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PARC Retirement Living Tea & Trumpets

A Symphonic Tribute to Black History Month

February 25, 2021 2:00 PM

Andrew Crust, conductor

Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, guest host

Measha Brueggergosman, guest host

Garfield Wilson, narrator

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Four Novelletten: No. 3 - VALSE

David Lakirovich assistant concertmaster

Andrew Crust associate conductor

George Walker Lyric for Strings

Otto Tausk conductor

Jessie Montgomery Starburst

Andrew Crust associate conductor

Wynton Marsalis  Excerpt A Fiddler’s Tale  “Up and Down”…The Fiddler’s March

Garfield Wilson narrator

Andrew Crust associate conductor

Bobby Troup Route 66

eden abhez Nature Boy  

Dee Daniels Let Freedom Ring (The Ballad of John Lewis)

Dee Daniels vocalist

Andrew Crust, associate conductor

TRAD. SPRITUAL Over My Head, I Hear Music in the Air

Measha Brueggergosman soprano

This season, the VSO features music and performances by black artists from Vancouver, Canada and around the world. In the midst of Black History Month, we gather together a number of these works for a delightful afternoon of music from Coleridge-Taylor, Marsalis, Walker, Montgomery, and Vancouver’s own Dee Daniels. Hosted by VSO Associate Conductor Andrew Crust and special guests Measha Brueggergosman and Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser.

Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, guest host

Daniel earned his Bachelors in Music Performance and Education from the University of Calgary, and received his Master of Philosophy in Performance from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England. He’s been awarded the Canada Council for the Arts Jean-Marie Beaudet Prize for Orchestral Conducting and has served as Assistant Conductor of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Associate Conductor of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. Daniel has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Hamilton Philharmonic, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and Eastern Sierra Symphony. The 2019/2020 season is an exciting one for Daniel; he will debut with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and will serve with the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Centre as Cover Conductor.

Currently holding a coveted position as the Artist in Residence and Community Ambassador at Symphony Nova Scotia, Daniel has recently been appointed to the Board of Orchestras Canada and is the chair of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility committee.

Measha Brueggergosman, soprano and host

Motivated and hungry for new experiences, Ms. Brueggergosman’s career effortlessly embraces the broadest array of performance platforms and musical styles and genres.

Measha began her career predominantly committed to the art of the song recital and has presented innovative programs at Carnegie Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, both the Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna, Madrid’s Teatro Real, as well as at the Schwarzenberg, Edinburgh, Verbier and Bergen Festivals with celebrated collaborative pianists Justus Zeyen, Roger Vignoles, Julius Drake, and Simon Lepper.

On the opera stage, her recent highlights include the roles of Giulietta and Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Elettra in Idomeneo, Jenny in Weill’s Mahagonny, Emilia Marty in Janáček’s Věc Makropulos, Hannah in Miroslav Srnka’s Make No Noise, and Sister Rose in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. On the concert platform last season she returned to Carnegie Hall with the New World Symphony, performed Elettra in Idomeneo at Opera Atelier, Toronto, and gave a recital at the Barbican Center, London. She has also recently worked with the Orchestre de Paris, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and New World Symphony. Orchestras and conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Michael Tilson Thomas, Franz Welser-Möst, Sir Andrew Davis, Gustavo Dudamel and Daniel Harding.

Her first recording for Deutsche Grammophon, Surprise, includes works by Schoenberg, Satie and Bolcom and is one of the most highly regarded debut albums of recent years. Her subsequent disc Night and Dreams, which features songs by Mozart, Brahms, Strauss, Schubert, Debussy, Duparc and Fauré won several awards and her recording of the Wesendonck Lieder with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra earned her a Grammy nomination.

Off the stage, Measha is just as active: she recently released her memoir “Something Is Always On Fire” published by Harper Collins, she appears regularly on primetime TV (most recently advocating on behalf of contemporary Canadian literature); and leading Canadian children across the country in song, in celebration of the nationwide campaign for music education.

Measha Brueggergosman champions the education and involvement of new audiences and holds several honorary doctorates and ambassadorial titles with international charities.

Andrew Crust, conductor

Andrew Crust has developed a versatile international career as a conductor of orchestral, opera, ballet and pops programs. Currently serving as the Associate Conductor of the Vancouver Symphony in Canada, Andrew conducts a large number of subscription, pops, educational and contemporary concerts with the VSO each season. Andrew is the newly-appointed Music Director of the Lima Symphony Orchestra beginning in the 20/21, where he programs and conducts the Grand Classics, Pops and Educational series, featuring such soloists as Awadagin Pratt, Amit Peled and Kathrine Jolly.

