News and music to start your week!

History was made at the Philadelphia Orchestra when they performed Umoja by Valerie Coleman –  the first classical work by a living African American woman that they have every performed.  Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Andrea Reinkemeyer

After last year’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing of Brett Kavanaugh, several composers responded to the allegations of sexual harassment through music. Kenji Bunch, artistic director of the Portand (OR)-based new music ensemble called “Fear No Music”, proposed the idea and was joined by Daniel Felsenfeld and Andrea Reinkemeyer.  The concert launched a season of works that will all be responses to social issues.  Also included in the program are works by Ruby Fulton, Megan DiGeorgio, and Carolyn Quick.  Read more – and listen in – here at Oregon Artswatch.

The Metropolitan Opera will make history again this coming season by performing a work by a Black composer – the first time ever in the Met’s history.  They just announced that this coming season will include Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which was premiered in St. Louis in June.  The New York Times has the story.

After the Met announcement, the New York Times compiled a list of eight operas by African American composers that deserve more attention.  It includes Shirley Graham Du Bois’  “Tom-Tom” (1932) (pictured above),  and we would also suggest Mary Watkins’ “Dark River: The Fannie Lou Hamer Story,” and Nkeiru Okoye’s “Harriet Tubman” be added to the list!  Here’s hoping opera companies take note!

So much going on! Be sure to let us know what we missed!