Saturday, April 30, 2022

Sergio A. Mims - Jonathon Heyward and Clarinetist Afendi Yusuf Performing Mozart and Dvorak with the Chicago Grant Park Symphony in July

Jonathon Heyward
Afendi Yusuf

Grant Park Music Festival

Sergio A. Mims writes:


Conductor Jonathon Heyward will make his long awaited Chicago debut this summer on July 20 with the Grant Park Orchestra at the Grant Park Music Festival which takes place at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in downtown Chicago

The program will include Louise Farrenc Overture No. 1, Mozart Clarinet Concerto with principal clarinetist of the Cleveland Orchestra Afendi Yusuf and Dvorak's Symphony No. 8

Friday, April 29, 2022

Chicago Symphony Orchestra: May 5-7: "William Grant Still’s 'Mother and Child'" and "Florence Price’s expressive Third Symphony"

Riccardo Muti presents two groundbreaking pieces by the first African American composers to have symphonic works performed by major orchestras. William Grant Still’s Mother and Child is a gentle, lilting work inspired by a painting by Sargent Johnson. Florence Price’s expressive Third Symphony gives a powerful voice to the African American experience. The first half includes Beethoven's Fourth Symphony, a work of grace, subtlety and drive, whose smallest gestures have large implications. In honor of these special performances of Price’s Symphony No. 3, the CSO is presenting a panel discussion about this fascinating composer. 

Thursday, April 28, 2022 Albion Music Professor Finds Inspiration, Scholarship in the Works of Florence Price

Dr. Lia Jensen-Abbott, in her Goodrich Chapel office, says of Florence Price, “A lot of composers don’t take the time or can’t write good teaching pieces. I think this is where her talent and passion really come together.”

Albion College

Albion, MI

April 27, 2022

By Jake Weber

Gifted and prolific 20th-century composer Florence Price spent much of her life unheralded and unrewarded.

And since her death in 1953, Price and her works had gone mostly unnoticed — until just a few years ago, and today an Albion College music professor is adding more to the story of an immense musical talent and her place in history.

In 1933, Price became the first African American woman to have an orchestral work performed by a major orchestra (the Chicago Symphony Orchestra). Even so, her remarkable music and life were largely overlooked for decades.

That has changed, thanks to the more recent increase in African American history scholarship. Also contributing in the last few years is the music scholarship of Dr. Lia Jensen-Abbott, who is also director of Albion’s Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program.

Much to her surprise, Jensen-Abbott has become widely regarded as an expert on Price’s piano music and pedagogy. And from her work over the past decade, piano teachers across the country are both learning Price’s music and teaching it to their own students.

A Teaching-Music Trove

It almost didn’t happen for Jensen-Abbott, or for Price. But in 2013, Jensen-Abbott attended a conference focused on women and music, where she heard some of Price’s vocal works. “The program notes mentioned that Florence had written a piano sonata and I’m always looking for new music,” Jensen-Abbott recalls.

Eventually, Jensen-Abbott was invited to perform the sonata at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville; she also received an invitation to go through its collection of Price’s papers. (Price was born in Little Rock, Ark.) The archives “were full of all these teaching pieces in manuscript,” Jensen-Abbott says. “I met with a publisher and told her there was good reason to look at Price’s teaching music.”

Jensen-Abbott’s discovery dovetailed nicely with a national movement among teaching professionals to give piano students more music by underrepresented composers. Jensen-Abbott eventually edited and published two volumes of Price’s beginning and intermediate piano music. These efforts led to an invitation from the Frances Clark Center, one of the world’s largest piano pedagogy organizations, for Jensen-Abbott to produce a video course on how to teach some of Price’s more advanced works.

And while she doesn’t expect to be involved in the editing of Price’s work in the future, Jensen-Abbott recounts the astonishing story of UA-Fayetteville finding more of her music. Around 2015, UA-Fayetteville was contacted by an individual who had purchased the Chicago-area home where Price had spent the last years of her life. “I saw pictures; it was pretty dilapidated, with trees growing through holes in the roof,” Jensen-Abbott says. The new owner, thinking the boxes might be something important, researched Price online and eventually donated the boxes to UA-Fayetteville.

