Saturday, January 31, 2015

John Malveaux: KUSC Classical Radio 91.5 FM, will broadcast Los Angeles Master Chorale in concert February 1, 2015 7-9 PM at Disney Concert Hall

Los Angeles Master Chorale

John Malveaux of 

KUSC Classical Radio 91.5 FM, will broadcast LA Master Chorale in concert February 1, 2015 at Disney Concert Hall that include compositions by four African American composers closing the program. See Each KUSC LA Master Chorale broadcast is available for streaming at for a week after the broadcast date.  

Los Angeles Master Chorale in Concert

February 1
Samuel Barber: Sure on this Shining Night
Abbie Betinis: Songs of Smaller Creatures
Charles Ives: General William Booth Enters Into Heaven
Shawn Kirchner: Plath Songs (World Premiere)
Elliott Carter: Tarantella
Samuel Barber: Agnus Dei (Lesley Leighton, conductor)
Erich Whitacre: Three Songs of Faith
William Dawson: Ain’-a That Good News
Arr. Jester Hairston: Hold On!
Arr. André Thomas: Keep Your Lamps!

Arr. Moses Hogan: The Battle of Jericho         

Harlem Chamber Players: 7th Annual Black History Month Celebration: Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 3 PM; Soprano Janinah Burnett, Courtesy of Met Opera Diversity in the performing arts takes center stage at Detroit conference [2015 SphinxCon]

(Photo Credit:

By Sarah Cwiek

January 31, 2015

The subject of diversity in the performing arts takes center stage in Detroit this weekend at the 2015 SphinxCon.
The annual conference is hosted by the Sphinx Organization, a Detroit-based, national non-profit that promotes diversity in the fine arts.
“It speaks to Sphinx’s mission for the arts to be representative of our diverse society,” says Abigayl Venman, Sphinx director of artistic affairs. “And really strive for the arts to be relevant to all facets of our community.”
This year’s speakers include National Endowment for the Arts chair Jane Chu. 'Tenor Lawrence Brownlee Wows With Performance at Kimbell' Art Museum Thursday Night

Lawrence Brownlee

Posted in Classical Music

Jan 30, 2015

by Wayne Lee Gay 

Vocal music of Franz Liszt—yes, you read that correctly—provided the highest of several high points in the recital by tenor Lawrence Brownlee and pianist Kevin Murphy at the Kimbell Art Museum’s Rienzo Piano Pavilion Thursday night. Liszt is, of course, remembered primarily for his solo piano music, and secondarily for orchestral music and a bit of organ music. So, maybe it’s appropriate that the Cliburn Foundation, an organization principally associated with the piano, would be the sponsor of an event in which the hero of the piano was revealed to be a great composer of vocal music as well.

Tenor Brownlee’s muscular, always stunningly accurate artistry proved ideal for Liszt’s Tre Sonneti del Petrarca (Three Sonnets of Petrarch). Although infrequently performed in the original version for voice and piano—but a part of the standard piano repertoire in Liszt’s own transcriptions for piano solo—this monumental triptych ranks among the greatest masterworks of music for voice with piano. The huge demands on both the pianist and singer are largely responsible for the relatively neglect of the original version; these demands extend far beyond the merely technical, for these three settings require an intellectual empathy with both fourteenth-century Italy, from whence the text, and nineteenth-century romanticism, which produced the music. Brownlee and Murphy clearly demonstrated the ability to discover and draw together both of those elements.

Brownlee and Murphy navigated readily form Liszt to twentieth-century Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera’s Five Popular Argentinean Songs, providing an impressively different direction with succinct images of love and life, ranging from the boisterous Chacarera to the delightful illogic of Gato (“Cat”).

A set of five traditional African-American spirituals arranged for voice and piano by contemporary American composer Damien Sneed provided the third high point in the concert.

