Colour of Music Festival

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The Colour of Music Festival announces the fifth annual Colour of Music Festival October 18-22, 2017 offering a musical kaleidoscope showcasing the impact and historical significance of black classical composers and performers on American and world culture at various venues in historic Charleston, South Carolina.

asSince 2013 the Colour of Music Festival (COMF) has brought international, national, and regional classically trained black musicians to fill the streets and halls of Charleston with musical sounds that have been a part of the world stage for more than 300 years. Its goal is to give the public an opportunity to experience the talent of prodigiously gifted classical principals, composers, and performers of African descent the opportunity to share their musical talents, knowledge, and inspiration.

Few classical music enthusiasts are aware of the tremendous contributions of Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, an African-French composer, and contemporary of Mozart, whose opera and classical masterpieces equaled or far exceeded those of his 18th century contemporaries. Though highly recognized overseas, his contributions have gathered little notice in the U.S. Today thousands of tremendously talented black classical principals, composers, and performers have few opportunities to grace concert stages of major American orchestras.

Featuring acclaimed black chamber ensemble players and artists to form the Colour of Music Festival Orchestra, the five-day festival showcases artists from across the globe trained at some of the most prestigious music schools, conservatories, and universities in the world. Programs include organ, piano, vocal, chamber, orchestral performances as well as an educational symposium series.

The 2017 Festival features leading black artists from France, Britain, Colombia, the Caribbean, and the United States performing orchestral and choral works, chamber, piano, organ, vocal recitals, and opportunities for community education.

Leading black maestros Kazem Abdullah and David E. Morrow will serve as guest conductors to lead the Masterwork Series and Dr. Anyango Yarbo-Davenport will lead an all-female Colour of Music Festival Virtuosi.

2017 Colour of Music Festival highlights include:

An all-female Colour of Music Festival Virtuosi extends a year-long tribute acknowledging the 90th birthday (February 10, 2017) of opera sensation Leontyne Price, the most famous soprano of her generation and a major contributor to black classical music advancement, and in honor of her work with composer Samuel Barber featuring soprano Angela Brown performing Barber’s Hermit Songs
Paris-based chamber virtuoso Grimbert-Barré Trio featuring brothers Romuald, Jonathan, and Maxence Grimbert-Barré, début Jonathan Grimbert-Barrés’ Triple Concerto for String Trio and Orchestra
Opening the Festival’s Masterworks Series, the Saturday, October 21 Black Tie Gala performance features German-based Maestro Kazem Adbullah conducting Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s magnificent orchestra and choral masterpiece The Song of Hiawatha’s Overture and Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast. The internationally acclaimed tenor Roderick Dixon will sing the solo from the Wedding Feast — the movement that made Mr. Coleridge-Taylor famous extending the composer’s name throughout the world
Under the baton of Atlanta’s Morehouse College conductor David E. Morrow, the Sunday October 22 Matinee Memorial performance honors black composers of our past, the Emanuel-9 and survivors featuring Robert Nathaniel Dett’s Chariot Jubilee, Franz Joseph Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and the world première performance of Trevor Weston’s Unburied, Unmourned, and Unmarked for string orchestra in honor of those who perished during the Middle Passage
In addition, a two-part morning symposium series featuring thought leaders and musicians will highlight academic perspectives of the cultural contributions of black artists Topics include An Ode to Leontyne Price and The Legacy of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Revisted.

The Festival will once again expand its Education and Community Engagement activities to include schools in Berkeley and Charleston Counties with the addition of Dorchester County schools.

For festival highlights, the music series and a full schedule, please visit the website provided..