“Some of the manuscripts were too damaged to save,” Jensen-Abbott says. “But I was the second or maybe third scholar to see them.”

MICKEY THOMAS TERRY-IN RECITAL: First Baptist Church-Washington, DC - June 20th

Mickey Thomas Terry will be presented in a recital by the District of Columbia Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (DCAGO) on Monday, June 20th at 3pm. The recital will be in celebration of Juneteenth, which is a new federal holiday.

The recital will feature organ works by Bach, Franck, Dupre, as well as African-American composers Thomas Kerr, Mark Fax, and Mark A. Miller. The organ is a 5-manual, 229 stop Austin Organ. First Baptist Church is located at 1328 16th Street, NW; Washington, DC 20036. All are welcome!

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Shriver Hall Concert Series Presents Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason on Sunday, May 1

 Acclaimed Cellist and Pianist Sibling Duo Perform Recital of Sonatas by Beethoven, Shostakovich, Britten, and Frank Bridge

In-Person Season Offers Livestream Option to all Ticket Holders

“Call it sibling harmony...Sheku’s lyricism was both foil and peer to Isata’s muscularity and fire.” 
The Guardian

Baltimore, MD (March 21, 2022) Shriver Hall Concert Series presents sibling duo Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason on Sunday, May 1, 2022 at 5:30pm. Sheku and Isata are featured in a recital of timeless sonatas including Beethoven’s Cello Sonata in C Major, Op. 102, No. 1; Shostakovich’s Cello Sonata in D minor, Op. 40; Britten’s Cello Sonata in C Major, Op. 65; and Frank Bridge’s Cello Sonata in D minor.

22-year old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason was named the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2016, and gained further recognition performing at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle in 2018,watched by nearly two billion people globally. Since 2017, Sheku has performed every summer at the BBC Proms.

Pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason is the recipient of the 2021 Leonard Bernstein Award, and a 2020 Opus Klassik award for best young artist. Her albums released on Decca Classics, Romance – The Piano Music of Clara Schumann and Summertime, a journey through the varied piano repertoire of 20th-century America, topped the UK classical charts. Isata is the Young Artist in Residence with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and is one of the European Concert Hall Organization’s Rising Stars.

Sheku and Isata made their Baltimore debut in 2019 on Shriver Hall Concert Series' Discovery Series.

Concert Information
Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello
Isata Kanneh-Mason, piano
Sunday, May 1, 2022 at 5:30pm (Pre-Concert Talk at 4:30pm)
Shriver Hall | 3400 N. Charles Street | Baltimore, MD 21218

Tickets: $44 for seated ticket or home livestream ($10 student tickets)
Beethoven – Cello Sonata in C Major, Op. 102, No. 1
Shostakovich - Cello Sonata in D minor, Op. 40
Frank Bridge - Cello Sonata in D minor
Britten - Cello Sonata in C Major, Op. 65

About Sheku Kanneh-Mason
Sheku Kanneh-Mason
is already in great demand from major orchestras and concert halls worldwide. He became a household name in 2018 after performing at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex atWindsor Castle, his performance having been greeted with universal excitement after being watched by nearly two billion people globally. Sheku initially garnered renown as the winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician competition, the first Black musician to take the title. He has released two chart-topping albums on the Decca Classics label, Inspiration in 2018 and Elgar in 2020. The latter reached No. 8 in the overall UK Official Album Chart, making Sheku the first cellist in history to reach the UK Top 10.

Sheku has made debuts with orchestras such as the Seattle Symphony, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Stockholm Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony, Japan Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, London Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, and Baltimore Symphony orchestras. Forthcoming highlights include performances with the Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Barcelona Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, and London Philharmonic orchestras, and on tour with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

In recital, Sheku has performed at illustrious venues and festivals around the world, including Wigmore Hall London, Edinburgh, Cheltenham, and Aldeburgh Festivals, Zurich Tonhalle, Lucerne Festival, Festival deSaint- Denis, Verbier Festival, Théâtre des Champs Elysées Paris, Teatro della Pergola Florence, L’Auditori Barcelona, the Auditorio Nacional Madrid, and Carnegie Hall New York. Current and future seasons include appearances at the Barbican Hall London, Berliner Philharmonie, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Suntory Hall Tokyo, and tours of North America, Italy, South Korea and China.