John Malveaux: Pasadena Community Orchestra Performs Afro-American Symphony of William Grant Still Jan. 30; Note from Judith Anne Still in program

William Grant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,

John Malveaux of 

The printed program of the Pasadena Community Orchestra January 30, 2015 included a quote from Judith Anne Still "We are so glad that the music of William Grant Still is receiving your loving attention. There is so much to be done to really end the Civil War and to understand the need for brotherhood and mutual respect, that every presentation of the William Grant Still works makes a step forward. Many thanks."
Conductor Bethany Pflueger thoroughly prepared the orchestra for an artistic and compassionate performances of Don Giovanni Overture-Mozart, Concerto for Harp-Handel featuring Maria Casale, Overture di Ballo-Arthur Sullivan and closing with Symphony No. 1-William Grant Still.
I sat next to a gentleman who, like me, had not previously attended a PCO performance. His motivation for driving from a nearby city was to hear William Grant Still's music after hearing an announcement on KUSC Classical Radio. The Los Angeles Metro market has many community orchestras but few community orchestras invest in a four concert announcement/awareness campaign on KUSC Classical Radio where the best and biggest thrive.
Before the concert, the gentleman sitting nex to me adamantly offered his criticism with California schools that eliminate music education programs. He even called elimination of music programs criminal. Very early Saturday morning a friend called to tell me about a terrific old movie seen around 4:00am on the Turner Network titled THEY SHALL HAVE MUSIC (1939). Jascha Heifetz played a featured role in the movie. He played himself, stepping in to save a music school for poor children from foreclosure. Dr. Eddie Wade Jones Memorial Black Music Symposium of 2015 Ends Today With Music of Florence B. Price, 1:30, 3:30 & 7:30 PM

Dr. Eddie Wade Jones

is profiled at,
which features a comprehensive Works List and a 
Bibliography by Dr. Dominique-
René de Lerma,

Dr. Eddie Wade Jones Memorial Black Music Symposium

January 28, 2015

Ashton Eley

This year's Dr. Eddie Wade Jones Memorial Black Music Symposium will feature Florence Price's music at the UA Schola Boyle Smith Concert Hall Jan. 30-31. The Florence Price music festival will feature newly recovered songs, piano pieces, chamber works and Price’s first orchestral composition, "Ethiopia's Shadow in America" will be performed by guest performers and UA faculty and students. The festival is free. For more information contact  James Greeson, symposium director, at

University of Arkansas Fine Arts Center, Fayetteville, AR 72701

Dr. Eddie Wade Jones Memorial Black Music Symposium - FLORENCE B. PRICE

January 30 & 31, Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall, Fine Arts Center
Registration requested (link below), though the event is free and open to the public. 

Join us in Fayetteville for a two-day program exploring Sacred and Secular Music from the African and black American tradition. This year’s symposium will feature Florence B. Price’s music. Internationally-recognized clinicians will lead sessions on composing, conducting, and performing new and traditional repertoire. 

Presentations and performances by: 
Dr. Rae Linda Brown, Musicologist and Associate Provost at Loyola Marymount University 
Dr. Barbara Garvey Jackson, Musicologist and Professor Emerita, University of Arkansas 
Dr. Ollie Watts Davis, Soprano & University Professor at the University of Illinois 
Dr. Karen Walwynn, Steinway Artist and Associate Professor at Howard University 
Tom Dillard & Tim Nutt, Arkansas Historians and Librarians 
Faculty and students of the University of Arkansas Department of Music. 

The Following is a schedule of performances: 

7:00 pm – Keynote speech by Dr. Rae Linda Brown, Assoc. Provost at Loyola Marymount University and the leading scholar of Florence Price. 

