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PVS Classical

Classical Roots

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Classical Roots

Friday, March 3—Saturday, March 4, 2023

Friday, March 3—Saturday, March 4, 2023
Orchestra Hall
2 hours

Anthony Davis’s concerto-like work for clarinet and orchestra was inspired by the composer’s experience of an unjust incident with the police. The soloist is Anthony McGill, Principal Clarinet of the New York Philharmonic, who has championed this work in recent years. Bass-baritone Davóne Tines has assembled an array of music and literary texts into a piece he describes as a “devised concerto for voice and orchestra.” Musical selections are by Anthony Davis and John Adams, along with a piece Tines co-wrote with Igée Dieudonné and Matthew Aucoin; the texts include excerpts by James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, and jessica Care moore. Also on the program: Concert Overture No. 2 by Florence Price, who was the first Black female composer to have a symphony performed by a major American orchestra.

If you wish to attend the Classical Roots Celebration gala on March 4, tickets may be purchased here.

Program

JOHN ROSAMOND JOHNSON/Arr. Carter
Lift Every Voice and Sing
ANTHONY DAVIS
You Have the Right to Remain Silent
FLORENCE PRICE
Concert Overture No. 2
VARIOUS COMPOSERS
“Concerto No. 1: SERMON” devised by Davóne Tines

Artists

Na'Zir McFadden

Assistant Conductor

American conductor Na’Zir McFadden is the newly appointed Assistant Conductor and Phillip & Lauren Fisher Community Ambassador of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

In this position, he works closely with Music Director Jader Bignamini and guest conductors on both the PVS Classical Series and William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series. Additionally, he leads pre-concert lectures at Orchestra Hall, and conduct a variety of programs on the Educational Concert Series, Young People’s Family Concert Series, PNC Pops Series, as well as DTE Community Concerts.

To commence with the 2022-2023 season, Na’Zir serves as Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra. Together, they’ll present three programs — exploring the symphonies of Dvorak, Tchaikovsky and Florence Price.

An advocate for arts education, McFadden strives to provide access to the arts for students in underserved communities. This upcoming season, McFadden will make appearances with youth ensembles in Salt Lake City and with the Philadelphia All-City Music Festival. In the past, he’s worked with youth ensembles in Chicago, New York City, St. Louis and Los Angeles.

Recent engagements include a recording project with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago as part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Notes for Peace’ initiative — which featured Hilary Hahn as guest soloist.

McFadden was the inaugural Apprentice Conductor of the Philadelphia Ballet Orchestra from 2020 to 2022 working with Music Director Beatrice Jona Affron. He also served as the Robert L. Poster Conducting Apprentice of the New York Youth Symphony from 2020 to 2021.

Na’Zir conducted his hometown orchestra – The Philadelphia Orchestra – in their “Pop-Up” series in 2017, meeting their Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin who has been a mentor ever since. The Philadelphia Inquirer praised his “great stick [baton] technique and energetic presence on the podium” in their review of the concert.

Upcoming engagements include a series of commissions with Orchestra 2001 and appearances with the Utah Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Ballet.

Anthony McGill

Hailed for his “trademark brilliance, penetrating sound and rich character” (The New York Times), clarinetist Anthony McGill is one of classical music’s most recognizable and brilliantly multifaceted figures. In addition to his dynamic international solo and chamber music career, McGill is principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic—the first African American principal player in the organization's history. In 2020, he was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize, one of classical music’s most significant awards given in recognition of soloists who represent the highest level of musical excellence. 

McGill was honored to take part in the inauguration of President Barack Obama, premiering a piece written for the occasion by John Williams and performing alongside violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and pianist Gabriela Montero. He is a dedicated champion of new music: during the 2020-2021 season, McGill performs Peace by Jessie Montgomery; Ad Anah? by James Lee III; a new work from Benjamin J. Shirley; Book of Days by Daron Hagen; and From The Mountaintop written for McGill by Richard Danielpour. 

