise, a large-scale choral work for James Conlon and the 2006 Cincinnati May Festival and We Rise for Freedom: The John P. Parker Story for the Cincinnati Opera. Hailstork is currently working on a requiem for chorus and orchestra, A Knee on The Neck, in response to the murder of George Floyd.

Brendan Fernandes is an internationally recognized Canadian artist working at the intersection of dance and visual arts. Brendan’s projects address issues of race, queer culture, migration, protest and other forms of collective movement. Always looking to create new spaces and new forms of agency, Brendan’s projects take on hybrid forms: part Ballet, part queer dance hall, part political protest...always rooted in collaboration and fostering solidarity. He is currently artist-in-residency and faculty at Northwestern University and represented by Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago. Recent and upcoming projects include performances and solo presentations at the Noguchi Museum (New York); Monique Meloche Gallery (Chicago); the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto); and the Museo De Arte São Paulo (São Paulo).

A Carol for All Children will stream on NYCHORAL’s YouTube Channel and on our website.

Maria Thompson Corley: My domestic abuse-themed opera, The Sky Where You Are, will be available on the Decameron Opera Coalition site until Dec. 31

Maria Thompson Corley

Pianist Maria Thompson Corley writes:

Hi Bill,

It occurred to me to mention that my domestic abuse-themed opera, The Sky Where You Are, will be available on the Decameron Opera Coalition site until Dec. 31. KF Jacques is the other Black composer whose opera, The Corsair, is included. Several singers in other productions are Black, including Mr. Jacques. I am the pianist for my piece. 

All of the composers will be interviewed live on Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. on the Decameron Opera Coalition Facebook page.

More information on the operas in general and mine in particular can be found below. An Opera Theatre commissioned my piece.

Very best wishes and warmest regards,

John Malveaux: Philadelphia Orchestra performs little-known symphony composed by African American female Florence Price

 Florence B. Price (1887-1953)

John Malveaux of writes:

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Bill Doggett: May I wish you and yours Happy Thanksgiving

Bill Doggett writes:

I give thanks for our friendship!

May I wish you and yours Happy Thanksgiving 

May we remember and honor those loved ones
who are not with us
and give thanks for the joy that they brought us.


American Composers Alliance in New York: Online release of "Variations" a film of vocal works by artists from the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles

Photo: YouTube: Brain Dead and Converse present Variations

November 25, 2020

American Composers Alliance in New York announces the online release of "Variations" a short film directed by Devonté Hynes of Blood Orange, featuring extraordinary performances of two ACA vocal works by artists from the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles,

The film opens with a hauntingly beautiful a cappella performance of  "For You There Is No Song" from Five Millay Songs by H. Leslie Adams, followed by a jazz ensemble, then followed by "Dream & Variation" from Songs From the Dark Tower by Dorothy Rudd Moore -- one of her evocative settings of poetry by Langston Hughes. 

Performers include Vocalist: Brandi Birdsong; Cellists: Hanna Innis and Christine Kivi; and Pianist: Amber Daughtry. 

The 14 minute promotional film also features music by Wayne Shorter, Hello Yello, and  Chevalier de Saint-Georges, performed by young musicians in Los Angeles. 

"Luminous Sound” is an initiative established by the clothing and shoe companies BrainDead and Converse to sell a limited edition batch of Converse tennis shoes to raise money and awareness for young musicians such as these around the world.

Read more about this project and view the entire film here:

John Malveaux: NPR speaks with composer Anthony Davis about his opera RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT featuring clarinetist Anthony McGill

Anthony Davis

John Malveaux of writes:

NPR speaks with composer Anthony Davis about his opera RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT featuring clarinetist Anthony McGill

The Fisk Jubilee Singers’® Album, Celebrating Fisk! (The 150th Anniversary Album), Nominated for GRAMMY® Award in Best Roots Gospel Album Category

Curb Records

Nashville, Tenn. (November 24, 2020) — Curb Records is excited to announce the much-deserved GRAMMY® nomination of its June 2020 release of the Fisk Jubilee Singers’® album, Celebrating Fisk! (The 150th Anniversary Album) in the Best Roots Gospel Album category. Listen to the album Here:

“I had many great experiences today, including the news of the Fisk Jubilee Singers’® GRAMMY® Nomination. This is VERY EXCITING!!!,” shares Dr. Paul Kwami, Musical Director of the Fisk Jubilee Singers® and Album Co-Producer. “It is the result of hard and diligent work put together by many great minds. As the Fisk Jubilee Singers® prepare to celebrate their 150th anniversary in 2021, this nomination gives us much inspiration to celebrate the anniversary in a grand way. This GRAMMY® nomination is a great honor for the Fisk Jubilee Singers® and me, and for this I am very grateful to everyone for their tremendous contributions.”

