- CHINEKE! ORCHESTRA AND THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN SYMPHONY

10 Jul 2021 - 10 Jul 2021
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    Chineke! Orchestra returns for its second concert of the Summer Reunion series at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, celebrating two great composers of African-American heritage – William Grant Still and Florence B. Price.

    Still and Price both grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, in the USA, around the turn of the 20th century. Despite the age difference of eight years, they will almost certainly have known each other, as they shared the same teacher and both forged successful careers as composers.

    Still’s Symphony No.1 (Afro-American) has the distinction of being the first work by a Black composer to be performed by a leading US orchestra: the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in 1931. And Price was the first Black woman composer to have music performed by a major symphony orchestra in the US, in 1933.

    The Afro-American Symphony draws on blues forms and spirituals, and the work seeks to portray, as Still wrote in his journal at the time, ‘the sons of the soil’. Price’s Third Symphony was well-received at its premiere in 1940, the Detroit Free Press reviewer commenting on the ’emotional warmth’ of the work, the ‘majestic beauty’ of the slow movement and the ‘great vigor’ of the finale. To complete the evening, the extraordinarily talented Amiri Harewood – cellist, singer and pianist – makes his debut with Chineke! in Grieg’s evergreen Piano Concerto.

    Performers

    Chineke! Orchestra

    Matthew Kofi Waldren, conductor

    Amiri Harewood piano

    Repertoire

    William Grant Still: Symphony No.1 (Afro-American)

    Grieg: Piano Concerto

    Price: Symphony No.3 in C minor

    Amenities

    • Accepts Credit Cards
    • Accessories
    • Air Conditioned
    • Alcohol
    • Bar

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    Venue Name

    ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL

    Address: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8YP, UK

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