8:15 pm – Concert 1: Music for Choir, Brass Octet, String Quartet, Organ, Piano and Songs 

Jan. 31 

1:30 pm – Concert 2: Spirituals Settings of Florence Price and Masterclass on Price Art Songs 

3:30 pm – Concert 3: Music for Orchestra, String Quartet, and various Solo Piano Works 

7:30 pm – Concert 4: Solo Piano Music of Florence Price

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The Heart of Music

UA remembers greats, both near and far

Posted: January 30, 2015

CSO Spiritual Ensemble Welcomes Renowned British Conductor Performing Mozart Requiem Saturday Feb 28, Charleston, South Carolina

Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799)
is featured at

Edward Higginbottom

Kimwana Doner

Ginger Jones-Robinson

January 29, 2015 Charleston SC ─ The Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO) Spiritual Ensemble, under the direction of guest conductor Edward Higginbottom, a leading British choral conductor, organist, and scholar, will performs the complete Mozart Requiem Saturday, February 28, 2015, 6:00pm at St. Philips Episcopal Church, 142 Church Street, Charleston.

Celebrating African-American History Month (February), this Requiem performance honors Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, an early 18th century black composer and contemporary of Mozart. The performance aims to shine light on the illustrious history and musical story of the world’s earliest black composers’ contribution to the classical music canon.

“The genesis for the inspiration in creating the Colour of Music Festival was the introduction of St. Georges to Charleston audiences. His legacy is fitting as we honor Black History Month. We are most privileged to return to St. Philips under the baton of an internationally-known scholar and conductor to perform this masterwork,” says Lee Pringle, President CSO Spiritual Ensemble and event producer.

"I am greatly honored to present this choral masterpiece here in Charleston, with a multicultural chamber orchestra and ensemble. I eagerly look forward to working with such talented musicians, including an exciting quartet of emerging vocal soloists," added Edward Higginbottom, conductor.

Featured soloists will include Kimwana Doner, soprano; Ginger Jones-Robinson, mezzo soprano; John Felder, tenor and Bryan Barr, bass.

Mozart’s Requiem
Featuring the CSO Spiritual Ensemble
Guest Conductor Edward Higginbottom and guest soloists
St Philips Episcopal Church, 142 Church Street, Charleston
Tickets: $35 adults; $25 seniors; $10 students with ID, (866) 811-4111 or cash or check up to one hour before performance

About Edward Higginbottom
Director, New College Choir, Oxford England
Edward Higginbottom is currently Emeritus Organist and Fellow, New College Oxford Emeritus Professor of Choral Music, University of Oxford in England. His work as a choral director established New College as an ensemble of the first rank, winner of numerous accolades and awards, covering a repertory stretching from the early 16th century to the contemporary.  

He has taken the Choir around the world, encouraged musical commissions, engaged in neglected repertories, championed standard classics, made some 120 CDs, collaborated with leading musicians in the Baroque field, and set up a new record label Novum.  

Higginbottom is an established scholar of French Baroque music, having contributed to Grove’s Dictionary of Music.  His special interests extend to historical approaches to performance, but also to the contemporary issues of how modern choral institutions best thrive.  He was an advisor to the French government on the recovery of their tradition of maîtrises and directed a summer academy of choir direction in Grasse during the 1990s.  The French government has recognized these contributions to French culture in the decoration Commandeur de l’ordre des arts et des lettres.  

Higginbottom became the first ever Professor of Choral Music at the University of Oxford (2008), in recognition of his distinction as a choral director, and as the primary mover behind a discography of unusual depth and variety.  He built up an anthology of English Church Music in some 20 issues, ranging from Taverner to Howells, via, Tallis, Byrd, Tomkins, Gibbons, Purcell, Croft, Greene, Boyce, Wesley, Parry.  Renaissance collections touched on de Monte and du Caurroy, as well as the more famous Lassus and Palestrina.  French music is represented in recordings of grands motets by Desmarest, Lalande and Mondonville.  On the Avie label intriguing collections of 20th-century American music are to be found, as well as a CD of contemporary British music. Recording for Erato brought his work to a worldwide audience, with collections of choral music of broad appeal (Agnus Dei).  This success was followed up with similar projects with Decca (Bluebird and Illumina.)