The album, which is more than 150 years in the making, is a collection of 12 songs that beautifully represents and communicates the powerful and vibrant history of Fisk University, Fisk Jubilee Singers®, and the city of Nashville. It features the group from the stage of Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, with guest appearances by Ruby Amanfu, Keb’ Mo’, Lee Ann Womack, The Fairfield Four, Rod McGaha, Derek Minor, Shannon Sanders, Rodney Atkins, Jimmy Hall and CeCe Winans.

“I am proud to be a part of this historic moment,” shares Shannon Sanders, Album Co-Producer. “I am beyond excited for the Fisk Jubilee Singers®, Dr. Paul T. Kwami, and Fisk University. I am grateful to Mike Curb, the team at Curb Records and all of their affiliates for their incredible belief and support. This is a big day for Music City.”

Mike Curb, Chairman of Curb Records, also shares, “We’ve worked for many years with the Fisk Jubilee Singers and we are very excited that they have such an important GRAMMY® nomination at this time.” 

Credit: Bill Steber

For more information, visit


  1. Wade In The Water
  2. Blessed Assurance (feat. CeCe Winans)
  3. I Believe (feat. Keb’ Mo’)
  4. Everybody Ought To Treat A Stranger Right (feat. Lee Ann Womack)
  5. Rock My Soul (feat. The Fairfield Four)
  6. I Want Jesus To Walk With Me (feat. Ruby Amanfu)
  7. When The Saints Go Marching In (feat. Rod McGaha)
  8. ‘Way Over In Egypt Land
  9. Glory / Stranger (feat. Derek Minor & Shannon Sanders)
  10. Working On A Building (feat. Rodney Atkins)
  11. My Lord Is So High
  12. I Saw The Light (feat. Jimmy Hall)


About Fisk University   

Founded in 1866, Fisk University is a private, liberal arts university located in Nashville, Tennessee. Consistently recognized for its brand of academic excellence, Fisk is ranked No. 6 on the Top 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report. Fisk also ranked No. 1 in the nation among HBCUs for social mobility and No. 3 in the nation for research expenditures among small liberal arts colleges. Fisk University is deeply committed to student leadership, success and service. Fisk excels at preparing our highly motivated student body for elite graduate schools and outstanding careers. From the classroom to the boardroom, a Fisk education gives students the tools to turn their passions into careers and prepares them to make a difference in the world. To learn more about Fisk University, please visit 


About Curb Records

Celebrating 56 years in business, Curb Records is one of the world’s leading independent music companies. Owned and operated by Mike Curb since 1964, Curb Records has achieved 435 number one records, over 1,500 hundred Top Ten records and charted over 4,500 total records. With over a half century in operation, Curb Records has been influential in the careers of some of the biggest names in music, including: Tim McGraw, Hank Williams, Jr., Rodney Atkins, Lee Brice, LeAnn Rimes, The Judds, Dylan Scott, Sawyer Brown, Wynonna, Lyle Lovett, JoDee Messina, Hal Ketchum and Desert Rose Band, among many others. Today’s roster includes some of the top names across multiple genres of music. For more information, visit

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

John Malveaux: Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra - November 21st program including Clarinetist Anthony McGill and composer Anthony Davis discussion

Anthony McGill

John Malveaux of writes:

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra - Live from Music Hall on November 21st program including Clarinetist Anthony McGill and composer Anthony Davis discussion (You Have The Right To Remain Silent). See and pic of Anthony McGill

International Contemporary Ensemble and Civic Orchestra of Chicago Present the World Premiere of Nicole Mitchell’s Inescapable Spiral Remote Dec. 15 6pm CST

 Tuesday, December 15 at 6:00pm CST/7:00pm EST – Free with Advanced                                                          RSVP 

New York, NY (November 23, 2020) — The International Contemporary Ensemble and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago present a free virtual concert featuring the world premiere of Nicole M. Mitchell’s Inescapable Spiral Remote (2020) on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 6pm CST/7pm EST. The program will stream on YouTube and is open to the public with advanced RSVP. An informal Q & A with the artists will follow the performance.

