Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Blouinartinfo.com: ‘Harlem Quartet: Game-Changers’ at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Los Angeles October 15, 2017

The Harlem Quartet
(Courtesy of the Wallis Annenberg Center
for the Performing Arts)

August 21, 2017

The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Los Angeles, will host the Harlem Quartet show, “Game-Changers”.
Harlem Quartet is a string quartet that was formed in 2006. A string quartet is a musical ensemble of four members wherein two members play violin, one is a viola player and the fourth one is a cellist.
Harlem Quartet comprises first violinist Ilmar Gavilán, second violinist Melissa White, violist Jaime Amador, and cellist Felix Umansky. The group had won their first ever Grammy in 2013 in the Best Instrumental Composition category for Mozart Goes Dancing.
Their show at The Wallis will be about game-changing works from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The performance will include a work by Ilmar Gavilan’s father Guido Gavilan.
Harlem Quartet's musical journey began at Carnegie Hall in 2006. The occasion was the Sphinx Organization's 10th anniversary gala concert.

The Harlem Chamber Players has reached its 10th Anniversary Season, which will kick off on Friday, September 29 at 7 PM. Joseph Joubert plays at Opening Concert

(Left to right: Joseph Joubert, Paolo Bordignon)

We are excited to announce The Harlem Chamber Players has reached its 10th Anniversary Season, which will kick off on Friday, September 29 at 7 PM. Joseph Joubert returns this year for our Season Opening Concert, which will feature the Dvořák Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major, Tchaikovsky's String Quartet No. 1 and the Pulitzer Prize winning composer's Pale Yellow from her Piano Trio. Violinists Joyce Hammann and Belinda Whitney, violist Tia Allen and cellist Clay Ruede return for this concert, which will be dedicated to the memory of our longtime cellist and friend Lawrence Zoernig (1960 - 2017), who died in February. On Sunday, October 29 at 3 PM, violinists Joyce Hammann and Belinda Whitney, violists Amadi Azikiwe and Tia Allen and cellist Robert Burkhart perform music by Beethoven, Ysaÿe, Florence Price and Gary Fagin.

NY Philharmonic harpsichordist Paolo Bordignon and tenor Christopher Sierra will join as soloists in this year's Annual Bach Concert on Friday, November 17. Our 10th Annual Black History Month Celebration will be co-presented by the Schomburg Center and will take place in their Langston Hughes Auditorium on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 6:30 PM. This concert will feature Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Nonet for piano, winds and strings, and Major Scurlock will make his debut with The Harlem Chamber Players. Soprano Andréa Bradford and baritone Kenneth Overton will perform music by H. Leslie Adams and selected spirituals.

 Janinah Burnett, Brandie Sutton, Lucia Bradford

On Saturday, March 24 at 4 PM the sensational students of Opus 118 Harlem School of Music return to perform a joint concert with members of The Harlem Chamber Players. Then, on Friday, June 1, 2018 at 7 PM, some of Harlem's favorite star vocalists -- Met Opera sopranos Janinah Burnett  & Brandie Sutton, mezzo-soprano Lucia Bradford and baritone Kenneth Overton -- will be featured in an evening of great works from the operatic repertoire. James Davis Jr. will conduct the orchestra comprised of members of The Harlem Chamber Players.

We are also pleased to announce that this year Joseph Joubert, Jo-Ann Graham, Ph.D., Alicia Hall Moran and Jason Moran joined our Advisory Committee.

Visit our website and join our email list for concert announcement and other news. Click here to view our complete newsletter.
(After the Harlem premiere performance of Jeff Scott's A Hug for Harlem at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.)

Liz Player 

I am pleased to announce The Harlem Chamber Players reaches its 10th Anniversary this 2017 - 2018 Season!

I thank all of you who have so generously supported our concert series since its inception in 2008. We could not have come this far without you. We hope you continue this journey with us for this season and many more.

We strive to program some of the world's most beautiful music while promoting diversity, and I hope you are inspired by what we have to offer. As always and especially now, your help is needed in order for us to continue presenting great music in this way. Ticket prices cover only a fraction of the costs of producing these concerts, which is why we ask for your continued support. 

Please consider donating this year to our concert series. No amount is too small, and every gift will be deeply appreciated and acknowledged.
Thank you for your kind consideration of our appeal. I hope you will join us this year. In the meantime I wish you a wonderful rest of the summer!


