Camellia Symphony Celebrates Black History Month

Camellia Symphony Celebrates Black History Month

I hope you are having a great Black History Month!   I know I am, and as part of my celebration I attended the Camellia Symphony Orchestra‘s concert, titled Past, Present, and Future. An ambitious and excellent community orchestra in Sacramento, they offered an exciting program on Saturday in celebration of Black History Month. Now in their 56th season, the Camellias performed in the regal auditorium of the C.K. McClatchy High School.  The program featured music by Florence Price, Julia Perry, William Grant Still, and Chris Castro.  It’s a challenging proposition for an orchestra to put forward a whole program of not-very…

Music by Florence Price Featured by the Chicago Symphony and Others: A Conversation with Conductor Mei-Ann Chen

Mei-Ann Chen is Music Director of the Memphis Symphony and the Chicago Sinfonietta.  Earlier this year she guest-conducted with the San Diego Symphony, and on May 9 she made her subscription debut with the Chicago Symphony.  This is four orchestras and their audiences to whom she has introduced the music of Florence Price. A few weeks ago she was kind enough to take a few moments from her busy schedule and talk with me about how this all came about. Liane Curtis:  I just recently discovered what you are doing when I saw they were going to play the “Mississippi…

The Performance: Beach's Concerto Comes to Life!

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in area premiere of rare, remarkable Concerto. [update added at end after hearing second performance] Amy Beach was 33 years old when she gave the premiere performance of her own Piano Concerto (op. 45 in C-Sharp Minor) in April 1900. Although her husband had restricted the pianist-composer to one public performance per year since their marriage in 1885, she had experience under her belt performing concertos by Beethoven, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Saint-Saëns,  Moscheles, and Chopin, mostly with the Boston Symphony. Her Concerto is a work of monumental proportions, demanding the utmost of virtuosity from  a fiery  soloist.  Would the…

Longevity in Orchestral Positions

In this time of strife for orchestral musicians, it is refreshing to remember just how dedicated many have been throughout their careers. Norman Lebrecht posted on his blog a “near-definitive” list of the longest serving orchestral musicians. While it will surely continue to be updated and changed as more information comes forth, it is significant to note that women performers hold the top two positions. (more…)