Inescapable Spiral, commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble with lead support from Oscar Gerardo and premiered at Ojai Music Festival 2017, is written for open instrumentation and a variable ensemble. Performers can range anywhere from 5 to 20 players. As Nicole mentions, “it’s like a choreography of these little miniature pieces, with the intent of collision.” The variable process in her work extends to a new remote edition of the piece, specifically reimagined for pre-recorded and live performances that are created remotely and mixed live online.

"There are a few possible ways that celestial bodies can orbit the Earth. One is called the ‘spiral impact’ orbit, in which it is inevitable for one celestial body to be pulled towards the greater object in an ‘inescapable spiral’ until they ultimately collide,” says Mitchell.  

"As the pandemic forced our programming, collaboration, and creation into the virtual sphere, we immediately thought of Nicole Mitchell and her extensive experience with remote Telematic performances. We commissioned her to make a new version of the 2017 Inescapable Spiral that could be workshopped in the context of our online Ensemble Evolution program in late June in partnership with the New School’s College of Performing Arts. Six months later, as the final event in our weekly streaming series, TUES@7, we’ll bring thirteen members of the Ensemble into collaboration with over a dozen members of Chicago Civic,” says International Contemporary Ensemble’s Artistic Director Ross Karre. 

"This performance presents the Civic Orchestra with so many exciting opportunities to explore new modes of musical expression online,” says Jonathan McCormick, who is Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Negaunee Music Institute and oversees the Civic. “After three years and at least two instances of postponed performances, it feels as though the inescapable spiral of planning this collaboration is finally reaching a joyful conclusion, thanks to Nicole’s ingenuity and International Contemporary Ensemble’s thoughtful partnership.”

Program Information
Nicole Mitchell’s Inescapable Spiral Remote
Tuesday, December 15, at 6:00pm CST/7:00pm EST
Tickets: Free with Advanced RSVP

Nicole Mitchell – Inescapable Spiral Remote (2020) [World Premiere] 

The 2020/21 Civic Orchestra of Chicago season is generously sponsored by The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation. 

About Nicole Mitchell
Nicole Mitchell is an award-winning creative flutist, composer, conceptualist, bandleader, and educator. A United States Artist (2020), a Doris Duke Artist (2012) and recipient of the Herb Alpert Award (2011), her research centers on the powerful legacy of contemporary African American culture and black experimental art. For over 20 years, Mitchell’s critically acclaimed Black Earth Ensemble (BEE) has been her primary compositional laboratory with which she has recorded over 10 albums and performed at festivals and art venues throughout Europe, Canada, and the US. A former president of the AACM, she composes for contemporary ensembles of varied instrumentation and size (from solo to orchestra and big band) while incorporating improvisation and a wide aesthetic expression. Her recognition as a 2018 recipient of the Champion of New Music Award from the American Composers Forum and the 2019 Women In Jazz Visionary Award from the Jazz Institute of Chicago are positive responses to her community impact. Much of Mitchell’s creative process has been informed by literature and narrative, with a special interest in science fiction. Her album, Mandorla Awakening (FPE, 2017), combined Afrofuturism with intercultural collaboration and was selected by The New York Times as the #1 jazz album of 2017. As a composer, she has been commissioned by the French Ministry of Culture, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Newport Jazz Festival, the Art Institute of Chicago, the French American Jazz Exchange, Chamber Music America, the Chicago Jazz Festival, International Contemporary Ensemble, and the Chicago Sinfonietta. As a flutist she has developed her own signature language and has been a repeated recipient of the Top Jazz Flutist awards from Jazz Journalists Association and DownBeat Magazine from 2010-2019. A professor of Music at University of Pittsburgh, Mitchell is the William S. Dietrich II Chair of Jazz Studies, where she works to continue the visionary legacies of her predecessors Geri Allen and Nathan Davis. Mitchell was previously a professor of music at University of California, Irvine.Learn more at 

About the International Contemporary Ensemble
The International Contemporary Ensemble is an artist collective that is transforming the way music is created and experienced. As performer, curator, and educator, the Ensemble explores how new music intersects with communities across the world. The Ensemble’s 36 members are featured as soloists, chamber musicians, commissioners, and collaborators with the foremost musical artists of our time. Works by emerging composers have anchored the Ensemble’s programming since its founding in 2001, and the group’s recordings and digital platforms highlight the many voices that weave music’s present.