Liz Player, Executive and Artistic Director
Carl Jackson, Associate Director
The Harlem Chamber Players, Inc.

VerdeNews.com: Violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama in "Classical Jewels" at Red Rocks Music Festival in Sedona September 10, 2017

Nokuthula Ngwenyama’s viola performances have been described as “solidly shaped music of bold, mesmerizing character.” 

Red Rocks Music Festival

Nokuthula Ngwenyama’s performances as orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician garner great attention. Gramophone proclaimed Ms. Ngwenyama’s playing as providing “solidly shaped music of bold, mesmerizing character,” and the Washington Post described her as playing “with dazzling technique in the virtuoso fast movements and deep expressiveness in the slow movements.” Ms. Ngwenyama has performed throughout the United States and abroad. Domestic appearances include performances with the Atlanta, Baltimore, and Indianapolis Symphonies as well as the National Symphony Orchestra. She has been heard in recital at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, the Louvre, the Ford Center in Toronto, and the Maison de Radio France. Summer festival appearances include Green Music, Vail, San Diego’s Mainly Mozart, Chamber Music Northwest, Marlboro Music Festival, and Spoleto USA.    

Monday, August 21, 2017

NOBLE: Passing of Former Inglewood, California Police Chief Raymond Johnson

Raymond Johnson

Raymond Johnson

Chief Ray Johnson died at the age of 81 on August 1, 2017 in Sacramento, California of complications from Leukemia. Ray is survived by his wife Patricia, daughter Ava Palmer (Terry), grandson Terrell Palmer, granddaughter Kyana Palmer, stepson Michael Hogan, grandson Christopher Hernandez, four siblings, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Ray served in the United State Marine Corps from 1953 to 1957. He graduated from CSU Sacramento, earning his BA in Vocational Education in 1975. Ray joined the Bakersfield Police Department in 1959, serving as a police officer before joining the California Highway Patrol in 1965. During his 21 years of service, he was promoted from traffic officer to first ever African American Sergeant to first Deputy Chief ending his CHP career as Division Commander of the Southern Division.
He was appointed Chief of Police for Inglewood, California in 1986 where he served until 1991 when Governor Pete Wilson appointed him Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Criminal Justice Planning (OCJP). He was a member of the Governor's Policy Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, chaired the California Council on Criminal Justice Committee and the Southwest Border States Coalition. Governor Wilson appointed Ray as a member of the Youthful Offender Parole Board in 1998 where he served until he retired in June 2006.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the California Highway Patrol 9-11 Scholarship Program.

Memorial Services are scheduled for August 25, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at Bayside Church, 8191 Sierra College Blvd., Roseville, California.


Jessie Montgomery
Coincident Dances

Featuring Northern Illinois University Steelband and
Chicago’s Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre

Wentz Concert Hall, Naperville, September 16
Symphony Center, Chicago, September 18

August 21, 2017 (Chicago, IL)Chicago Sinfonietta, the nation’s most diverse orchestra, kicks off its 30th anniversary with Trademark showcasing unusual instruments, collaborations, and classical reinterpretations - a trademark of the orchestra’s programming for three decades. This unexpected and adventurous concert experience will include guest performances from the 16-piece Northern Illinois University Steelband led by Liam Teague and Chicago’s own Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre plus two World Premieres as part of the orchestra’s year-long initiative Project W: Commissions by Women Composers. The Sinfonietta performs Trademark twice: first in the western suburbs at Wentz Concert Hall at North Central College, Naperville, Saturday, September 16 at 8 pm, and then again in its downtown Chicago home venue of Symphony Center, Monday, September 18 at 7:30 pm.

The concert begins with the World Premiere of emerging composer and violinist Jessie Montgomery’s Coincident Dances and continues with one of Mozart’s best-known works Rondo alla Turca reinvented by the Northern Illinois University Steelband who then joins Sinfonietta’s principal harpist Faye Seeman on her original solo composition Fayed to Blue before switching to the Caribbean sounds of Lord Kitchener’s upbeat Pan in A-minor. The second half opens with the World Premiere of Grammy Award-nominated composer Clarice Assad’s Sin Fronteras, meaning “without borders”, featuring Chicago’s Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre performing a new piece of choreography also commissioned by the orchestra, and concludes with Bedřich Smetana’s symphonic poem Má vlast.