As a lecturer in the Oxford Faculty of Music he has taught subjects as varied as 16th-century counterpoint, analysis, Sibelius, French baroque aesthetics and early keyboard music.  He is now an emeritus professor of Oxford University and of New College  and is an honorary fellow of the Royal School of Church Music, the Guild of Church Musicians.  He holds honorary membership of the Royal Academy of Music, London, and is a recipient of the Medal of the Royal College of Organists.

Earlier in his career he was active as an organist, as organ scholar at Corpus Christi College Cambridge, and a John Stewart of Rannoch Scholar in Sacred Music. 

About the CSO Spiritual Ensemble
The CSO Spiritual Ensemble is a 30-member repertory vocal group based in Charleston focusing on African-American spirituals, sacred and classical music. The Ensemble’s core musical offering honors the devout musical tradition that African-Americans formed as slaves after arriving in this country and in particular its relevant history in South Carolina. The spiritual has shaped and inspired the evolution of classically trained African-American composers and arrangers.

Friday, January 30, 2015 The Sphinx Organization Hosts 3rd Annual SphinxCon, Now thru Feb 1

Aaron P. Dworkin (b. 1970)
is featured at

January 30, 2015

Founder Aaron Dworkin announces that The Sphinx Organization, a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts, will host the third annual SphinxCon, one of the nation's leading arts diversity conferences, from tonight, January 30 through February 1, 2015 at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit, 1114 Washington Blvd, in Detroit, Mich.
SphinxCon will bring more than 40 distinguished arts leaders together, including National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu. These visionaries will address challenges surrounding diversity in the performing arts and discuss innovative solutions to engage audiences and artists. Hundreds of arts professionals, educators, arts administrators, musicians, performers, philanthropists, and artists will gather to discuss best practices in areas including dance, theatre, LGBTQ outreach, arts and healing, philanthropy and grant making, research and policy, and innovation.
According to Afa Sadykhly Dworkin, Executive and Artistic Director of The Sphinx Organization, "Our first two conferences have been huge successes and, in partnership with Detroit Public Television, we are eager to reach an even wider audience who share our passion of engaging minorities and underserved communities." "We are thrilled to bring together many of the world's predominant arts professionals who support our mission of transforming lives through the power of the arts," says Dworkin.
SphinxCon's interactive structure includes 10-minute presentations by top international arts professionals, followed by a 15-minute facilitated discussion with corresponding session respondents, and closing with 20-minute audience question and answer portion.
The exciting roster of speakers includes Jane Chu (NEA Chairman), Maysoon Zayid (Comedian, Writer, Actress), Sunil Iyengar (Director of Research and Analysis, National Endowment for the Arts), Faye Nelson (Vice President of Public Affairs, DTE Energy Foundation), Christina Pato (Musician, Silk Road Ensemble), Jesse Rosen (President and CEO, League of American Dramatists), Holly Sidford (President, Helicon Collaborative), Jamie Bennett (Executive Director, ArtPlace America), Maria Rosario Jackson (Senior Advisor, Arts and Cultural Program, Kresge Foundation), Rachel S. Moore (CEO, American Ballet Theatre), Tim Dang (Producing Artistic Director, East West Players), Francisco Nuñez (Artistic Director and Founder, Young People's Chorus of New York City) and Aaron P. Dworkin (Founder and President of The Sphinx Organization). SphinxCon also includes over 20 remarkable arts leaders, serving as respondents. Others who will join us are George Galster (Professor of Urban Affairs, Wayne State University) as Moderator and Eric Booth (Arts Learning Consultant) as Facilitator. Boston Symphony Orchestra welcomes newcomers of all talents 
for groundbreaking ‘Onstage’ event; Thomas Wilkins Conducts

RAISE THE BATON: Thomas Wilkins, who will conduct the BSO’s ‘Onstage at Symphony’ concert tomorrow, leads the Boston Pops.