In the current and upcoming seasons Andrew will debut with the Arkansas and Vermont Symphonies as Music Director finalist, and with the San Diego Symphony and Calgary Philharmonic as a guest conductor. Other recent engagements include performances with the Winnipeg Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Bozeman Symphony and l’Orchestre de la Francophonie in Québec.

Andrew is a 2020 winner of the Solti Foundation US Career Assistance Award. In 2017 he was awarded first prize at the Accademia Chigiana by Daniele Gatti, receiving a scholarship and an invitation to guest conduct the Orchestra di Sanremo in Italy. He was a semi-finalist for the Nestlé/Salzburg Festival’s Young Conductors Award competition, and was selected by members of the Vienna Philharmonic as a winner of the Ansbacher Fellowship, with full access to all rehearsals and performances of the Salzburg Festival.

Andrew is equally at ease in the pit, having conducted ballet with Ballet Memphis and the New Ballet Ensemble, and opera with Opera McGill, College Light Opera Company, Boulder Opera Company, and others. As a Pops conductor, Andrew has collaborated with such artists as Rufus Wainwright, Steven Page, Michael Bolton, Cirque de la Symphonie, and the United States Jazz Ambassadors. Andrew has also established himself as a conductor of films with orchestra.

Andrew served as Assistant Conductor of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra from 2017-2019 where he conducted around forty concerts each season. He stepped in last minute for a successful subscription performance featuring Bernstein’s Serenade with violinist Charles Yang. Andrew also served as Conductor of the Memphis Youth Symphony Program. As the Assistant Conductor of the Portland Symphony Orchestra in Maine from 2016-2018, he conducted a variety of concert series, helped coordinate the orchestra’s extensive educational programs, and helped lead a program for concertgoers under 40 called “Symphony and Spirits”.

Crust was the Assistant Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of the USA (NYO-USA) in the summers of 2017 and 2018, assisting Michael Tilson Thomas on an Asian tour, as well as Giancarlo Guerrero, Marin Alsop and James Ross at Carnegie Hall and in a side-by-side performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has also served as Cover Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony, San Diego Symphony and Nashville Symphony, Assistant/Cover Conductor of the Boulder Philharmonic and Assistant Conductor of Opera McGill.

Abroad, he has led concerts with the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana in Italy, Hamburger Symphoniker at the Mendelssohn Festival in Germany, the Moravian Philharmonic in the Czech Republic and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Chile in Santiago.

As an arranger/orchestrator, Andrew is currently working with Schirmer to make orchestrations of a set of Florence Price’s art songs, has orchestrated works by Alma Mahler and Prokofiev, as well as many pops and educational selections.

Andrew is dedicated to exploring new ways of bringing the classical music experience into the 21st century through innovative programming and marketing, creating community-oriented and socially-sensitive concert experiences, and utilizing social media and unique venues. Andrew is a firm believer in meaningful music education, having produced and written a number of original educational programs with orchestras.

Garfield Wilson, narrator

Actor, vocalist and trainer Garfield Wilson was born in Surrey, England and immigrated to Canada when he was 6 years old with his Jamaican family. The middle child between his brother and sister, Garfield has enjoyed a creative life full of acting and music in his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta. After two years performing as lead singer to a funk/soul cover band, Garfield's first break was playing Judas in "Jesus Christ Superstar". He then ventured to Vancouver, BC to pursue music and acting even further. After singing in his own bands followed by a Canadian tour singing back-up vocals for Colin James, Garfield began to focus on acting.

His first roles in Vancouver included The Outer Limits (1995) (2000), Andromeda (2000) (2001), Dark Angel (2000) (2001), UC: Undercover (2001) (2001), Just Cause (2001) (2002), The Twilight Zone (2002) (2003), The 4400 (2004) (2004), and Edison (2005) (2005). To support his acting pursuits, Garfield got certified as a personal trainer, and focused the next 8 years on building his own personal training business, Forward Fitness Inc.. Then, in 2013, Garfield enjoyed another music theatre role in Vancouver's Arts Club Theatre presentation of Dreamgirls (2013), followed by a season regular actor role in JJ Abram's Almost Human (2013) (2013-2014).

Since then Garfield has appeared on various TV series, including Arrow (2012) (2014), Once Upon a Time (2011) (2014), Bates Motel (2013) (2015), The 100 (2014) (2014-2015), Vendetta (2015) (2015), Continuum (2012) (2015), iZombie (2015) (2015), Zoo (2015) (2016), Travelers (2016) (2016), Lucifer (2016) (2016), Mech-X4 (2016) (2016), Ice (2016) (2016), The Arrangement (2017) (2017), Van Helsing (2016) (2017). His Film credits include Christmas Princess (2017) (2017), Game Over, Man! (2018), and Noelle (2018).

SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR

b. August 15, 1875 / Holborn, London, UK

d. September 1, 1912 / Croydon, Surrey, UK

Four Novelletten for Violin and Strings, Op. 52 (1903)

III No. 3 in A minor – Valse: Andante con moto

The program begins with a movement from the Novelletten for strings and percussion by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. He was born in Victorian England in 1875, the son of a white English woman and a black father originally from Sierra Leone, who was training to be a doctor in the UK. Samuel’s father was frustrated by the racial prejudice he faced and chose to leave the UK and work as a doctor in Africa. Young Samuel was raised within his mother’s quite musical family, where he blossomed. His mother named him after Samuel Taylor-Coleridge (born 100 years earlier), the British poet whose works she adored. He studied composition at the Royal College of Music under the tutelage of Stanford.

Coleridge-Taylor’s African roots descend from a group of American slaves who remained loyal to the British crown throughout the American revolutionary war, and who were returned to West Africa after the United States gained its independence. By the early 20th century Samuel’s international celebrity had increased, and he travelled frequently to the United States. There he pursued his interested in musical forms being written and played by black musicians in America. He was fascinated with Native American stories and themes, which gave rise to his popular musical trilogy: Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast, The Death of Minnehaha, and Hiawatha’s Departure.

Sadly, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor died tragically young, at the age of 37, from pneumonia. Although his printed music was widely circulated and immensely popular, he saw little of the money that should rightly have come his way. He had often sold his works outright, for immediate cash, without maintaining his copyright. His legacy continues to be explored and his importance appreciated as an artist who championed social awareness and the music of marginalized people.

GEORGE WALKER

b. June 27, 1922 / Washington, DC, USA

d. August 23, 2018 / Montclair NJ, USA

In 2001, the eminent radio host, producer and interviewer Bruce Duffie had a dilemma. The station where he had worked for some 25 years, WNIB, Classical 97.1 FM, was about to cease operations. Duffie would be on the air when the transmitter was switched off. So, what piece of music should he present as the longstanding station’s swan song? He chose Lyric for Strings, by the American composer George Walker. It was an unusual, but wholly appropriate selection.

George Walker was born in Washington D.C. in 1922. He completed high school at the age of 14 and received a piano scholarship to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio. Following his graduation in 1941, he enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he began piano studies with Rudolf Serkin, and composition with Rosario Scalero. The latter would prove to be the more influential figure.

Walker was a man of many firsts. In 1945, he became the first African-American pianist to play a recital at New York's Town Hall, the first Black pianist to play as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the first Black graduate from Curtis. But even after signing with a major artist’s management agency and touring Europe, he soon realized that his prospects were limited. As he told The New York Times, “Because I was Black, I couldn’t get either major or minor dates. From the outset they explained that getting concerts for me — a Black pianist playing classical music — would be an uphill battle.”

Walker’s parallel passion for composition proved to be an advantage, and the basis for a long and distinguished academic career in which he earned Guggenheim, Rockefeller and Fulbright fellowships. His output encompassed more than 90 compositions, from solo piano pieces to vocal, chamber and orchestral works. In 1996 he became the first African-American to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Music, for his work Lilacs, a setting of verses by Walt Whitman that lament the death of Abraham Lincoln.

Lyric for Strings is George Walker’s best-known and most frequently performed work. Although it was published in 1990, its roots stretch back to the beginning of his career. While he was a graduate student at Curtis, Walker’s grandmother passed away. In 1946 he wrote a string quartet and the second movement, titled Lament, was dedicated in her memory. Years later, he expanded the piece to suit a string orchestra, retitled it Lyric, and it achieved widespread acclaim. Keep in mind that Walker’s composition instructor at Curtis was Rosario Scalero, the same person who taught Samuel Barber a decade earlier. Barber’s career was truly launched when the second movement of his own string quartet gained fame as the Adagio for Strings. Many people have commented that the two works, Lyric and Adagio, share a similar emotional arc that touches the heart.

When the time arrived for that final sign off at station WNIB, broadcaster Bruce Duffie remarked, “I wanted something special, reflective, tender, strong, and positive to end…The calls and e-mails which I received after that were bittersweet, but they all said the same thing - that I had spoken eloquently, and had chosen the absolutely perfect piece to end.”

JESSIE MONTGOMERY

b. December 8, 1981 / New York, NY, USA

Jessie Montgomery is a composer, violinist and educator, now based in Princeton, New Jersey, where she has been working towards her PhD in composition. Born in Manhattan, she grew up in a household steeped in music, theatre, story-telling and social activism. She maintains an active performance career as a violinist with her own ensembles, as well as with the Silkroad Ensemble and Sphinx Virtuosi.