In the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, McGill launched a powerful musical protest video urging people to #TakeTwoKnees in demonstration against the death of George Floyd and historic racial injustice. His video went viral, and hundreds of artists and citizens amplified the message and responded to the protest with their own videos using the hashtag #TakeTwoKnees. 

McGill appears regularly as a soloist with top orchestras around North America, including the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, and Kansas City Symphony. As a chamber musician, McGill is a favorite collaborator of the Brentano, Daedalus, Guarneri, JACK, Miró, Pacifica, Shanghai, Takács, and Tokyo Quartets, as well as Emanuel Ax, Inon Barnatan, Gloria Chien, Yefim Bronfman, Gil Shaham, Midori, Mitsuko Uchida, and Lang Lang. He has toured with Musicians from Marlboro and regularly performs for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. Festival appearances include Tanglewood, Marlboro, Mainly Mozart, and Skaneateles, and the Music@Menlo, Santa Fe, and Seattle Chamber Music Festivals. 

A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, McGill previously served as the principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera and associate principal clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. In demand as a teacher, he serves on the faculty of The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, and Bard College Conservatory of Music. In the fall of 2020, he was named Artist-in-Residence at the Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. 

In 2015, McGill recorded the Nielsen Clarinet Concerto together with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic. He and his brother, Demarre McGill, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra’s principal flutist, joined the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras with conductor Allen Tinkham, to record Winged Creatures, an album of works for flute, clarinet, and orchestra including world-premiere recordings of duo concertos like the title track by African American composer Michael Abels (Cedille Records). His Portraits, recorded with Demarre McGill and pianist Michael McHale, and Mozart and Brahms Clarinet Quintets, with the Pacifica Quartet, were both released on Cedille Records. 

McGill has been covered in The New York Times and The New Yorker and has appeared on National Public Radio, Performance Today, and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. He served as the 2015–16 Artist-in-Residence for WQXR. NBC Nightly News and CNBC have both aired stories highlighting the McGill brothers’ inspirational story. 

McGill is an ardent advocate for helping music education reach underserved communities and for addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in classical music. He is the Artistic Director for the Music Advancement Program at The Juilliard School, a weekend program for music students who demonstrate a commitment to artistic excellence, which actively seeks students from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in classical music. This year, in concert with a $30,000 charitable gift from the Avery Fisher Artist Program designated to a charity of McGill’s choice, McGill and Weston Sprott, Dean of the Preparatory Division of The Juilliard School, established the Weston Sprott and Anthony McGill MAP Summer Scholarship Fund so MAP students can take part in summer programs and festivals. 

McGill serves on the board of directors for the League of American Orchestras, Cedille Records, and the Harmony Program, and on the advisory councils for the InterSchool Orchestras of New York and Time In Children's Arts Initiative. Anthony McGill is a Vandoren Artist and Buffet Crampon Artist. 

For additional background, please visit anthonymcgill.com. 

Earl Howard

Earl Howard has been performing his compositions in the United States and Europe for over fifty years. His recent compositions include music for live electronics, electronic tape music as well as music for electronics and instruments. Howard's method of creating orchestrated sounds with electronics and adding live, improvisational performance creates a unique, densely layered composition. Howard creates sounds from scratch using all synthesis (granular, additive, frequency modulation and vector) techniques. Live processing with musicians is central to his work.

Howard has performed at numerous venues including Merkin Hall, the Whitney Museum, The Kitchen, The Knitting Factory, Experimental Intermedia, Roulette, and Carnegie Recital Hall. In 2011 Howard received a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2004 his first sound installation was commissioned for the Tiffany Collection at the Queens Museum of Art. In the spring of 2003 Howard had a Regents Fellowship at UCSD. Howard received three New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships. In 1998 Howard was the recipient of Harvard's Fromm Foundation Commission. He graduated from California Institute of the Arts in Music Composition in 1974.