Since his debut in 2017, Sheku has performed every summer at the BBC Proms, including in 2020 when he gave a breath-taking recital performance with his sister, Isata, to an empty auditorium due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He has performed at the BAFTA awards ceremony twice in 2017 and 2018, is the winner of Best
Classical Artist at the Global Awards in 2020 and 2021 (the latter as part of the Kanneh-Mason family), and received the 2020 Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artists’ Award.

Sheku continues his studies with Hannah Roberts at the Royal Academy of Music in London as a Bicentenary Fellow. He began learning the cello at the age of six with Sarah Huson-Whyte and then Ben Davies at the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music. He has received masterclass tuition from Guy Johnston,
Ralph Kirshbaum, Robert Max, Alexander Baillie, Steven Doane, Rafael Wallfisch, Jo Cole, Melissa Phelps, Julian Lloyd Webber, Frans Helmerson and Miklos Perenyi.

Sheku was appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List. He plays a Matteo Goffriller cello from 1700 which is on indefinite loan to him. Learn more at

About Isata Kanneh-Mason
Isata Kanneh-Mason is the recipient of the 2021 Leonard Bernstein Award, a 2020 Opus Klassik award for best young artist and, as a member of the Kanneh-Mason family, the 2021 best classical artist at the Global Awards.

Her debut album on Decca Classics, Romance – the Piano Music of Clara Schumann, drew popular and critical acclaim, entering the UK classical charts at No. 1 when it was released in July 2019 and leading Gramophone magazine to extol the recording as “one of the most charming and engaging debuts” and Classic FM to praise Isata as “a player of considerable talent”. This was followed in July 2021 by Summertimefeaturing Barber’s Piano Sonata and a world premiere recording of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Impromptu in B minor. Her most recent release, Muse with brother, Sheku features the Rachmaninov and Barber Sonatas for cello and piano.

Since graduation from London’s Royal Academy of Music, Isata has embarked on a successful and increasingly busy concert career as a solo artist, with concerto appearances, solo recitals and chamber concerts throughout the UK and abroad. During the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown in spring 2020, Isata and her siblings performed livestreamed events from their family home in Nottingham, which garnered over one million views. She recently made her Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, London solo piano debuts. In the 21/22 season, Isata continues as Young Artist in Residence with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Highlights of this and last season include the Royal Philharmonic at the Edinburgh Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich, Dallas Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras, and recital tours of North America, both piano solo and with brother, Sheku.

Isata is currently one of the European Concert Hall Organisation’s Rising Stars, performing recitals at many of the continent’s most illustrious concert venues throughout 21/22.

She completed her undergraduate degree at the Academy as an Elton John scholar, and performed with Sir Elton in 2013 in Los Angeles. Isata is also grateful for support from the Nottingham Soroptimist Trust, Mr and Mrs John Bryden, Frank White, and Awards for Young Musicians. She is currently continuing her studies at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin with Kirill Gerstein. Learn more at

About Shriver Hall Concert Series

For more than 50 years, Shriver Hall Concert Series (SHCS) has been “Baltimore’s finest importer of classical music talent” (The Baltimore Sun) and the area’s premier presenter of chamber music ensembles and solo recitalists with a mission to craft performances and educational programs at the highest level of
excellence. A 5-time recipient of Baltimore Magazine’s distinction “Best Classical Music” in its annual “Best of Baltimore” issue, the coveted subscription series features many of the world’s most renowned soloists and ensembles, presented in The Johns Hopkins University’s Shriver Hall.

Founded in 1966 by Dr. Ernest Bueding, a pharmacologist at The Johns Hopkins University, and a group of similarly dedicated music enthusiasts, SHCS set out to make an important contribution to the vitality of an already vibrant city. When flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal walked onto the stage of Shriver Hall for the first concert,
more than 1,100 people witnessed the launch of what is now recognized as a remarkable success story: Shriver Hall Concert Series. In the succeeding years SHCS has presented hundreds of acclaimed and emerging international artists in classical chamber music and recitals and a legacy of important debuts and
premieres. In addition, SHCS collaborates with local schools and subsidizes hundreds of student tickets each season.