Boston Herald

Friday, January 30, 2015

By Jed Gottlieb

With 63 years of experience, violinist Judith Takata can’t be called a beginner, novice or neophyte. The labels don’t fit Kushi Sellahennedige, either, who took up the instrument at age 10. Tomorrow, Symphony Hall will be full of such talented musicians, and yet no one in the orchestra will qualify as a professional. More than 100 skilled amateur Massachusetts musicians will take the stage to perform at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s education and community engagement department’s first “Onstage at Symphony” event.
“Last month, I took a free tour of Symphony Hall, and they let us go anywhere in the hall but onstage.” Takata, 73, said. “Now I get to sit on that stage, to play on a stage I’ve admired for so long.”
The BSO selected the ad hoc ensemble of locals for the one-time performance through a lottery system. Presumably every applicant has chops — both Takata and Sellahennedige considered careers in music following high school graduation — but there could be wide gaps between the top and bottom players.
“I don’t know what to expect,” said Sellahennedige, who works as a mechanical engineer. “At least for a few minutes, we’ll be a whole group of strangers, strangers­ with very different backgrounds and skills.”
BSO’s Youth and Family Concerts conductor Thomas Wilkins, who will spend the next 24 hours whipping the group into shape, has never led an ensemble like this, but he’s not worried. He says the experience won’t be much different than putting a professional orchestra together for the first time.
“I just did a set of concerts in Barbados with members of the Met, the BSO and other orchestras, and most of the musicians had never played together, but it worked,” Wilkins said. “Granted, the musicians were on another level from the community orchestra we put together. But they’re always at different levels. You get average players and unbelievable players in any group.”


Empire Opera Starts 2015 with scenes from the operas of Richard Strauss & Hugo von Hofmannsthal Thurs. Mar. 5, 2015 7:30 PM, West End Collegiate Church, NYC

Join Empire this Season 

as We Celebrate 8 Years

Empire Starts off 2015 

with scenes from 

the operas of Richard 

Strauss and Hugo von 


Enjoy scenes with Empire's finest artists from
Elektra, Der Rosenkavalier, Ariadne auf Naxos,
Die Frau ohne Schatten and Arabella alongside
the dramatization of the often highly combustible
communications between the two writers;
Strauss and Hofmannsthal.

This event takes place:

Thursday, March 5, 2015 7:30PM
West End Collegiate Church
245 W. 77th St. (at West End Avenue)
New York

Tickets:  $25 for performance and reception

Buy online to reserve your seat at                         

Thursday, January 29, 2015

John Malveaux: USA tour planned for exclusive music of African American composer, Primous Fountain

Primous Fountain

John Malveaux of 

This is the first time in history that a symphony orchestra tours extensively performing the music of an African American composer. This composer is Primous Fountain. Planning is underway for the USA tour portion of this historic world tour, after the successful first concert in Europe. The orchestra of this tour is the National Symphony Orchestra of "Teleradio - Moldova", and its music director and cultural icon, Gheorghe Mustea, stands firmly beside the works of Mr. Fountain.

Recordings of the National Symphony Orchestra of "Teleradio - Moildova" performance of Fountain's music, from the first concert of the world tour in Europe, can be heard at the 'Primous Fountain World Tour' webste at -

His commissions include:

Symphony No 2, commissioned by - Quincy Jones
Symphony No. 1, commissioned by - Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
String Orchestra, commissioned by - William Forsythe and Frankfurt Ballet
Cello Concerto, commmissioned by - Anthony Elliott and Minnesota Orchestra
Ballete, commissioned by - Dance Theatre of Harlem 
Ritual Dances Of The Amaks, commissioned by - Michael Tilson Thomas
*second movement


Bryan A. Crumpler: Complete Concerto No. 1 For Clarinet in A and Symphony Orchestra (22:47) was published on YouTube on January 24, 2015

Bryan A. Crumpler

On December 6, 2012 AfriClassical posted:

Clarinetist Bryan A. Crumpler Posts Preview of New Concerto at

Today Bryan made a comment to the original post, announcing that the complete Concerto No. 1 For Clarinet in A and Symphony Orchestra (22:47) was published on YouTube on January 24, 2015.

