Monday, July 26, 2021

Sphinx Organization, Inc.: Announcing Recipients of the 2022 Sphinx Medals of Excellence!

Sphinx Organization is proud to announce the three recipients of the 2022 Sphinx Medals of Excellence: pianist Michelle Cann, violinist Randall Goosby, and soprano Karen Slack. 

The Sphinx Medal of Excellence is the highest honor bestowed by the Sphinx Organization, the social justice organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts, and comes with a $50,000 career grant. The medal recognizes extraordinary classical musicians of color. Recipients are artists who early in their career demonstrate artistic excellence, outstanding work ethic, a spirit of determination, and an ongoing commitment to leadership and their communities.

Meet the 2022 Recipients

Michelle Cann

"I'm extremely honored to receive the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, and to become part of this esteemed family of change-makers. I've always admired Sphinx's efforts to change the face of classical music, and I'm committed to furthering this mission especially for young pianists of color. With this award, I hope to inspire and motivate new generations of musicians by celebrating and advancing works by great Black composers."

Pianist Michelle Cann made her orchestral debut at age 14 and has since performed as a solo recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral soloist around the world. She has appeared at venues including the Barbican and Kennedy Center, and with ensembles including The Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras. Among her specialties is the music of Florence Price, with performance highlights including the New York City and Philadelphia premieres of the composer’s Concerto in One Movement. Ms. Cann studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music, where she holds the inaugural Eleanor Sokoloff Chair in Piano Studies.

Randall Goosby

"I am truly grateful for this award and opportunity from the Sphinx Organization, whose indelible influence on my musicianship has brought me to this point in my career. Participating in the Sphinx Competition over a decade ago opened my eyes to the potential for myself and other musicians of color to make our mark on the world of classical music. I hope to continue making classical music ever more accessible to young musicians, especially those of color, and amplifying the work of marginalized creators within this field.”

Violinist Randall Goosby is acclaimed for the sensitivity and intensity of his musicianship, as well as for his determination to make classical music more inclusive and accessible. He made his debut with the Jacksonville Symphony at age nine and, at age 13, performed with the New York Philharmonic in a Young People’s Concert. He is one of the youngest winners of the Sphinx Competition and a recipient of Sphinx’s Isaac Stern Award. His debut album, Roots—a celebration of African American music—was released by Decca Classics in June 2021. A graduate of the Juilliard School, he continues to pursuing an Artist Diploma there under Itzhak Perlman and Catherine Cho. 

Karen Slack

"What an honor to receive the illustrious Medal of Excellence. To have my work acknowledged by this amazing organization and now to be a part of the Sphinx family is tremendous. In an industry where it can be incredibly difficult to build and then sustain a career, to be recognized by an organization whose mission it is to foster, support, and empower Black and Latinx artists and arts administrators is humbling. I am extremely proud to now have my name aligned with artists, leaders, and advocates that I greatly admire and respect. Thank you to Afa and Aaron Dworkin for your tireless advocacy and commitment to our art form.”

Soprano Karen Slack is hailed for possessing a voice of extraordinary beauty and a seamless legato, garnering critical acclaim in leading operatic roles and on the concert stage. She has starred in productions at the Metropolitan, Lyric (Chicago), Washington National, and San Francisco Operas, among others, and has created roles in new operatic works by Black composers Terence Blanchard and Hannibal Lokumbe. She is Artistic Advisor for Portland Opera and Co-Director of the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts, focusing on diversity, equality, and inclusion initiatives in both roles. A former San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow, she is also a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music.

The 2022 Sphinx Medals of Excellence are generously underwritten by Fund II Foundation and William H. Carson, M.D. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Challenge the Stats Team: Sounds of the New Normal Concert noontime Wednesday, July 28, First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta & Live Streamed

Harpist Angelica Hairston, founder of Challenge the Stats, is joined by cellist Khari Joyner and harpist Brandee Younger in an afternoon of unforgettable music in a noontime concert on Wednesday, July 28. 

These three internationally acclaimed Black artists will perform works by BIPOC (Black Indigenous, and People of Color) composers and discuss ways to celebrate communities of color as we navigate a “new normal” in our nation.

Challenge the Stats (CTS) exists to empower BIPOC by creating communities devoted to equity in the classical performing arts. CTS seeks to equip audiences and artists with the tools needed to advocate for justice both inside and outside of the concert hall. 