In 2020 she was awarded a Medal of Excellence and a $50,000 career grant from the SPHINX Organization, with whom she has been associated for nearly 20 years. Sphinx was founded in 1997 by Aaron P. Dworkin with the goal of addressing the underrepresentation of people of color in classical music. Sphinx’s four program areas form a pipeline that develops and supports diversity and inclusion in music education, artists performing on stage, the repertoire and programing being performed, the communities represented in audiences, and the artistic and administrative leadership within the field.

”I began my relationship with Sphinx as a junior division competitor (some) years ago,” she told The Violin Channel, “and have since been a two-time laureate in the senior division, taught at the Sphinx Performance Academy, have been Composer-in-Residence with the Sphinx Virtuosi, a member of the Catalyst Quartet, and served on various panels for their annual conference. I cannot stress enough how important this organization has been for me and for all of the musicians they have served and continue to serve. My community has grown because of their work, and it has been inspiring to [see] communities outside of the Sphinx network change and be inspired to change their views on who deserves what opportunities in classical music. I see things becoming more equalized in small pockets of our field–little by little, the shift is happening.”

As she describes, "I wrote Starburst in 2013 for the Sphinx Virtuosi, an amazing, conductor-less string ensemble. I remember vividly at the time that I wanted to write something that was reflective of the ensemble itself…so I composed this encore to be very explosive and celebratory, a fiery and very energetic piece.” Ms Montgomery describes in her program note that the dynamic nature of the group closely matches the astronomical definition of a starburst:…the rapid formation of large numbers of new stars in a galaxy at a rate high enough to alter the structure of the galaxy significantly.

WYNTON MARSALIS

b. October 18, 1961 / New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Wynton Marsalis is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, educator and a leading advocate of American culture. He is the world’s first jazz artist to perform and compose across the full jazz spectrum from its New Orleans roots to bebop to modern jazz. By creating and performing an expansive range of brilliant new music for quartets to big bands, chamber music ensembles to symphony orchestras, tap dance to ballet, Wynton has expanded the vocabulary for jazz and created a vital body of work that places him among the world’s finest musicians and composers.

In 1987 Wynton Marsalis co-founded, and became Artistic Director for Jazz at Lincoln Center and Music Director for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. In July 1996, due to its significant success, Jazz at Lincoln Center was installed as new constituent of Lincoln Center, equal in stature with the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, and New York City Ballet - a historic moment for jazz as an art form and for Lincoln Center as a cultural institution. In October 2004, with the assistance of a dedicated Board and staff, Marsalis opened Frederick P. Rose Hall, the world’s first institution for jazz. Under Wynton’s leadership, Jazz at Lincoln Center has developed an international agenda presenting rich and diverse programming that includes concerts, debates, film forums, dances, television and radio broadcasts, and educational activities. In 1997, Wynton Marsalis became the first jazz musician to receive the Pulitzer Prize for music, for his epic oratorio Blood on the Fields.

It was the 1918 musical theatre piece by Igor Stravinsky, L’Histoire du Soldat (The Soldiers’ Tale) that was the inspiration for A Fiddler’s Tale. Jazz at Lincoln Centre commissioned Marsalis to write a work using exactly the same musical forces (violin, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, bass, and drums) as the Stravinsky, but with a modern twist on the old tale of making a deal with the devil.  The Vancouver based actor Garfield Wilson serves as

narrator, as well as a cast of characters, from an innocent violinist, to the legendary fiddler who she aspires to be – to the Devil himself, ol’ Beelzebub, Bubba Zee Beals! The libretto to the cautionary tale was created by the late American poet Stanley Crouch, a long-time friend and mentor of Wynton Marsalis. (The complete work will be presented on a future date at The ConcertHall.ca)

DEE DANIELS

b. Berkeley, California, USA

With a palpable authenticity, towering four-octave range, and a powerful blues and gospel-tinged jazz vocal approach, Dee Daniels has built a sterling reputation amongst jazz fans and critics around the world for over three decades. She has performed with symphony orchestras and big bands globally but has called Vancouver her home for more than thirty years. It is a pleasure to welcome Dee Daniels back to the Orpheum in the present program: For the Love of Song. Among the titles that Dee Daniels shares are two tunes associated with the great Nat King Cole.

The American songwriter, jazz pianist and actor Bobby Troup planned to “travel west” in 1946, in search of opportunities in California. Inspired by the journey, he penned the musical travelogue Route 66. The tune was recorded by Nat King Cole and became a hit on the R&B and pop record charts.

The enigmatic musician and songwriter known as eden ahbez (his name is un capitalized) was a progenitor of the back to nature lifestyle of Southern California’s Laurel Canyon. He shared a piece of sheet music with Nat Cole’s manager, and promptly disappeared. It was only after he was tracked down, living outdoors under the famous Hollywood sign, that Nat could release the tune: Nature Boy.