More Compositions at:

0:00 - Chorale mineur (Thema)
1:55 - Presto con fuoco & Scherzando
3:43 - Impromptu
5:23 - Incantesimo
7:27 - Cantabile
9:00 - Bravura spiritoso
10:30 - Allegro vigoroso
13:28 - Misterioso, lugubre & affettuoso
15:14 - Omaggio (alla sagra della primavera)
16:44 - Sequenze
17:34 - Doxology & Bravura virtuoso
19:13 - Strepitoso, l'istesso tempo
20:19 - Finale, Cadenza agitato, Tranquillo 

Sergio A. Mims: Here is the campus poster for the University of Chicago masterclass that Chi-chi Nwanoku will be doing on Tuesday Feb. 10th at 4 PM, Logan Center

Sergio Mims writes:

Here is the campus poster for the University of Chicago masterclass that Chi-chi Nwanoku will be doing on Tuesday Feb. 10th.


Comment by email:
Thanks so very much for alerting us all to Chi-chi's visit!  Lawrence is benefitting enormously!  Dominique-René de Lerma 

Ben Holt Series Guest Chi-chi Nwanoku: Residency Events at Lawrence University February 2 & 3, 2015

Chi-chi Nwanoku

Professor Janet Anthony writes:

Hi Bill,

We are delighted to be welcoming Chi-chi Nwanoku to campus  - all thanks to Dominique. I've included the poster that is up on campus.

Best, Janet

Janet Anthony
George and Marjorie Olsen Chandler Professor of Music
Lawrence University Conservatory of Music

Photo Tweeted by Texas State University Trombone Choir, Directed by Dr. Martin McCain, from today's free concert in downtown Austin, Texas

Texas State University Trombone Ensembles
Martin McCain, Director

Russian Treasures: Live at KMFA
Martin McCain, D.M.A.
Associate Professor of Trombone 
at Texas State University

From today's concert!

Trombone Choir Concert
CPC Noonday Concert Series
January 29 at 12:00 PM
Central Presbyterian Church
Austin, Texas

Martin McCain, D.M.A., is Associate Professor of Trombone at Texas State University.  He has been featured on AfriClassical a number of times, including for the CD Russian Treasures: Live at KMFA on which he plays bass trombone and his wife Artina McCain plays piano.  The above photo from today's Trombone Choir Concert at noon was released on Twitter.

Comment by email:
Thanks for the post Bill!  [Martin McCain]

'Independence Eve,' currently in development at American Opera Projects, to be presented free at the Harlem School of the Arts, 7 PM February 5, 2015

Independence Eve


"Stop and Frisk" among three stories exploring
a century of race relations.

NEW YORK, NY-  American Opera Projects (AOP) and The Harlem School of the Arts present Independence Eve, a new chamber opera in three scenes that explores the troubled journey of race relations in America. The free concert performance will take place on Thursday, February 5 at 7:00PM at Harlem School of the Arts (The Herb Alpert Center, 645 Saint Nicholas Avenue, New York, NY 10030). Composed by Sidney Marquez Boquiren with a libretto by Daniel Neer, the opera will include performances by baritone Jorell Williams and tenor Brandon Snook, while Mila Henry will provide music direction and piano. A talkback with the artists will follow the one hour concert moderated by composer Laura Kaminsky (As One) and HSA Voice Chair Yolanda Wyns.