This free event will admit a limited reserved in-person audience at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, 1328 Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA 30309.  It will also be live streamed.

For more information:

The Harlem Chamber Players: This Monday and Tuesday - 4 Free Summer Pop-Up Concerts

 We hope you can join us for any of our 4 FREE Pop-up concerts this week!

Ashley Horne, Claire Chan, William Frampton, Leo Grinhauz

Ashley Horne, Violin
Claire Chan, Violin
William Frampton, Viola
Leo Grinhauz, Cello

Jackie Robinson Park Bandshell, Bradhurst Avenue & 147th Street, New York, NY 10039
Monday, July 26 at 5 PM

Beethoven String Quartet Op. 18 No. 3 in D Major
Paquito D'Rivera Wapango
Carlos Simon An Elegy: A Cry from the Grave
Nkeiru Okoye Movements


Hope Garden, 475 West 152nd Street, New York, NY 10031
Monday, July 26 at 7 PM

Florence Price String Quartet in G Major
Trevor Weston Fudo 
George Walker String Quartet No. 1

Thomas Paine Park in Foley Square, Lafayette and Worth Streets, New York, NY 10013
Tuesday, July 27 at 5 PM

Florence Price String Quartet in G Major
Trevor Weston Fudo Myoo
George Walker String Quartet No. 1


Hope Garden, 475 West 152nd Street, New York, NY 10031
Tuesday, July 27 at 7 PM

Beethoven String Quartet Op. 18 No. 3 in D Major
Paquito D'Rivera Wapango
Carlos Simon An Elegy: A Cry from the Grave
Nkeiru Okoye Movements


These concerts are sponsored by the Musicians Performance Trust Fund.
These concerts are sponsored by the Musicians Performance Trust Fund

Listen to WQXR, New York City's only classical music radio station live now at 105.9 FM and, and sign up for the WQXR e-newsletter for weekly highlights, links to web streams, on-demand concerts, videos, events from The Greene Space and more.

The Harlem Chamber Players 2020-21 Season is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; in part by a grant from Columbia Community Service; in part by West Harlem Development Corporation via the Tides Foundation; in part with funding from the Turrell Fund; in part with funding from the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation and administered by LMCC; in part by the Manhattan Community Award Program via Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer; in part by a grant from the New York Community Trust/Charles E. Culpeper Fund; in part by a grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation; in part by a grant from J.P. Morgan Securities Charitable Giving Fund; in part by a grant from The M&T Charitable Foundation; in part by a grant from the Howard Gilman Foundation; in part by a grant from the Baisley Powell Elebash Fund; in part by a grant from the Castellano Family Foundation; in part by a grant from the Reba Judith Sandler Foundation; in part from a grant from the Richenthal Foundation; and through the generous donations of our supporters and donors.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

PriceFest 2021: A New Black Renaissance


So Many Ways to Support PriceFest 2021!

For the past several months, The International Florence Price Festival, has been meeting to organize our 2nd annual festival. This year's festival entitled PriceFest 2021: A New Black Renaissance will help us to achieve our mission to celebrate the life and legacy of composer Florence Beatrice Price by providing a platform through performances of Price's works alongside historic and new works by Black composers. I am so excited for all of the more than 12 hours of diverse content including: 

  • The premiere of My Lisette - A documentary on the evolution of Haitian folksong 
  • Performances by renowned artists including Marquita Lister, Melissa Givens, and Kevin Wayne Bumpers!
  • Zoom Green Room Sessions where we can all meet the artists and scholars! 
  • A mixed media event from multivalent artist Kamilla Arku. Check out this sneak peak of her work!

Register Now!

PriceFest 2021 is sponsored by the University of Maryland School of Music and will take place virtually August 20-23, 2021. The one-time $50 registration fee grants attendees access to all live-streaming, interactive, Zoom-based content. Registered attendees will also have exclusive access to Green Room sessions with our featured artists! You do not wanna miss out, so register now!

Purchase an Ad!

If you are unable to attend or would simply like to lend additional support, please consider purchasing an ad in our program e-booklet (visit and link to your ad file). The e-booklet will be seen by hundreds of virtual conference attendees, if last year’s viewership is any indication! Consider sponsoring a fellow artist or educator to attend the event ($50 donation), as well.