The performance closes with the premiere of new piece written by Dee Daniels last summer. “Let Freedom Ring” ( aka The Ballad of John Lewis) was inspired by an essay written by the late US congressman and civil rights leader. Shortly before his death in July of 2020, The New York Times printed an essay by Lewis titled “Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation.” As Dee Daniels recalls, “I teared up. I was aware of his history, what he accomplished, and what he stood for. I so admired him and his contributions. I went to my piano, and it took me half an hour to come up with a melody that I could set these words to. The song just evolved and morphed.” One of the lines in Lewis’s essay is particularly moving: Now it is your turn to let freedom ring. With her soaring voice and impassioned performances, Dee Daniels is giving voice to that message.

MEASHA BRUEGGERGOSMAN closes the program with an unaccompanied African American Spiritual: Over My Head I Hear Music in the Air. She performed it recently as part of The Resilient Symphony, the VSO Virtual Gala Concert which was held on February 18, 2021.

Notes by Matthew Baird.

Series Performances

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A Musical Quilt
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A Symphonic Tribute to Black History Month
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A Suite of Suites
More series performances to be announced.
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PARC Retirement Living Tea & Trumpets

A Symphonic Tribute to Black History Month

February 25, 2021 2:00 PM

Andrew Crust, conductor

Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, guest host

Measha Brueggergosman, guest host

Garfield Wilson, narrator

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Four Novelletten: No. 3 - VALSE

David Lakirovich assistant concertmaster

Andrew Crust associate conductor

George Walker Lyric for Strings

Otto Tausk conductor

Jessie Montgomery Starburst

Andrew Crust associate conductor

Wynton Marsalis  Excerpt A Fiddler’s Tale  “Up and Down”…The Fiddler’s March

Garfield Wilson narrator

Andrew Crust associate conductor

Bobby Troup Route 66

eden abhez Nature Boy  

Dee Daniels Let Freedom Ring (The Ballad of John Lewis)

Dee Daniels vocalist

Andrew Crust, associate conductor

TRAD. SPRITUAL Over My Head, I Hear Music in the Air

Measha Brueggergosman soprano

This season, the VSO features music and performances by black artists from Vancouver, Canada and around the world. In the midst of Black History Month, we gather together a number of these works for a delightful afternoon of music from Coleridge-Taylor, Marsalis, Walker, Montgomery, and Vancouver’s own Dee Daniels. Hosted by VSO Associate Conductor Andrew Crust and special guests Measha Brueggergosman and Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser.

Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, guest host

Daniel earned his Bachelors in Music Performance and Education from the University of Calgary, and received his Master of Philosophy in Performance from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England. He’s been awarded the Canada Council for the Arts Jean-Marie Beaudet Prize for Orchestral Conducting and has served as Assistant Conductor of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Associate Conductor of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. Daniel has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Hamilton Philharmonic, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and Eastern Sierra Symphony. The 2019/2020 season is an exciting one for Daniel; he will debut with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and will serve with the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Centre as Cover Conductor.

Currently holding a coveted position as the Artist in Residence and Community Ambassador at Symphony Nova Scotia, Daniel has recently been appointed to the Board of Orchestras Canada and is the chair of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility committee.

Measha Brueggergosman, soprano and host

Motivated and hungry for new experiences, Ms. Brueggergosman’s career effortlessly embraces the broadest array of performance platforms and musical styles and genres.

Measha began her career predominantly committed to the art of the song recital and has presented innovative programs at Carnegie Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, both the Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna, Madrid’s Teatro Real, as well as at the Schwarzenberg, Edinburgh, Verbier and Bergen Festivals with celebrated collaborative pianists Justus Zeyen, Roger Vignoles, Julius Drake, and Simon Lepper.

On the opera stage, her recent highlights include the roles of Giulietta and Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Elettra in Idomeneo, Jenny in Weill’s Mahagonny, Emilia Marty in Janáček’s Věc Makropulos, Hannah in Miroslav Srnka’s Make No Noise, and Sister Rose in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. On the concert platform last season she returned to Carnegie Hall with the New World Symphony, performed Elettra in Idomeneo at Opera Atelier, Toronto, and gave a recital at the Barbican Center, London. She has also recently worked with the Orchestre de Paris, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and New World Symphony. Orchestras and conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Michael Tilson Thomas, Franz Welser-Möst, Sir Andrew Davis, Gustavo Dudamel and Daniel Harding.

Her first recording for Deutsche Grammophon, Surprise, includes works by Schoenberg, Satie and Bolcom and is one of the most highly regarded debut albums of recent years. Her subsequent disc Night and Dreams, which features songs by Mozart, Brahms, Strauss, Schubert, Debussy, Duparc and Fauré won several awards and her recording of the Wesendonck Lieder with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra earned her a Grammy nomination.

