Join us on March 9th at 8:00 PM for our concert in partnership with Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra: "Lineage & Heritage: On the Souls of Black Folk."
Together, we will celebrate the collaboration and friendship between Harry T. Burleigh and the Afro-British composer, Samuel Coleridge Taylor. The friendship of these African American and Afro-British men provided mutual support that inspired them to create works that embraced underrepresented black musical and literary the...mes which shaped turn of the 20th century culture. With a transatlantic approach, they were active in the intellectual circles of their day, corresponding with Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois. This concert invites listeners to consider their production of western music, not outside, but within the veil.
S. Coleridge Taylor: 4 Novelletten
S. Coleridge Taylor: Excerpts from the Hiawatha trilogy
Harry T. Burleigh: From the Southland
Harry T. Burleigh: Couldn’t Hear Nobody Pray,
Were You There, Glory of the Day was in her face, and Your Eyes So Deep.
For tickets, please visit www.burleighsociety.com/tickets
A wonderful article from The New York Times on the life, work, and legacy of African-American female composer, Florence Price. The article features many recordings of her work.
Lawrence Brownlee’s world premiere performance of “Cycles of My Being” by Tyshawn Sorey and Terrance Hayes has forged new repertoire in the legacy of Burleigh. The cycle is sure to become a classic. Peter Dobrin’s review states that “Cycles of My Being went farther into despair than anything before it and covered more complex emotional ground. After icy bleakness that seems to suspend time, the last movement — “Each Day I Rise, I Know” — is reassuring in its quotidian talk of... a morning glow and looking in the mirror as the day starts. The dissonance melts away and momentum takes over, like tumbling into the sunlight. And then the piece ends suddenly and quietly. Here is an existential question delivered in a small moment, and the sensation of a larger meaning coming into focus with a musical gesture felt startlingly familiar. It was like Schubert. But of now, and us.” Opera Philadelphia #BlackHistoryMonth philly.com
Listen to Brownlee speak on “why black composers matter,” at the bottom of the article.
Boston friends: on Friday February 23, the Du Bois Orchestra at Harvard will celebrate W.E.B. Du Bois’ 150th birthday. Burleigh and Du Bois corresponded about black intellectual life in the early 20th century. The concert includes works by two more people of Burleigh’s circle: his friend S. Coleridge Taylor and Antonin Dvorak, for whom he inspired with his singing of spirituals at the National Conservatory of Music.
"Harlem Quartet’s mission is to advance diversity in classical music, engaging young and new audiences through the discovery and presentation of varied repertoire that includes works by minority composers" (from their website). We wish them a wonderful performance this evening. More information here (http://www.lincolncenter.org/show/harlem-quartet).
For our friends in the D.C area... a concert celebrating Harry T. Burleigh later this month! Washington National Cathedral
** Limited ticket alert! **
Reserve your spot and celebrate Black History Month with a performance of African American Spirituals.
(Video excerpted from Behrouz Jamali’s documentary film: Deep River: A Short Journey Through the Music of Harry Burleigh. Vocals by Kevin Deas.)
"A new song cycle exploring the realities of life as a black man in America will receive its world premiere performance with Opera Philadelphia."
This song cycle will travel from Philadelphia tomorrow night, to Chicago at the DuSable Museum of African American History on February 22nd, to eventually play at Carnegie Hall on April 24th later this year....
For more reading on this song cycle see The New York Times article (https://www.nytimes.com/…/tyshawn-sorey-lawrence-brownlee.h…)
Also read more about Maestro Daniel's work here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/…/hard-believe-classical-music…/…
The SAINT-GEORGES International Music Festival is a tribute to Joseph Bologne (1745-1799), better known as Chevalier de Saint-Georges, a neglected French histor...ical figure of Guadeloupean descent who was a virtuoso violinist, conductor and composer who influenced the great composers of his time including Franz Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
A Civil Rights hero and unparalleled fencer during the French Revolution, he was the colonel of the famous “Légion Saint-Georges,“ the first all black military regiment in Europe and fought for equal rights for all, not just the few. His extraordinary life is a model for excellence and an outstanding example of perseverance and strength in the controversial time when France was torn between Slavery Trade rules and Revolutionary ideals.
The festival will feature spectacular concerts with international artists and a plethora of educational and cultural events, all taking place all across the beautiful Guadeloupe archipelago.
It will also be highlighted by outstanding international artists such as Léïla BRÉDENT, J’Nai BRIDGES, Ayesha D'OYLEY, Sami JUNNONEN, Romuald GRIMBERT-BARRÉ, Magali LÉGER, Thapelo MASITA, Gocho PRAKOV, Titus UNDERWOOD and Sally Ann YEH.
The festival is spearheaded by the the Guadeloupe Islands Tourists Board US and the Conseil Régional de Guadeloupe.