All donations are 100% tax deductible. 

Spread the Word!

Help us by spreading the word on social media by sharing that you registered using the hashtag #newblackrenaissance or #PriceFest2021. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram where will be dropping exciting teaser content!

Thanks in advance for your consideration and support. We will see you in August!

All Love and Light, 

Dr. Marquese Carter (they/them)
President, International Florence Price Festival

Click Here to Register                      Classical Album Review: American Quintets — Why Has it Taken so Long? [The most intriguing entry here is Price's Piano Quintet]

American Quintets: Amy Beach, Florence Price, Samuel Barber
Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective

Florence B. Price (1887-1953)

July 24, 2021

By Jonathan Blumhofer

This disc from the London-based Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective pairs piano quintets by Amy Beach and Florence Price with Samuel Barber’s haunting “Dover Beach.”

It’s taken a long time — more than seventy years — but the chamber music (at least) of Amy Beach and Florence Price seems to be gaining a toehold in the repertoire. At least that’s one takeaway from the debut recording of the London-based Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective (KCC), which pairs piano quintets by those two American women with Samuel Barber’s haunting Dover Beach.

The most intriguing entry here is Price’s Piano Quintet. Discovered in 2009 in a cache of scores in an abandoned house in Illinois, no one knows for certain when it was written (though scholarship suggests that it was likely composed around 1935). As in most of her large-scale compositions, the Quintet’s four movements balance Price’s late-Romantic stylistic sensibilities with musical influences from her African-American heritage.

To be sure, the latter inspire some of the Quintet’s finest moments. The slow movement, for instance, with its fervent, spiritual-like harmonic progressions and melodic phrasings, is breathtaking. And the heavily syncopated, gamboling “Juba” movement wants nothing for drive, charm, or freewheeling energy.

In the outer movements, Price’s writing is focused and Romantic. But it’s also a bit strict and, by comparison to the central ones, formally stuffy. That’s not to say the music lacks heart or passion — the first, in particular, offers both in spades — just that its debts to Brahms and Dvorak are more evident than not.

Either way, the Quintet is an inviting piece and this, its premiere recording, should win the score a robust following. The KCC digs into the music throughout, ably illuminating its busy textures and troves of tunes. Tom Poster’s execution of the Quintet’s intensely busy piano part is nothing short of epic. Indeed, this reading feels like just the type of “event” of which Price’s music is so deserving.

Friday, July 23, 2021

NOBLE: 45th Annual Virtual Conference - Rebuilding Trust, Empowering Communities: Reimagining Public Safety in the 21st Century


In the wake of this renewed focus on justice in policing, NOBLE
proclaims the time is now for our country to reimagine public
safety. We have an opportunity to truly consider what public safety
means, and how best to invest in our communities to ensure
public safety for all.

Join us for multiple days of insightful sessions covering critical topics, including:
  • The Growing Threat of Extremist Violence and Hate Crimes: What Can Be Done About It?

  • Public Trust and Law Enforcement Use of Force

  • A State of Emergency: Missing, Murdered and Unaccounted for Women

  • The Thin Black Line: The Cost of Being Black Behind the Badge 

  • Police Unions: Prioritizing Citizens’ Rights, Police Rights, and Collective Bargaining Practices

Member cost: $250
Non-member cost: $350

Registration includes: all virtual sessions on July 31 - August 3 and access to the training sessions, exhibition hall, technology demos, virtual networking lounges, prizes, and more.

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater: The International Association of Blacks in Dance Announces 2021 INFLUENCERS Cohort

 IABD Supports Five Dance Companies across the U.S. through multi-year funding totaling more than $750,000 in Awards

The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) announces the INFLUENCERS Cohort for the 2021 COHI | MOVE program. The five companies that comprise the cohort will each receive a total of $150,000 over the next three years:  Collage Dance Collective, Memphis, TN; Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Chicago, IL; Emerge 125, New York, NY; KanKouran West African Dance Company, Washington, DC; and StepAfrika!, Washington, DC.