Howard has performed frequently with improvisers including; Georg Graewe, Mari Kimura, Anthony Davis, Mark Dresser, Anne LeBaron, JD Parran, Gustavo Aguilar, Thomas Buckner, and George Lewis. In 2005 he premiered a live improvisation with David Wessel at CINMAT in Berkeley, California. In 2006 he premiered Waftings in Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. In 2006 he was commissioned by the Donaueschingen Festival to produce a new ensemble work, Clepton. He also performed and composed for the Acousmania Festival in Romania and Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon Festival 2006 in Austria. In 2007 Earl Howard was a special guest synthesizer performer and sound designer with the Perspectives Ensemble at the Miller Theatre and with the with Opera Omaha for Anthony Davis’s opera Wakonda’s Dream. In 2012 he premiered a composition made possible through his Guggenheim Fellowship “Superstring” in New York. This piece brought together musicians Wu Wei, Allan Jaffe, Miya Masaoka, Ernst Reijseger, Mark Dresser, Harris Eisenstadt, and Earl Howard. Howard recently performed as a synthesist for Anthony Davis with the New York Philharmonic, where he processed principal clarinetist Anthony McGill, the percussion section and the entire orchestra. 

Howard’s compositions have been recorded by musicians including Anthony Davis's recording of "Particle W" for piano and tape, released on the Gramavision label and Gerry Hemingway's recording of "D.R. for Solo percussion" on the Auricle Record label. The recording, "Pele’s Tears" is from ten years of his electronic music on the Random Acoustics Label and "Fire Song" on Erstwhile Records with hyperpianist, Denman Maroney. "Strong Force" for ensemble and electronics was released on Mutable Music's Label in the Spring of 2003. “Clepton” and “Granulary Modality” were released by New World Records.

Howard has also produced numerous soundtracks for some of the leading film and video artists including Nam June Paik, Mary Lucier, Rii Kanzaki, Bob Harris, and Bill Brand.

Davóne Tines

Davóne Tines is a pathbreaking artist whose work not only encompasses a diverse repertoire, from early music to new commissions by leading composers, but also explores the social issues of today. A creator, curator, and performer at the intersection of many histories, cultures, and aesthetics, he is engaged in work that blends opera, art song, contemporary classical music, spirituals, gospel, and songs of protest, as a means to tell a deeply personal story of perseverance that connects to all of humanity. His projects include Recital No. 1: MASS, a program exploring the Mass woven through Western European, African American, and 21st century traditions, which he performs this season at Carnegie Hall and other venues; Concerto No. 1: SERMON and Concerto No. 2: ANTHEM, two programs he conceived for voice and orchestra that weave arias and contemporary song, including arrangements by Tines, with poetry; and Everything Rises, a multimedia musical work exploring artistic journeys and family histories, co-created with violinist Jennifer Koh. Tines is Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale’s Creative Partner and in January 2023 he becomes Artist-in-Residence at Brooklyn Academy of Music. He recently served as Artist-in-Residence at Detroit Opera—an appointment that culminated in his performance in the title role of Anthony Davis’ X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, and he is featured on the world premiere recording of X with Odyssey Opera and Boston Modern Orchestra Project, released this fall on BMOP/sound. Tines is a member of AMOC and co-creator of The Black Clown, a music theater experience commissioned and premiered by The American Repertory Theater. He is Musical America’s 2022 Vocalist of the Year and a recipient of the 2020 Sphinx Medal of Excellence. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School and Harvard University, where he also serves as guest lecturer.

jessica Care moore

poet

jessica Care moore is the CEO of Moore Black Press, Executive Producer of Black WOMEN Rock!, and founder of the literacy-driven Jess Care Moore Foundation. An internationally renowned poet, playwright, performance artist, and producer, she is the 2013 Alain Locke Award Recipient from the Detroit Institute of Arts. moore is the author of The Words Don’t Fit in My MouthThe Alphabet Verses The GhettoGod is Not an AmericanSunlight Through Bullet Holes, and a memoir, Love is Not The Enemy. Her poetry has been heard on stages like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the London Institute of Contemporary Arts. She has performed on every continent. moore believes poems belong everywhere and to everyone.