Off the stage, Measha is just as active: she recently released her memoir “Something Is Always On Fire” published by Harper Collins, she appears regularly on primetime TV (most recently advocating on behalf of contemporary Canadian literature); and leading Canadian children across the country in song, in celebration of the nationwide campaign for music education.

Measha Brueggergosman champions the education and involvement of new audiences and holds several honorary doctorates and ambassadorial titles with international charities.

Andrew Crust, conductor

Andrew Crust has developed a versatile international career as a conductor of orchestral, opera, ballet and pops programs. Currently serving as the Associate Conductor of the Vancouver Symphony in Canada, Andrew conducts a large number of subscription, pops, educational and contemporary concerts with the VSO each season. Andrew is the newly-appointed Music Director of the Lima Symphony Orchestra beginning in the 20/21, where he programs and conducts the Grand Classics, Pops and Educational series, featuring such soloists as Awadagin Pratt, Amit Peled and Kathrine Jolly.

In the current and upcoming seasons Andrew will debut with the Arkansas and Vermont Symphonies as Music Director finalist, and with the San Diego Symphony and Calgary Philharmonic as a guest conductor. Other recent engagements include performances with the Winnipeg Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Bozeman Symphony and l’Orchestre de la Francophonie in Québec.

Andrew is a 2020 winner of the Solti Foundation US Career Assistance Award. In 2017 he was awarded first prize at the Accademia Chigiana by Daniele Gatti, receiving a scholarship and an invitation to guest conduct the Orchestra di Sanremo in Italy. He was a semi-finalist for the Nestlé/Salzburg Festival’s Young Conductors Award competition, and was selected by members of the Vienna Philharmonic as a winner of the Ansbacher Fellowship, with full access to all rehearsals and performances of the Salzburg Festival.

Andrew is equally at ease in the pit, having conducted ballet with Ballet Memphis and the New Ballet Ensemble, and opera with Opera McGill, College Light Opera Company, Boulder Opera Company, and others. As a Pops conductor, Andrew has collaborated with such artists as Rufus Wainwright, Steven Page, Michael Bolton, Cirque de la Symphonie, and the United States Jazz Ambassadors. Andrew has also established himself as a conductor of films with orchestra.

Andrew served as Assistant Conductor of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra from 2017-2019 where he conducted around forty concerts each season. He stepped in last minute for a successful subscription performance featuring Bernstein’s Serenade with violinist Charles Yang. Andrew also served as Conductor of the Memphis Youth Symphony Program. As the Assistant Conductor of the Portland Symphony Orchestra in Maine from 2016-2018, he conducted a variety of concert series, helped coordinate the orchestra’s extensive educational programs, and helped lead a program for concertgoers under 40 called “Symphony and Spirits”.

Crust was the Assistant Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of the USA (NYO-USA) in the summers of 2017 and 2018, assisting Michael Tilson Thomas on an Asian tour, as well as Giancarlo Guerrero, Marin Alsop and James Ross at Carnegie Hall and in a side-by-side performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has also served as Cover Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony, San Diego Symphony and Nashville Symphony, Assistant/Cover Conductor of the Boulder Philharmonic and Assistant Conductor of Opera McGill.

Abroad, he has led concerts with the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana in Italy, Hamburger Symphoniker at the Mendelssohn Festival in Germany, the Moravian Philharmonic in the Czech Republic and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Chile in Santiago.

As an arranger/orchestrator, Andrew is currently working with Schirmer to make orchestrations of a set of Florence Price’s art songs, has orchestrated works by Alma Mahler and Prokofiev, as well as many pops and educational selections.

Andrew is dedicated to exploring new ways of bringing the classical music experience into the 21st century through innovative programming and marketing, creating community-oriented and socially-sensitive concert experiences, and utilizing social media and unique venues. Andrew is a firm believer in meaningful music education, having produced and written a number of original educational programs with orchestras.

Garfield Wilson, narrator

Actor, vocalist and trainer Garfield Wilson was born in Surrey, England and immigrated to Canada when he was 6 years old with his Jamaican family. The middle child between his brother and sister, Garfield has enjoyed a creative life full of acting and music in his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta. After two years performing as lead singer to a funk/soul cover band, Garfield's first break was playing Judas in "Jesus Christ Superstar". He then ventured to Vancouver, BC to pursue music and acting even further. After singing in his own bands followed by a Canadian tour singing back-up vocals for Colin James, Garfield began to focus on acting.

