"American Roots" Concert Series
Celebrating African American, Latin American and Native American traditions in concert music. This concert series is sponsored by the Guest Artist Series, the John B. Hurford ’60 Humanities Center, the Distinguished Visitors' Office, and the Native American Fund, in cooperation with the Arboretum Society, the Magill Library Special Collections, and the performance course Music 207: Topics in Piano.
"African-American Originals" - Leon Bates
An artist of powerful impact." As one of America's leading pianists, Leon Bates has earned for himself a place on the international concert circuit. His performance schedule includes dates across the United States, in Canada, Italy, France, Austria, Ireland, England as well as Africa. He is invited to perform on the major concert stages around the world and audiences and critics find his musical spirit to possess all the elements of greatness. Whether in recital or as a soloist with orchestra, his praises are enumerated in many different languages – but they are all in agreement on one point: Leon Bates is a major artist and one of America's best.
His concert "African-American Originals" features works by Scott Joplin, Eubie Blake, Nathaniel Dett, Duke and Mercer Ellington, George Walker, Leslie Adams and James P. Johnson - well-known musical greats of the 20th Century - in celebration of Black History month.
"The American Indianists and Dvorak" - Benjamin Pasternack and Joseph Horowitz
One of the most experienced and versatile musicians of our time, the American pianist Benjamin Pasternack has performed as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician on four continents.
Joseph Horowitz is an artistic consultant, teacher, and author. He is one of the most prominent and widely published writers on topics in American music. As an orchestral administrator and advisor, he has been a pioneering force in the development of thematic programming and new concert formats.
"Music of African American & Latin American Composers" - Althea Waites
Pianist Althea Waites has been acclaimed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia as a brilliant soloist, chamber musician and collaborative artist. In addition to performing on many of the world's prestigious concert stages, she has also appeared in recital at major festivals such as Aspen, Tanglewood, the Yale Summer Festival and the Idyllwild Arts Festival.
Praised by the Los Angeles Times for "profound musicality and superb technique", Ms.Waites has a distinguished history of performing new music by American composers and has received many honors and commendations for her work. She has also been a guest soloist for National Public Radio's Performance Today,KQED in San Francisco,KCET in Los Angeles,and the Sundays Live broadcast from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
In addition to maintaining her concert schedule, Ms.Waites is on the keyboard faculty at the Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University/Long Beach, and is also in demand for residencies and master classes at colleges and arts institutions throughout the country. Her strong and ongoing commitment to cultural and community education is evident through her work with many outreach and service programs in retirement homes, hospitals, prisons, and affiliations with the Los Angeles County Music Education Program and Chamber Music in Historic Sites.
Althea Waites is an International Steinway Artist and a member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.
"American Mosaics II" - Philadelphia Classical Symphony, conducted by Karl Middleman
This concert spotlights the remarkable flowering of music in America. Voices of poets and patriots - farmers, folk heroes and fanatics…. voices that made the unique saga of America, and that reinvent that saga every day! The program features the heady Wagnerian-influenced Serenade of New Englander George Whitefield Chadwick. Another New Englander - Aaron Copland – counters with jazz and spikiness in his exuberant Clarinet Concerto (composed for Benny Goodman). The effervescent young Californian, Gabriela Lena Frank draws upon her Peruvian heritage in Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout. Haverford College’s own Curt Cacioppo further explores the culture of American Indians in a world premiere commissioned through support of the Philadelphia Music Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Founded in 1993 by artistic director Karl Middleman, the Philadelphia Classical Symphony is a 20-member chamber orchestra composed of outstanding Philadelphia-area leading professional musicians. The Classical Symphony is committed to promoting new ways to understand and present the history of music to today’s audiences. The story of music is more that notes on a page, it is a mirror of history, itself – a saga of passion, inspiration, intellect, politics, religion, philosophy, and patronage. We invite our audiences to be part of that epic by offering enhanced concert presentations. Yes, you will hear the music but you will also eat the food, don the garb, dance the dance, talk the talk, walk the walk, and become utterly immersed in the period that gave birth to the notes. Its unique cross-cultural encounters, exciting educational programs and spirit of innovation stamp the Philadelphia Classical Symphony as one of the outstanding chamber orchestras in the United States.