“As Chicago Sinfonietta approaches an important milestone in its history, our programming continues to reflect a pioneering and innovative spirit more than ever, especially through the dedication to showcasing unusual instruments, and our unprecedented commitment to featuring brand new commissions by diverse, prominent women composers," stated Music Director Mei-Ann Chen. "Making the commissions known through the 2019 release of our 16th commercial recording produced with our wonderful partner, Cedille Records, will help this unique organization advance its mission of diversity, equity, and inclusion while showcasing the incredible talent of women composers in America."
Before the concert and during intermission, audience members will have the opportunity to learn to play the steel drum and harp with students from Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Steel Orchestras and The People’s Music School. Archival photos, artifacts, and more from Chicago Sinfonietta’s 30-year history will be on display for patrons to view as well.

Prior to the concert, Chicago Sinfonietta's Associate Board will host its annual fundraising event, Prelude: Start with a Bang!, to celebrate the start of the 30th Anniversary season. A selection from Chicago’s Crafthouse® cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served while attendees take part in a silent auction and raffle, as well as other interactive activities inspired by the Northern Illinois University Steelband. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at Orchestra Hall of Symphony Center. Tickets are priced at $50 for the reception only and $95 for the reception and a concert ticket to Trademark. Early bird tickets are also available through August 30 at $40 for the reception and $85 for reception and concert. Tickets are available for purchase by calling 312-284-1554 or online at chicagosinfonietta.org/prelude. 

Trademark is sponsored in part by ITW.

Title:                 Chicago Sinfonietta presents Trademark

Dates:               Saturday, September 16 at 8:00 p.m. at Wentz Concert Hall of North Central College
Monday, September 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Orchestra Hall of Symphony Center

Tickets:            Tickets range from $20-$99 for concerts at Symphony Center and $49-$62 for concerts at North Central College with special $10 pricing available for students at both concerts. Tickets can be purchased by calling Chicago Sinfonietta at 312-284-1554 or online at www.chicagosinfonietta.org.


Coincident Dances
Rondo alla Turca
Fayed to Blue
Pan in A-minor
Sin Fronteras
Má vlast (My Homeland)
I. Vyšehrad (The High Castle)
II. Vltava (The Moldau)

Mei-Ann Chen, music director and conductor
Faye Seeman, harp
Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre 
Northern Illinois University Steelband, steel drum ensemble directed by Liam Teague

About the Sinfonietta
Now in its 30th season, Chicago Sinfonietta and music director Mei-Ann Chen have pushed artistic boundaries to provide an alternative way of hearing, seeing and thinking about a symphony orchestra and are dedicated to promoting diversity, inclusion, racial and cultural equity in the arts. Each concert experience blends inventive new works with classical masterworks, each from a diverse array of voices, to entertain, transform and inspire. In 2016, Chicago Sinfonietta was the proud recipient of the 2016 Spirit of Innovation Award presented by the Chicago Innovation Awards as well as the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions (MACEI). The MacArthur award recognizes exceptional organizations that are key contributors in their fields. Learn more at www.chicagosinfonietta.org

Chicago Sinfonietta is grateful to its season sponsors including Aon, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Southwest Airlines, Fairmont Hotel, Hotel Indigo and NBC5. Chicago Sinfonietta also thanks its BRIDGE Audience Engagement sponsor Macy's, as well as its season media sponsors including Chicago Tribune, Chicago magazine, Naperville magazine, and WBEZ.

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AaronAsk: Weekly mentoring for a creative life: Don't Be A Burnout! (2:45)

Aaron P. Dworkin writes:

Greetings and welcome to this week's episode of AaronAsk, your weekly mentoring session to live a fulfilling creative life!  This week's episode is titled, Don't Be a Burnout!  Enjoy, we wish you a creative day and see you for next week's session!

Comment by email: 
Thanks for sharing!  [Aaron P. Dworkin]

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Chicago Music Association announces the death today of Dr. Rae Linda Brown, foremost authority on the life and music of Florence Beatrice Price

Dr. Rae Linda Brown

Dear Bill,

It is with deep sadness and profound grief that Chicago Music Association (CMA) announces the death of Dr. Rae Linda Brown. Dr. Brown, Provost of Pacific Lutheran University (WA), administrator, musician, musicologist and eminent historian was the foremost authority on the life and works of the late CMA member and composer, Florence Beatrice Price. Below is the official notification of Dr. Brown's passing received today, August 20, 2017.