Born in Detroit, moore first came to national prominence when she won on the legendary “It’s Showtime at the Apollo” competition a record-breaking five times in a row. Her searing performance of the poem “Black Statue of Liberty” earned moore several meetings with high profile publishing companies, but in 1997, she paved her own path and launched a publishing company of her own, Moore Black Press. She released her first book, The Words Don’t Fit In My Mouth, and sold more than 20,000 copies. Along with her own work, she proudly published famed poets such Saul Williams, Shariff Simmons, Def Poetry Jam’s co-founder Danny Simmons, NBA player Etan Thomas, Ras Baraka, and former Essence Magazine editor Asha Bandele.

moore’s work is not limited to her own publications. She has been published in several literary collections, including 44 on 44, (Third World Press, 2011), A Different Image, (U of D Mercy Press, 2004), Abandon Automobile, (WSU Press, 2001), Listen Up! (Random House, 1999), Step Into A World, (Wiley Publishing, 2001), Role Call (Third World Press, 2002), and Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam (Crown Publishing, 2001). She is the youngest poet published in the Prentice Hall Anthology of African American Women’s Literature by Valerie Lee, alongside literary greats such as Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, Octavia Butler, Maya Angelou, and many others.

moore has graced the cover of The New York TimesThe Metro TimesMichigan FrontPageDetroit NewsDetroit Free PressAfrican Voices MagazineBlack Elegance Magazine, and has been featured in print and online magazines across the world, including EssenceHuffington PostBlaze, The Source, Vibe, Bomb, Mosaic, Savoy, One World, UpscaleAmbassador MagazineUPTOWN, and others. Her multimedia show, God is Not an American, was produced by The Apollo Theater and Time Warner’s NYC Parks Summer Concert Series. She was the host, writer, and co-Executive Producer of the poetry driven television show, Spoken, which was executive produced by and directed by Robert Townsend and aired on The Black Family Channel. moore’s poetry is featured on Nas’ Nastradamus album, Talib Kweli’s Attack The Block Mix Tape, and she is a returning star of Russell Simmons’ HBO Series, “Def Poetry Jam.”

As an artist/activist, moore lent her powerful voice to the international fight against AIDS. She performed for the United Nations World AIDS Day Commemoration two years in a row and was one of the organizers of Hip-Hop-A-Thon, a concert in San Francisco which helped increase AIDS education in the Black and Latino Bay-Area communities. moore has also performed in front of thousands of people during AIDS WALK Opening Ceremonies in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Florida, and Atlanta.

moore lives for the stage and her audience. Her techno solo theater performance, The Missing Project: Pieces of the D is a high energy homage to Detroit, and she continued to push the boundaries of the genre by producing her first conceptual art installation, NANOC: I Sing The Body Electric, which opened at the Dell Pryor Gallery in 2011. Her work is currently on exhibit at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City and the Charles H. Wright Museum through August 2014 for her Black WOMEN Rock! Exhibition. This musical focus has lead her to create her first album, Black Tea: The Legend of Jessi James.

Black Tea: The Legend of Jessi James is a highly personal and passionate piece of work. It is decades of moore’s musicality shared with her audience in a way they have yet to see. There was already music in her poetry; she is now bringing it full circle. The album is produced by moore and pianist Jon Dixon. Features include Imani Uzuri, Roy Ayers, Talib Kweli, Jose James, One Belo, and Ursula Rucker. It was released in fall 2014 by moore’s record company Words on Wax in partnership with Javotti Media.

moore currently lives, writes, and plays in downtown Detroit, where she is proud to be raising her 7-year old visual artist, baseball loving, drums and hockey playing son, King Moore.

Brazeal Dennard Chorale

Founded in 1972 by Dr. Brazeal W. Dennard, the Brazeal Dennard Chorale is one of the longest standing organized choral groups in the country. For more than four decades, the Chorale has inspired audiences with its vocal excellence in the performance of choral music of all genres, while it continues to pursue the mission of its founder: to remember, discover, and preserve the spiritual music of the African American experience and culture.

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Saturday, March 4
7:45pm
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Stravinsky Ebony Concerto for Clarinet and Jazz Band – Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Anthony McGill

Davóne Tines is changing what it means to be a classical singer. ”

-The New Yorker

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