“IABD is pleased to support these dance companies through our partnership with Nonprofit Finance Fund,” said Denise Saunders Thompson, president and CEO of IABD. “These times remain challenging as dance organizations approach over a year and half of being shut down. The next three to four years are critical, as this cohort will continue the capacity building and capital deployment methodologies used to strengthen Black Dance companies, with the goal of creating more adaptable organizations that carry on vibrant artistic programming. We are extremely excited to work with this next cohort and remain committed to their organizational and financial health.”

The organizations were selected based on several key considerations for participation:

·      commitment to collaborative participation and engagement with IABD, NFF, program consultants, and cohort companies,

·      the depth of community relationships,

·      demand for local based programming greater than the organization’s ability to provide,

·      engagement and demonstrated support of local artists and the local arts community,

·      demonstrated loss for the community if this organization no longer existed.

The Comprehensive Organizational Health Initiative (COHI) | Managing Organizational Vitality and Endurance (MOVE) is a multi-phase and collaborative program in partnership with the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) designed to improve the structural and financial health of dance companies. The program has a strong emphasis on peer learning and evaluation that delivers methodology and resources to strengthen the financial and organizational health of the IABD Membership. NFF provides the analytic basis, requisite data, training, and planning for a comprehensive initiative that addresses the financial capacity and capitalization needs for long-term stability of these critical dance organizations. In partnership with NFF, IABD will offer access to financial coaching so that companies may receive strategic feedback and guidance as they seek to apply the learnings to their organizations. IABD will also underwrite access to discrete consulting engagements over the course of the four-year period.

Gifts from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Ford Foundation support the Comprehensive Organizational Health Initiative | Managing Organizational Vitality and Endurance (COHI | MOVE) program.

About The International Association of Blacks in Dance

For 30 years, The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) has preserved and promoted dance by people of African ancestry or origin and has assisted and increased opportunities for artists in advocacy, audience development, education, funding, networking, performance, philosophical dialogue, and touring. IABD serves a diverse, national and international membership of agents and managers, dance companies and studios, educators and educational institutions, individual artists, researchers, and supporters of the Dance field.

About Collage Dance Collective: Collage Dance Collective works to inspire the growth of ballet by showcasing a repertoire of relevant choreography and world-class dancers representative of our community. Founded in New York City in 2006, Collage Dance Collec­tive received rave reviews for its 2007 national debut at the Lyric Opera House in Kansas City, Missouri. The company relocated to Memphis in 2007 to take part in the city’s exciting artistic renaissance and to fulfill its mission of extending the reach of outstanding classical ballet training. Since its move, the professional company has presented nine full-length seasons in Memphis, plus national and international touring.

About Deeply Rooted Dance Theater: Deeply Rooted Dance Theater reimagines and diversifies the aesthetics of contemporary dance by uniting modern, classical, American, and African-American traditions in dance and storytelling. Through its uncompromising pursuit of excellence, Deeply Rooted demonstrates the transformative power of art and beauty through dance education, performance, and cultural enrichment in Chicago and on the world stage. Deeply Rooted is rooted in traditions of American and African-American dance, storytelling, and universal themes that spark a visceral experience and ignite an emotional response in diverse audiences worldwide. Deeply Rooted collaborates with nationally renowned choreographers, across the spectrum of modern, ballet, and African dance, to reflect contemporary voices.

About Emerge 125: Founded in 1981, EMERGE125 (formerly Elisa Monte Dance), bridges cultural barriers through the universal language of dance. The company’s work emphasizes three main objectives: CREATE with and for a corps of professional dancers; EDUCATE individuals in the art of movement and in appreciation of live dance performance; and COLLABORATE with distinguished artists across other disciplines to bring dance to new audiences and new platforms. In 2021, the company debuted a new name: EMERGE125 (E125), a shift that signals a new era for the organization. “125” celebrates our Harlem neighborhood, historically centered around 125th Street, and our commitment to build, lead, and center our local community in our work. “Emerge” conjures the dynamic, athletic energy that pervades our performance work, and embodies our dedication to continued re-envisioning: never emerged but instead always in the process of present tense, active evolution.

About KanKouran West African Dance Company: KanKouran’s mission is to preserve and promote traditional West African culture by providing quality entertainment and educational programs to local and national audiences in an effort to facilitate cross-cultural enrichment. KanKouran’s immediate future is devoted to the establishment of an African Cultural Center. This Center will serve as a model to educate the community in order to foster a greater understanding of and appreciation for pan-African and cross-cultural artistic cooperative endeavors. Patrons and visitors alike will have the opportunity to learn about African culture and other cultures throughout the African Diaspora through the study of dance, music, drum making, language, drama, history, culinary and textile arts, and other aspects of culture.