The list of artists presented by SHCS is remarkable—Radu Lupu, Murray Perahia, Ewa Podlés, Maurizio Pollini, Jacqueline du Pré, Mstislav Rostropovich, Jordi Savall, András Schiff, Rudolf Serkin, Janos Starker, Daniil Trifonov, Lynn Harrell, Emmanuel Ax, Alban Berg Quartet, Guarneri Quartet, Kronos Quartet, Cleveland
Quartet, and Quartetto Italiano, among many others. SHCS also has a history of championing importantmusicians early in their careers, including Richard Goode, Hilary Hahn, Hélène Grimaud, Dawn Upshaw, Lang Lang, and the Emerson String Quartet. Commissioned composers include Timo Andres, Sebastian Currier,
Jonathan Leshnoff, James Lee III, Hannah Lash, and Nina C. Young. Designed specifically for the community, SHCS offers the Discovery Series, a series of free concerts presented in venues throughout the region focused on artists emerging on the national and international scene. Artists featured include Narek Hakhnazaryan, Colin Currie, Xavier Foley, and the Dover Quartet. SHCS also offers the annual Spring Lecture Series, a series of free talks focused on annual topics related to the intersection of music and society, and a variety of student programs.

For more information, visit

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Photo Credit: Jake Turney


Tuesday, April 26, 2022 The African American Network invites you to a special May 3 postconcert conversation with Renée Baker and Jessie Montgomery

 We look forward to seeing you again! The Chicago Symphony Orchestra African American Network will hold its first in-person AAN event since concerts paused back in 2020. Join us for this night of music, conversation and reconnection!

Following the CSO concert on May 3, the AAN will host a special postconcert chat with Chicago composer, conductor and frequent African American Network guest Renée Baker and CSO Mead Composer-in-Residence Jessie Montgomery. Known for their contributions to the modern landscape of classical music, Baker and Montgomery come together to share their unique perspectives as female composers of color.

All ticketholders are invited to attend this free postconcert discussion, which follows a riveting concert led by Riccardo Muti,  including a world premiere, a double bass concerto and Beethoven’s homage to nature, the Pastoral  Symphony.

Use promo code AAN to get access to $40 tickets, which includes both the concert and postconcert discussion.

Tuesday, May 3, 7:30
Muti Conducts Montgomery & Beethoven Pastoral

For personalized assistance with your order, please call Patron Services at 312-294-3000 or chat with us online at and mention promo code AAN.

Invite your connections to this night of celebration! Feel free to share this event on Facebook

Open rehearsal invitation

Each season the CSO opens several of its working rehearsals to the public. You are invited to join us for an open rehearsal on Thursday, May 5, as Riccardo Muti leads the CSO in rehearsals of a concert featuring the music of Ludwig van Beethoven, Florence Price and William Grant Still. The concert for this program will be May 5-7, and you can order $40 tickets with the promo code AAN.

Thursday, May 5, 10:00-2:30
Riccardo Muti conductor
Beethoven Overture to Egmont
Beethoven Symphony No. 4
Still  Mother and Child
Price Symphony No. 3

Muti Conducts Beethoven, Still & Price
Thursday, May 5, 7:30 
Friday, May 6, 1:30
Saturday, May 7, 8:00

To RSVP for a free ticket to the May 5 open rehearsal, contact Patron Services mentioning this invitation. Please note, seating is limited for open rehearsals and tickets are required.

Jessie Montgomery’s newest work, Hymn for Everyone, which will have its world premiere April 28-May 3, isn’t the piece she originally intended to write. When she was named in April 2021 as Mead Composer-in-Residence of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Montgomery received two orchestral commissions from the CSO. The first was scheduled for performances this spring, the second for April 2023.

"What could come after [the Fifth Symphony]?" wrote Frederick Stock, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra‘s second music director, in Talks About Beethoven’s Symphonies. "The subtlety of Beethoven's imagination found an answer in due time, and in his Sixth Symphony, the Pastoral, we find his thoughts expressed in a new form. Even though other composers before him and in his time had attempted to write program music, Beethoven was the first whose efforts in this direction proved to be a lasting achievement."