Happy Labor Day to everyone in the United States! We are reminded, on this day of rest, of the work that still needs to be done for racial equality.
We missed this article in June, but it is just as relevant now. Conductor Jeri Lynne Johnson, pictured above, founder of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra in Philadelphia, speaks to WRTI about the continued challenges of diversity, and lack thereof, in classical music. Read more, and listen in, at the website.
The Guardian reports that the concert season at Royal Festival Hall in London will have a Black Lives Matter inspired virtual season – featuring works by Adolphus Hailstork, Avril Coleridge-Taylor, Courtney Bryan, Dai Fujikura, Errollyn Wallen, Fela Sowande, George Lewis, Hannah Kendall, Florence Price, Jessie Montgomery, Jimmy López, Joel Thompson, Joseph Boulogne, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Tania León.
The topic of systemic racism in classical music is also discussed by San Francisco Classical Voice by Mark MacNamara, including a variety of voices from BIPOC in the classical music community. An important read!
The classical music station out of New York City, WQXR, featured an article this week by David Patrick Stearns on America’s Lost Generation of Black Conductors. Follow the link to the article, and numerous video clips of these forgotten conductors in action.
I Care if you Listen also has Five Question to American composer Jennifer Jolley. The interview reframes the dreaded “woman composer” question, and Jolley also shares more about her participation in Project 19, a commissioning project run by the New York Philharmonic in honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, ratifying the ability for white women to vote in the United States.
Youth Orchestra Commissioning Initiative (YOCI) is a new cooperative project “designed to create remote performances of new works by women and composers of color.” The commissions include composers Katie Palka and Regina Carter. The three orchestras launching the initiative are urging other ensembles to join in. Read more here!
What did we miss? What are you reading? What are you listening to, or wishing you could listen to? Let us know! [email protected]