A recipient of the American Music Center’s Trailblazer Award and the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, the International Contemporary Ensemble was also named the 2014 Musical America Ensemble of the Year. The group currently serves as artists-in-residence at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ Mostly Mozart Festival, and previously led a five-year residency at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The International Contemporary Ensemble was featured at the Ojai Music Festival from 2015 to 2017, and at recent festivals abroad such as gmem-CNCM-marseille and Vértice at Cultura UNAM, Mexico City. Other performance stages have included the Park Avenue Armory, The Stone, ice floes at Greenland’s Diskotek Sessions, and boats on the Amazon River.

OpenICE, made possible with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, offers free concerts and interactive, educational programming wherever the Ensemble performs. As the Ensemble in Residence of the Nokia Bell Labs Experiments in Art and Technology, the International Contemporary Ensemble advances music technology and digital communications as an empowering tool for artists from all backgrounds. Curricular activities include a residency and coursework at the New School College of Performing Arts, along with a summer intensive program, called Ensemble Evolution, where topics of equity, diversity, and inclusion build new bridges and pathways for the future of creative sound practices. Yamaha Artist Services New York is the exclusive piano provider for the Ensemble. Read more at and watch over 350 videos of live performances and documentaries at

About the Civic Orchestra of Chicago
Founded in 1919 by Frederick Stock, second music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), the Civic Orchestra of Chicago prepares emerging professional musicians for lives in music. Civic members participate in rigorous orchestral training, September through June each season, with Principal Conductor Ken-David Masur, musicians of the CSO, and some of today’s most luminary conductors including CSO Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti. 

From 2010 to 2019, Yo-Yo Ma was a leading mentor to Civic musicians and staff in his role as CSO Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant, and the programs and initiatives he established are integral to the Civic Orchestra curriculum today. Civic Orchestra musicians develop as exceptional orchestral players and engaged artists, cultivating their ability to succeed in the rapidly evolving world of music in the twenty-first century.

The importance of the Civic Orchestra’s role in Greater Chicago is underscored by its commitment to present concerts of the highest quality at no charge to the public. In addition to the critically acclaimed live concerts at Symphony Center, Civic Orchestra performances can be heard locally on WFMT (98.7 FM).

Civic musicians also expand their creative, professional, and artistic boundaries and reach diverse audiences through educational performances at Chicago Public Schools and a series of chamber concerts at various locations throughout the city including Chicago Park District field houses and the National Museum of Mexican Art.

To further expand its musician training, the Civic Orchestra launched the Civic Fellowship program in the 2013–14 season. Each year ten to fifteen Civic members are designated as Civic Fellows and participate in intensive leadership training that is designed to build and diversity their creative and professional skills.

The Civic Orchestra’s long history of presenting full orchestra performances free to the public includes annual concerts at the South Shore Cultural Center (in partnership with the South Shore Advisory Council) as well as numerous Chicago Public Schools. The Civic Orchestra is a signature program of the Negaunee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which offers a wide range of education and community programs that engage more than 200,000 people of diverse ages, incomes, and backgrounds each year, in Chicago and around the world. Learn more at  

Monday, November 23, 2020

John Malveaux: Early Music Access Projects new virtual series, Expanding the Narrative, aims to center Black Music and musicians in the story of early America

John Malveaux of writes:

Early Music Access Projects new virtual series, Expanding the Narrative, aims to center Black Music and musicians in the story of early America Curtis Institute names pianist Michelle Cann to new chair honoring legendary professor Eleanor Sokoloff

Michelle Cann
(Jiyang Chen)

by Peter Dobrin

November 17, 2020

The Curtis Institute of Music has created a position in honor of Eleanor Sokoloff, the legendary piano professor who taught at the school for more than eight decades, and the school has named Philadelphia pianist Michelle Cann to fill the spot.

The 2013 Curtis graduate takes up the inaugural Eleanor Sokoloff chair in piano studies with duties she expects to begin in the new year. Sokoloff died in July at age 106.

Cann will teach private lessons as well as coach chamber music, and said Tuesday that she hopes her role will be even more expansive. Nothing is set, but she envisions making mentorship connections between Curtis students and young musicians in the city.

She also hopes to broaden the career-soloist mind-set with which some students enter Curtis.

 “The world is really changing, and I think it’s extremely important to be more than great pianists who sit in the practice room for hours to win a competition and get a solo career,” said Cann. “That’s not to say that that work isn’t important, but we are at a point for every conservatory to take it much farther than that. It’s important for Curtis students to be much more well-rounded.”

Cann, 33, has performed with the Florida Orchestra and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and in early 2021 is slated as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra in its first performance of Florence Price’s Concerto in One Movement.