His first roles in Vancouver included The Outer Limits (1995) (2000), Andromeda (2000) (2001), Dark Angel (2000) (2001), UC: Undercover (2001) (2001), Just Cause (2001) (2002), The Twilight Zone (2002) (2003), The 4400 (2004) (2004), and Edison (2005) (2005). To support his acting pursuits, Garfield got certified as a personal trainer, and focused the next 8 years on building his own personal training business, Forward Fitness Inc.. Then, in 2013, Garfield enjoyed another music theatre role in Vancouver's Arts Club Theatre presentation of Dreamgirls (2013), followed by a season regular actor role in JJ Abram's Almost Human (2013) (2013-2014).

Since then Garfield has appeared on various TV series, including Arrow (2012) (2014), Once Upon a Time (2011) (2014), Bates Motel (2013) (2015), The 100 (2014) (2014-2015), Vendetta (2015) (2015), Continuum (2012) (2015), iZombie (2015) (2015), Zoo (2015) (2016), Travelers (2016) (2016), Lucifer (2016) (2016), Mech-X4 (2016) (2016), Ice (2016) (2016), The Arrangement (2017) (2017), Van Helsing (2016) (2017). His Film credits include Christmas Princess (2017) (2017), Game Over, Man! (2018), and Noelle (2018).

SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR

b. August 15, 1875 / Holborn, London, UK

d. September 1, 1912 / Croydon, Surrey, UK

Four Novelletten for Violin and Strings, Op. 52 (1903)

III No. 3 in A minor – Valse: Andante con moto

The program begins with a movement from the Novelletten for strings and percussion by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. He was born in Victorian England in 1875, the son of a white English woman and a black father originally from Sierra Leone, who was training to be a doctor in the UK. Samuel’s father was frustrated by the racial prejudice he faced and chose to leave the UK and work as a doctor in Africa. Young Samuel was raised within his mother’s quite musical family, where he blossomed. His mother named him after Samuel Taylor-Coleridge (born 100 years earlier), the British poet whose works she adored. He studied composition at the Royal College of Music under the tutelage of Stanford.

Coleridge-Taylor’s African roots descend from a group of American slaves who remained loyal to the British crown throughout the American revolutionary war, and who were returned to West Africa after the United States gained its independence. By the early 20th century Samuel’s international celebrity had increased, and he travelled frequently to the United States. There he pursued his interested in musical forms being written and played by black musicians in America. He was fascinated with Native American stories and themes, which gave rise to his popular musical trilogy: Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast, The Death of Minnehaha, and Hiawatha’s Departure.

Sadly, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor died tragically young, at the age of 37, from pneumonia. Although his printed music was widely circulated and immensely popular, he saw little of the money that should rightly have come his way. He had often sold his works outright, for immediate cash, without maintaining his copyright. His legacy continues to be explored and his importance appreciated as an artist who championed social awareness and the music of marginalized people.

GEORGE WALKER

b. June 27, 1922 / Washington, DC, USA

d. August 23, 2018 / Montclair NJ, USA

In 2001, the eminent radio host, producer and interviewer Bruce Duffie had a dilemma. The station where he had worked for some 25 years, WNIB, Classical 97.1 FM, was about to cease operations. Duffie would be on the air when the transmitter was switched off. So, what piece of music should he present as the longstanding station’s swan song? He chose Lyric for Strings, by the American composer George Walker. It was an unusual, but wholly appropriate selection.

George Walker was born in Washington D.C. in 1922. He completed high school at the age of 14 and received a piano scholarship to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio. Following his graduation in 1941, he enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he began piano studies with Rudolf Serkin, and composition with Rosario Scalero. The latter would prove to be the more influential figure.

Walker was a man of many firsts. In 1945, he became the first African-American pianist to play a recital at New York's Town Hall, the first Black pianist to play as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the first Black graduate from Curtis. But even after signing with a major artist’s management agency and touring Europe, he soon realized that his prospects were limited. As he told The New York Times, “Because I was Black, I couldn’t get either major or minor dates. From the outset they explained that getting concerts for me — a Black pianist playing classical music — would be an uphill battle.”

Walker’s parallel passion for composition proved to be an advantage, and the basis for a long and distinguished academic career in which he earned Guggenheim, Rockefeller and Fulbright fellowships. His output encompassed more than 90 compositions, from solo piano pieces to vocal, chamber and orchestral works. In 1996 he became the first African-American to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Music, for his work Lilacs, a setting of verses by Walt Whitman that lament the death of Abraham Lincoln.

Lyric for Strings is George Walker’s best-known and most frequently performed work. Although it was published in 1990, its roots stretch back to the beginning of his career. While he was a graduate student at Curtis, Walker’s grandmother passed away. In 1946 he wrote a string quartet and the second movement, titled Lament, was dedicated in her memory. Years later, he expanded the piece to suit a string orchestra, retitled it Lyric, and it achieved widespread acclaim. Keep in mind that Walker’s composition instructor at Curtis was Rosario Scalero, the same person who taught Samuel Barber a decade earlier. Barber’s career was truly launched when the second movement of his own string quartet gained fame as the Adagio for Strings. Many people have commented that the two works, Lyric and Adagio, share a similar emotional arc that touches the heart.