About StepAfrika!: Step Afrika! blends percussive dance styles practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities; traditional African dances; and an array of contemporary dance and art forms into a cohesive, compelling artistic experience. Performances are much more than dance shows; they integrate songs, storytelling, humor and audience participation. The blend of technique, agility, and pure energy makes each performance unique and leaves the audience with their hearts pounding. Step Afrika! promotes stepping as an educational tool for young people, focusing on teamwork, academic achievement and cross-cultural understanding.

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation: Founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and we believe that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom to be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. Additional information is available at

About Nonprofit Finance Fund: Founded in 1980, the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) is a nonprofit lender, consultant, and advocate for putting money to work in better ways for social good. NFF believes that improving the flow of money to community-centered organizations led by and serving people of color that have historically been denied it, begins by correcting the legacy of systemic underfunding restricting money and resources to organizations.  We envision a society where money and knowledge come together to support just and vibrant communities and proudly help mission-driven organizations achieve their communities' aspirations through tailored capital, strategic advice, and accessible insights. For more information on NFF visit


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Music Center Hosts Advance Screening of AILEY Documentary Sunday, August 1, 2021, at 7:30 p.m.

IlluminatING the Life and Legacy of Visionary Artist Alvin Ailey

Director Jamila Wignot Introduces Her Critically Acclaimed Film During Pre-Screening Talk Hosted by Los Angeles Times Dance Writer Makeda Easter

Advance Screening: Sunday, August 1, 2021, at 7:30 p.m.

The Music Center and Center Dance Arts will honor the performing arts center’s long-standing partnership with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the revered dance company founded by Alvin Ailey, by hosting a free screening of the new AILEY film on Sunday, August 1, 2021, in advance of the film’s nationwide opening on August 6, 2021. A NEON release directed by Jamila Wignot and produced by Insignia Films, AILEY chronicles the life of the artist, icon and activist and was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. The free event begins at 7:30 p.m. with a pre-screening introduction of the film featuring Wignot and Los Angeles Times writer Makeda Easter, followed by the screening at 8:00 p.m. The pre-screening talk will give Angelenos and dance fans a behind-the-scenes look at the film, which runs 82 minutes.

Alvin Ailey was a trailblazing pioneer who found salvation through dance. AILEY traces the full contours of this brilliant and enigmatic man whose search for the truth in movement resulted in enduring choreography that centers on the Black American experience with grace, strength and unparalleled beauty. Director Jamila Wignot weaves together a resonant biography of an elusive visionary told through Ailey’s own words and features evocative archival footage and interviews with those who intimately knew him. 

Jamila Wignot is a documentary filmmaker based in New York. Her directing work includes two episodes of the Peabody, Emmy® and NAACP award-winning series The African-Americans: Many Rivers to Cross (PBS), hosted by Henry Louis Gates and chronicling the five hundred year history of African Americans; Town Hall (co-directed with Sierra Pettingill), a feature-length co-production with ITVS following Tea Party activists determined to unseat Barack Obama; and, for PBS’s American Experience series, the Peabody Award-winning Triangle Fire and Emmy®-nominated Walt Whitman.

Makeda Easter is an award-winning journalist who joined the Los Angeles Times in 2016. While covering the intersection of the arts and identity, she's written about street dance activists who use Black social dances to fight racism, a Native playwright whose most successful work skewers white wokeness, and the impact of COVID-19 on artists who are incarcerated. A project she led on dance influencers won an Online Journalism Award in 2020. Makeda became interested in journalism while working as a science writer for a university supercomputing center. She received her bachelor’s degree in science, technology and international affairs at Georgetown University.

Sunday, August 1, 2021
7:30 p.m. Film Introduction with Jamila Wignot & Makeda Easter
8:00 p.m. Film screening begins 

Jerry Moss Plaza at The Music Center
135 N. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tickets are free, but guests must register in advance at Attendance is limited to the first 400 registrants.

This is a free event open to all ages. No outside alcohol is permitted at the AILEY screening. For a list of prohibited items, please click here for The Music Center. Masks are recommended outdoors for those not fully vaccinated. Please visit for information about The Music Center’s safety and security measures.