Currently in development at AOP, Independence Eve is comprised of three unrelated scenes, each of which take place on July 3 on a park bench in an unspecified American city, in the years 1963, 2013, and 2063. Each story focuses on the relationship between two men, one white and one black, who struggle with identity and acceptance. Independence Eve is a study of black and white America, offering commentary on the intricacies of race relations and the insidious and persistent stain of racism that has remained consistent throughout American history.

The first scene, "Stop and Frisk," has already received numerous community performances throughout Brooklyn and garnered attention from the press, including a recent Talk of the Town profile in The New Yorker.

Independence Eve is currently in development as part of AOP's First Chance program that allows composers and librettists to hear their works-in-progress performed before an audience. Development of the opera began during Mr. Boquiren's fellowship in the 2011-12 season of AOP's composer training program Composers & the Voice with both Mr. Williams and Mr. Snook creating their roles. Development of the opera is made possible, in part, through generous funding by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the New York Department of Cultural Affairs.

AOP plans to present the world premiere of Independence Eve at park benches around New York City in June 2015.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

John Malveaux: Houston Ebony Opera Guild: 2 PM Feb. 14 Robert A. Henry Lecture; 4 PM Mar. 1 Duke, Dett & 3 Premieres of Living Houston Composers

John Malveaux of 

Two Great Events on February 14 and March 1.

John Malveaux

John Malveaux: Ethiopia Christmas Day: Many Orthodox Christians annually celebrate Christmas Day on or near January 7 to remember Jesus Christ’s birth

Ethiopia Christmas Day

John Malveaux of 

Many Orthodox Christians annually celebrate Christmas Day on or near January 7 to remember Jesus Christ’s birth, described in the Christian Bible. This date works to the Julian calendar that pre-dates the Gregorian calendar, which is commonly observed.

John Malveaux

ASCAP Audio Portrait: Alvin Singleton: In 'Somehow We Can,' he offers four distinct pieces from throughout his career

Alvin Singleton

All of the songs Alvin Singleton discusses in his Audio Portrait commentary are found in the CD below:

Somehow We Can (2002)
CD-Tzadik 7075

Here are a few words excerpted from Alvin Singleton's fascinating Audio Portrait:
"I heard a performance by Bernstein many years ago of Mahler's Second Symphony and that piece probably more than anything else convinced me to be a composer.  I wanted to bring the two worlds together, the world of the fixed score or the fixed structure on paper, and the free world of the improviser."

For three decades, Alvin Singleton's compositions have blended scored passages and jazz-inflected improvisation. In "Somehow We Can," he offers four distinct pieces from throughout his career, featuring Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Davis, Martha Mooke and the Marian Anderson String Quartet. The pieces range from the reflective to the boisterous, stretching musical boundaries along the way. (January 2002)

Alvin Singleton writes:

Thought this might interest you. 

Best wishes,

Alvin Singleton, Composer


SphinxCon:Engage begins this week! Your final chance to register online is Wednesday, January 28! Darlene Slaughter Joins United Way Worldwide as Chief Diversity Officer

Darlene Slaughter

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 27, 2015 /  PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- United Way, the world's largest privately-supported nonprofit, has appointed Darlene Slaughter as Chief Diversity Officer. Slaughter is leading efforts to expedite and advance US diversity and inclusion strategies, partnerships and initiatives working closely with community-based United Ways, as well as corporate and community partners.
"Darlene is a proven leader in integrating accountability and strategic focus to improve diversity and inclusion in the workforce," said Stacey D. Stewart, U.S. President, United Way Worldwide. "We're excited to tap into the expertise and experience Darlene brings from the corporate sector to effectively lead United Way's continuing efforts to build a stronger workplace that values equal opportunities for all."
Prior to joining United Way Worldwide, Slaughter served as the Principal Consultant and Chair of Linkage's Institute for Leading Diversity and Inclusion where she trained corporate leaders on developing and leading diversity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace. Before Linkage, she led an integrated strategy to utilize and support the talents at Fannie Mae and designed the first Executive Diversity Council as its Chief Diversity Officer.
"My vision and also a challenge as the Chief Diversity Officer at United Way Worldwide is to come up with a strategy that is simple yet comprehensive and relevant to all United Way markets," said Slaughter. "I want to create synergy by connecting the marketplace, employees and affinity groups to uplift the work that United Way is doing to build strong communities across the nation."
Slaughter's work in diversity and inclusion has been recognized in various ways. She has won many awards and honors including SAVOY's 2012 Top 100 Influential Women in Corporate America, Profiles in Diversity Journal's list of Women Worth Watching, Black Enterprises' Top Executives in Diversity and Heart & Soul's Women of Substances in Finance. She is also a frequent speaker on topics such as changing management, women's initiatives, financial literacy, leadership development and concepts on diversity and inclusion.

