Thursday, October 21, 2021

PostClassical Ensemble: The Souls of Black Folk: Rediscovering Black Classical Music, Sunday, 14 November 21, 5 PM, All Souls Church, Washington, DC

PostClassical Ensemble (PCE), for 18 years one of the few true mavericks among American chamber orchestras, has announced its plans for the 2021-2022 season. The Ensemble's Executive Director Michelle Rathbun notes "We at PostClassical Ensemble are thrilled to be presenting live concerts once again! We're eager not only to welcome our faithful audiences back to the concert hall but to invite new communities to discover the thoughtful, cross-disciplinary programs that have been so elegantly designed by our co-founders, Music Director Angel Gil-Ordóñez and Executive Producer Joseph Horowitz."

PCE's season consists of four concerts, to be presented in November, January, February and March. Venues for the concerts have been chosen for their relevance to the programs themselves and to the audiences PCE wishes to reach. Three of the season's offerings are devoted to the group's new initiative, The Rediscovery and Renewal of Black Classical Music, which coincides with the publication of Mr. Horowitz’s new book Dvorak’s Prophecy and the Vexed Fate of Black Classical Music by Norton in November 2021. 


As for the primary focus of PCE's 2021-2022 season, Executive Producer Joseph Horowitz explains that "The Rediscovery and Renewal of Black Classical Music seeks to celebrate consequential composers who have too long been neglected for all their profound contributions to American orchestral music. PCE has long been a national leader in unearthing this buried history. By contextualizing this story– where the music came from, why it disappeared, and what to make of it today– we reflect on our nation’s complex cultural history and gain insight into how to nurture understanding and dialogue."

The Souls of Black Folk: Rediscovering Black Classical Music
In partnership with Howard University and the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts

Sunday, 14 November 2021 at 5:00 p.m.
All Souls Church: 1500 Harvard St NW (@16th), Washington, DC
Elizabeth G. Hill, piano
Melissa Constantin, soprano
Howard University student actors
CAAPA Chorale conducted by Music Director Greg Watkins
PostClassical Ensemble conducted by Music Director Angel Gil-Ordóñez
Jenn White, host

The program highlights Black women composers Florence Price (3 compositions, including a world premiere) and Margaret Bonds (6 compositions), explores the insights of Langston Hughes and W.E.B. DuBois through letters and texts, and weaves together an illustration of their continuing legacy in shaping American culture. Featuring pianist Elizabeth Hill and the CAAPA Chorale; narrated by Jenn White. ‍This concert will be recorded and excerpts will be broadcast on NPR's program 1A, hosted by Jenn White, on Thanksgiving Day, 25 November 21.

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