Please visit for more information. Black conductor waits for an orchestral break

Larry Strachan

By Beatrice Watson

July 20, 2021

Orchestral conductor Larry Strachan is one of Manitoba’s best kept secrets. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music; he is one of very few black conductors in Canada and he has been on this journey for more than 20 years.

Larry has had some opportunities with orchestras in Nova Scotia, Prince George, B.C., and in Vancouver but a full-time, regular job has eluded him so far.  

Son of immigrant parents from Grenada, Larry said he was not naturally drawn to music:

"My parents enrolled me and my sister Leisha in piano classes as part of our extracurricular activity," he said. "I had to be pushed and prodded to practise. I was more interested in drawing."
However, as he progressed with piano lessons, Larry said he came to love music by the time he was in high school.

"This is when I knew I would study music in university and major in piano.

"In my third year of university I took conducting," he explained. "I had a chance to put together a brass quartet, and to conduct a small concert. I enjoyed that very much and was hooked on the feeling."

Larry enrolled in a three-week intensive conducting course in the Czech Republic in 1997.

"I soaked up everything I could and came back with copious notes and videos. I felt more confident in applying for conducting jobs."

Larry said that after he graduated and got all his credentials qualifying him as a conductor, he began applying for jobs as assistant conductor and attending interviews but always falling short. Applying for conducting jobs involves an audition process.

"There is a lot of rejections. The process is rigorous. I have auditioned with various orchestras from Winnipeg to Thunder Bay, Edmonton, Prince George, Vancouver and others.

"I would make it through the aural and written tests (and) interviews with the board members, to the final round where you had to perform and talk."


For most artists, there comes a time when reality sets in and one has to put their artistic careers on hold for practical reasons. Larry got a job in the financial field to pay the bills, married opera singer and criminal lawyer Heulwen Jones and together they have two boys.

"I have not given up my dream," he said. "I am still applying for positions, but I had to do what I had to do."

Fortune smiled on Larry when the pandemic gave him one of  his career highlights when Vicki Young, managing director of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra asked him to conduct an MCO concert at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

"That was awesome, I was very happy and grateful for this opportunity," he said.   


To create his own opportunity, Larry, with the help of his very supportive family, started a non-profit organization, Chamber Orchestra Without Borders. They received funding for a Black History Month Concert in 2016 and a Canada 150 concert in 2018 to rave reviews from community members, proud to have someone of this calibre in the Winnipeg’s Black community.   

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

John Malveaux: Stage Director Femi Elufowoju Jr on His Debut as First Black Opera Director at a Major UK House

Femi Elufowo Jr
(Credit Tyler Fayose)


Jul 19, 2021

John Malveaux of writes:

Stage Director Femi Elufowoju Jr on His Debut as First Black Opera Director at a Major UK House "World Premiere" of the commissioned work "Korapiano" by Dallas composer Quinn Mason

Quinn Mason
(Provided by ENSRQ)

Fine Arts Chamber Players announces its summer series, the Basically Beethoven Festival, will be produced online in July 2021. For the second consecutive year, FACP will record and share Festival performances for the Basically Beethoven Festival-in-Place. Musicians will be recorded in a concert setting and the footage will premiere online as scheduled: July 11, July 18, and July 25 at 3:00 p.m. Long-time attendees will note this is a slight shift from the usual 2:30 p.m. curtain time. As always the concerts are free, but this year advance registration is required at


“Music serves as a vehicle for people to bond,” Basically Beethoven Festival Director Alex McDonald says, “particularly during times of struggle, crisis, or conflict. So even though we, again, cannot come together, we can at least share this experience online. I am excited to produce these programs, including a World Premiere by Dallas composer and FACP music education alumnus Quinn Mason.”