Slaughter holds a M.S. in Human Resource Management and Organizational Development from American University and a B.S. in Elementary Education from Howard University.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 Pergament’s “The Jewish Song:” A Holocaust Memorial [James DePreist Conducted this Recording in 1974]

James DePreist (1936-2013) 
is featured at
(Photo: Anthony Barboza/Getty Images

Moses Pergament: The Jewish Song (Den judiska sången). Birgit Nordin (soprano), Sven-Olof Eliasson (tenor), Stockholm Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, James DePreist (conductor). Original recording made February 2nd and 8th, 1974. (Caprice CAP 21834). Total Time: 75'43.

Classical Voice North America (Photos and captions of Moses Pergament, above and below)

"Moses Pergament’s music has been blessed by an inheritance from two cultures – the Jewish and the Nordic.” Lars Silén

January 26, 2015

By Barry Bassis

The reissue on CD of Moses Pergament’s “The Jewish Song” (“Den Judiska Sang”) on Caprice brings to light a work that has musical and historical significance. Composed in 1944, near the end of World War II, the large-scale composition (for soloists, choir and orchestra) is described by its composer (in a statement contained in the liner notes) as a “choral symphony.” It is a cry of pain in the aftermath of the Holocaust and is unfortunately still timely with the rising anti-Semitism in Europe, including the Scandinavian countries.

Moses Pergament (1893-1977) was born to a Jewish family in Finland. At the time his father (who came from Lithuania) settled there, the country didn’t allow Jewish immigration. An exception was given for those who served in the Tsar’s army in Finland. Pergament grew up speaking Yiddish and Swedish. He studied music in St. Petersburg and settled in Sweden in 1915, where he continued to compose but became known primarily as a music critic and journalist. He was not elected to the Association of Swedish Composers until 1945, supposedly because, as a Jew from Finland, he was not considered Swedish enough.

This 1974 recording is the only one ever made of “The Jewish Song.” James DePreist (1936 — 2013) conducted the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra with soprano Birgit Nordin, tenor Sven-Olaf Eliasson, and the Stockholm Philharmonic Choir.

The work is set to poems by Ragnar Josephson (1891 — 1966), who was not only a poet but also an art historian and theater director.


The performance is deeply moving, with stellar work by the orchestra, choir and soloists. “The Jewish Song” has been compared to Mahler’s “Song of the Earth.” It also bears a resemblance to Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No 13 in B flat minor (“Babi Yar”), another musical reminder of Nazi atrocities.

The CD booklet contains translations of the texts along with an essay by Lars Silen about the piece and the composer. There is also a note by Pergament, who states that the work is intended to express “an infinite feeling of belonging, even in the midst of great suffering.”

The recording is also a testament to James DePreist, one of the first African-American conductors to have an international career. He was the nephew of the eminent contralto Marian Anderson. DePreist overcame the disability of polio, which he contracted in his twenties. In addition to conducting, he published two books of poetry and received numerous honors, including the National Medal of Arts.

Comment by email:
Jim Svedja, KUSC Classical Radio 91.5 FM,  Evening Host, reviewed this recording in the current issue of Fanfare.  John  [John Malveaux]