Thanks to all who attended the 2nd Annual Community Spiritual Sing at St. George's yesterday. Thanks to the choir, song leaders Jeannine Otis (St. Mark's Chur...ch in-the-Bowery), Steven Kirby, and Michelle DellaFave, and speakers Rev. Jacob Smith (Calvary-St. George's Church), Dr. Marti Newland(Harry T. Burleigh Society), and Rev. Tom Pike.
A big thanks to Irina Island Images - Expression Of Life - Portrait Photography for capturing and sharing these amazing images and video!
Tomorrow at St. George's Church!
Harlem Opera Theater is having their concert, "Lift Every Voice and Sing," tonight! It will serve as a tribute to the 145th Anniversary of composer, John Rosamond Johnson.
"In 1900, J. Rosamond Johnson wrote the music for "Lift Every Voice and Sing": his brother, James Weldon Johnson, wrote the lyrics." It was designated by the NAACP as the Negro National Anthem. You can see the powerful lyrics here (http://www.naacp.org/…/naacp-history-lift-evry-voice-and-s…/) or listen them set to Johnson's music in the video below. Miller Theatre at Columbia University
Tonight is the night! The Harlem Chamber Players is hosting their 10th Annual Black History Month Celebration, co-presented by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library. The Harlem Chamber Players is a diverse collective of musicians "dedicated to bringing high-caliber, affordable and accessible live classical music to people in the Harlem community and beyond."
A glowing review for Damien L Sneed's "Words and Music” concert at Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts last Friday produced by Catskill Jazz Factory: "An eclectic mix of genre and style was on display as Damien Sneed tinkled the piano in a variety of styles as he played with style. Moving from Mendelssohn (Piano Trio no. 1 in D minor), Strauss, and Rachmaninoff as opening lead, soprano Brandie Sutton and baritone Justin Michael Austin intoned the most wonderful version of Harry T. Burleigh’s “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” that I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. On piano, Sneed offered some new arranging. “Till I Wake” by Burleigh, sung by Sutton arrived with elegance and sophistication. Austin sang “Burleigh’s “The Young Warrior” (lyrics by James Weldon Johnson) with deep feeling.” Edward W. Hardy #BlackHistoryMonth
Happy Valentine's Day!
Burleigh dedicated a 1904 song, "If Life Be a Dream" to his wife. The lyrics (by Frank L. Stanton) acknowledge life's challenges but affirm the certainty of hope. For example, "If thorns will grow along the way Life goes/ It still looks to God for the gift of a rose!" Jean E. Snyder. Another one of Stanton's poems provided the lyrics for Burleigh's art song "Jean" performed by Amanda Finch, accompaniment Alex Nguyen, at our concert in March 2017.
The fine classical voices of Harlem Opera Theater will bring the works of John Rosamond Johnson to the concert stage as they present art songs and spirituals. Featuring Ileana Santamaria, soprano; Lucia Bradford, mezzo-soprano; Alexander Mason, tenor; Daniel Rich, Baritone ; Dr. Gregory Hopkins, Artistic Director, on piano.
For further reading on "Lift Every Voice and Sing" see our previous posts from earlier this month. We've provided a plethora of articles, including this one from the NY Times (https://mobile.nytimes.com/…/kaepernick-negro-national-anth…)
Miller Theatre at Columbia University Imani Perry
At the turn of the 20th century, black music makers were struggling to hold on to their cultural products and the revenues they generated. On February 13th, 1914, Burleigh, James Weldon Johnson, Eubie Blake, James Reese Europe, and others took steps to countermand this injustice when they became founding members of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) In doing so, they began to secure the rights of musicians for the fruit of their labor and resist w...holesale theft of their work. In 1930 James Weldon Johnson wrote in "Black Manhattan," these charter members were finally “received on equal footing with others. This organization has the purpose of collecting royalty for the performances of works written by its members” performed in a variety of venues.
In 2014, ASCAP honored Burleigh, Johnson, Europe and others by recognizing their role in preserving and protecting the creative output of African American artists. American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) African American History #BlackHistoryMonth
If you missed "Music and Words" last Friday, you can also catch Damien Sneed in “Everyone Has a Place” on public television during the month of February. His compositional, performance, and conducting work will be featured along with that of Wynton Marsalis’ “Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration” and the Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra. Both composers continue Burleigh’s work of black composers crossing genre lines and foregrounding the language and sound of black Americans in memorialization of their enslaved past and celebration of their hope for a future of equity in their country.” Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts Catskill Jazz Factory Damien L Sneed American Public Television Justin Michael Austin Brandie Inez Sutton Sterling Elliott Karen Chilton Edward W. Hardy #BlackHistoryMonth
Price wrote more than seventy art songs and fourteen spiritual arrangements in addition to her piano and orchestral compositions. In a 1934 letter to Serge Koussevitzky (revered conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra), she wrote of the strikes against her: "To begin with I have two handicaps – those of sex and race. I am a woman; and I have some Negro blood in my veins... I would like to be judged on merit alone." NPR #BlackHistoryMonth