July 25

Rising Star*: Marlon Florez Dovales, cello; Pranay Varada, piano; works by Robert Schumann and Claude Debussy

Feature Performance*: Festival Director Alex McDonald, piano; Lewis Warren, piano 

Program*~: Three Marches, Op. 45 by Ludwig van Beethoven  |  Fantasie by Franz Schubert  |  Cuban Overture by George Gershwin  |  Etude by Anthony Green  |  **WORLD PREMIERE** of the commissioned work Korapiano by Dallas composer-on-the-rise and FACP education program alumnus Quinn Mason

The Festival concludes with music for piano four-hands (two pianists sharing one instrument): Beethoven’s regal Three Marches; the lyrical and haunting Fantasie an undisputed masterpiece by Beethoven’s contemporary Franz Schubert; Gershwin’s joyous Cuban Overture, a piece he considered to be one of his best compositions; Khachaturian’s familiar and exuberant Sabre Dance; and a new piano solo by Quinn Mason, Korapiano, commissioned by FACP. The composer studied the kora, an African harp with 21 strings. Mason says, “this composition utilizes West Aftican folk tunes and incorporates melodic elements and ornamentation usually found in traditional kora playing.”

POV on PBS: STREAMING WINDOW: Michèle Stephenson's latest film tackles racism in Dominican Republic

New York, NY — June 15, 2021 — What does it mean to be rejected by the only country you call home? When a ruling from the Dominican Republic Supreme Court strips citizenship from Dominicans of Haitian descent, over 200,000 are suddenly rendered without nationality, identity or homeland.

Award-winning director Michèle Stephenson’s new documentary, Stateless, follows the families of those affected by the 2013 ruling, uncovering the complex history and present-day politics of Haiti and the Dominican Republic through the grassroots electoral campaign of a young attorney named Rosa Iris.

Stateless has its national broadcast premiere on the PBS documentary series POV on July 19, 2021. POV is American television's longest-running independent documentary series, now in its 34th season. The critically acclaimed film is the winner of the Blackstar Film Festival Best Feature Documentary Award (2020) and is an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival. The film will also be available to stream for free for 30 days at until August 18, 2021.

In 1937, tens of thousands of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent were murdered by the Dominican army, based on anti-black hatred fomented by the Dominican government. In 2013, the citizenship of tens of thousands was revoked, retroactive all the way back to 1929, leading to the displacement of those who have known the Dominican Republic as home for generations. As attorney Rosa Iris phrases it, “They’re here, but they don’t exist.” With conservatives calling for deportation, immigrations bans or the building of walls, the conflict mirrors those of other countries sharing borders, where violence and racism go hand in hand. Citizens merely advocating for Haitians risk physical harm.

Yet, in this dangerous climate, Rosa Iris mounts a grassroots campaign, challenging electoral corruption and advocating for social justice by running for congress. Stephenson traces the complex tributaries of history and present-day politics, as state-sanctioned racism seeps into mundane offices, living room meetings, and street protests.

“As a hyphenated Black Latina,” Stephenson states, “I felt compelled to express how deeply embedded the racial caste system is in our Latinx communities and how identity and citizenship are so closely connected to anti-Blackness—and yet its discussion either escapes or is superficially misconstrued by mainstream media. Stateless highlights universal themes of access to citizenship, migration and systemic racism. In the US, we are witnessing the chipping away at immigrants’ and citizens’ rights. We are facing a global crisis of white supremacist manipulation of migrants’ rights, birthright citizenship, and human dignity for Black and brown people.”

"Michèle Stephenson is a talented filmmaker who has never shied away from tackling difficult and uncomfortable issues in her work. With Stateless she forces us to look beyond just Black and white into the vast complexities of racism and identity that are truly universal. We are proud to partner with her on this important film," said Erika Dilday, Executive Producer of POV | Executive Director, American Documentary.

Filmed with a chiaroscuro effect, Stateless utilizes hidden camera footage to present a gritty, intimate closeup of the Nationalist movement, the struggles of Dominicans of Haitian descent attempting to navigate a system designed to work against them, and the perils of Rosa Iris’s pursuit of social justice. The film intertwines this narrative with scenes recounting the legend of Moriame, a young woman fleeing brutal violence. The scenes, richly imbued with elements of magical realism, are an artful complement to the realities of the violent and disheartening depths of institutionalized oppression that Stateless brings to light.

Michèle Stephenson continues her longtime connection with POV and PBS with the broadcast of Stateless. She is the co-director, with Joe Brewster, of the groundbreaking American Promise. POV supported Stephenson's VR collaborative work with creative partners Joe Brewster and Yasmin Elayat of Scatter, The Changing Same: Episode One, The Dilemma, which premiered this year at Sundance Film Festival's New Frontier and is also featured at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival's Immersive program.