"It is with heavy hearts that we share that Dr. Rae Linda Brown died this morning, Sunday, August 20, 2017 after a valiant fight against a rare and aggressive cancer.  While we grieve this tremendous loss we celebrate the outstanding contributions she made to performance of music, music scholarship, university administration, in faith communities and beyond.
Please keep her family, friends and colleagues in your thoughts and prayers as we give God thanks for the life and blessing of Dr. Rae Linda Brown.
A memorial service will take place in the Fall; details to be announced."

For memorial details please contact: Rev. Jewelnel Davis

Musically yours,

Barbara Wright-Pryor 
Chicago Music Association 
Br. No. 1, NANM, Inc. (since 1919)

Sergio A. Mims: The Telegraph: Inside Chineke!, Europe's first black and minority ethnic orchestra

Chineke Orchestra founder Chi-chi Nwanoku playing double bass at the inaugural concert of Chineke! Orchestra in 2015

Chineke! Orchestra 
(Credit: Zen Grisdale)

The founder of Europe's first black and minority ethnic orchestra talks to Ivan Hewett about the challenges of building an ensemble from scratch

Almost two years ago, on September 13 2015, something happened at London’s Royal Festival Hall that was both ordinary and extraordinary. An orchestra dressed in sober black filed on stage, followed by the conductor, and gave a spirited and subtle performance. The critics were enraptured. 
That’s the ordinary part. The extraordinary part was that not a single face on the platform was white. This was the debut of Europe’s first black and minority ethnic (BME) orchestra, Chineke! And just to make the point that this was a historic moment, the first piece on the programme was by a black composer: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, who in his heyday rivalled Handel in popularity. 
Now the orchestra is well on the way to being an established part of the musical scene. It has played several concerts at the Southbank, and St George’s in Bristol, where it is a resident ensemble. It has a recording under its belt, with another soon to come, has made an overseas tour and has an office and a board of trustees. On August 30, it plays its first Prom. 
“I can’t believe we’ve got this far. I thought Chineke! might be just one concert and then nothing,” says founder Chi-chi Nwanoku, 61. Born to an Irish mother and a Nigerian father, she’s an unstoppable, fizzing, passionate bundle of energy. She’s also one of London’s best-known musicians. Anyone who goes regularly to concerts will have seen her in the double-bass section, where her vigorous style always gets noticed. She brought the eyes and ears of an expert to the job of creating an orchestra.
It began four years ago with a conversation with Ed Vaizey, who was Minister of Culture in David Cameron’s government. “He said to me, ‘Why is it only you we ever see on stage in orchestral concerts?’ and at first I didn’t know what he meant,” says Nwanoku. “Then I realised he meant musicians of colour. I had never really thought of myself in that way. I spend my whole life surrounded by white people in orchestras, I defined myself by what I did, not the colour of my skin. But of course he’s right. How often do you see a black person in an orchestra? Almost never.”
The conversation sowed a seed, but it wasn’t until the following year at a concert in the Festival Hall that light dawned. “I was at a concert by the Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra from the Congo,” says Nwanoku. “I realised I had to do something. I talked about it to Ed Vaizey and he suggested I create an all-black orchestra, but I said, ‘no, that’s too exclusive’. I wanted it to be open to all musicians of colour.”
Creating an orchestra from scratch is an immense task. You need an office, a schedule, rehearsal venues, music, instruments, a battery of percussion… Nwanoku started making phone calls to anyone who might be able to help: the British Council, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Southbank Centre, the other London orchestras, conservatoires. Soon she had a board of trustees, an office, and a tentative first date at the Festival Hall.

John Malveaux on George Walker: YouTube.com: "Here is the world premiere broadcast performance of his Cello Concerto with cellist, Lorne Monroe"

George Walker

John Malveaux of 
quotes YouTube.com 
about George Walker:

"Here is the world premiere broadcast performance of his Cello Concerto with cellist, Lorne Monroe and the New York Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta from January 14, 1982" 

Comment by email: 
The concerto was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic.  John Malveaux