When the time arrived for that final sign off at station WNIB, broadcaster Bruce Duffie remarked, “I wanted something special, reflective, tender, strong, and positive to end…The calls and e-mails which I received after that were bittersweet, but they all said the same thing - that I had spoken eloquently, and had chosen the absolutely perfect piece to end.”

JESSIE MONTGOMERY

b. December 8, 1981 / New York, NY, USA

Jessie Montgomery is a composer, violinist and educator, now based in Princeton, New Jersey, where she has been working towards her PhD in composition. Born in Manhattan, she grew up in a household steeped in music, theatre, story-telling and social activism. She maintains an active performance career as a violinist with her own ensembles, as well as with the Silkroad Ensemble and Sphinx Virtuosi.

In 2020 she was awarded a Medal of Excellence and a $50,000 career grant from the SPHINX Organization, with whom she has been associated for nearly 20 years. Sphinx was founded in 1997 by Aaron P. Dworkin with the goal of addressing the underrepresentation of people of color in classical music. Sphinx’s four program areas form a pipeline that develops and supports diversity and inclusion in music education, artists performing on stage, the repertoire and programing being performed, the communities represented in audiences, and the artistic and administrative leadership within the field.

”I began my relationship with Sphinx as a junior division competitor (some) years ago,” she told The Violin Channel, “and have since been a two-time laureate in the senior division, taught at the Sphinx Performance Academy, have been Composer-in-Residence with the Sphinx Virtuosi, a member of the Catalyst Quartet, and served on various panels for their annual conference. I cannot stress enough how important this organization has been for me and for all of the musicians they have served and continue to serve. My community has grown because of their work, and it has been inspiring to [see] communities outside of the Sphinx network change and be inspired to change their views on who deserves what opportunities in classical music. I see things becoming more equalized in small pockets of our field–little by little, the shift is happening.”

As she describes, "I wrote Starburst in 2013 for the Sphinx Virtuosi, an amazing, conductor-less string ensemble. I remember vividly at the time that I wanted to write something that was reflective of the ensemble itself…so I composed this encore to be very explosive and celebratory, a fiery and very energetic piece.” Ms Montgomery describes in her program note that the dynamic nature of the group closely matches the astronomical definition of a starburst:…the rapid formation of large numbers of new stars in a galaxy at a rate high enough to alter the structure of the galaxy significantly.

WYNTON MARSALIS

b. October 18, 1961 / New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Wynton Marsalis is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, educator and a leading advocate of American culture. He is the world’s first jazz artist to perform and compose across the full jazz spectrum from its New Orleans roots to bebop to modern jazz. By creating and performing an expansive range of brilliant new music for quartets to big bands, chamber music ensembles to symphony orchestras, tap dance to ballet, Wynton has expanded the vocabulary for jazz and created a vital body of work that places him among the world’s finest musicians and composers.

In 1987 Wynton Marsalis co-founded, and became Artistic Director for Jazz at Lincoln Center and Music Director for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. In July 1996, due to its significant success, Jazz at Lincoln Center was installed as new constituent of Lincoln Center, equal in stature with the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, and New York City Ballet - a historic moment for jazz as an art form and for Lincoln Center as a cultural institution. In October 2004, with the assistance of a dedicated Board and staff, Marsalis opened Frederick P. Rose Hall, the world’s first institution for jazz. Under Wynton’s leadership, Jazz at Lincoln Center has developed an international agenda presenting rich and diverse programming that includes concerts, debates, film forums, dances, television and radio broadcasts, and educational activities. In 1997, Wynton Marsalis became the first jazz musician to receive the Pulitzer Prize for music, for his epic oratorio Blood on the Fields.

It was the 1918 musical theatre piece by Igor Stravinsky, L’Histoire du Soldat (The Soldiers’ Tale) that was the inspiration for A Fiddler’s Tale. Jazz at Lincoln Centre commissioned Marsalis to write a work using exactly the same musical forces (violin, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, bass, and drums) as the Stravinsky, but with a modern twist on the old tale of making a deal with the devil.  The Vancouver based actor Garfield Wilson serves as

narrator, as well as a cast of characters, from an innocent violinist, to the legendary fiddler who she aspires to be – to the Devil himself, ol’ Beelzebub, Bubba Zee Beals! The libretto to the cautionary tale was created by the late American poet Stanley Crouch, a long-time friend and mentor of Wynton Marsalis. (The complete work will be presented on a future date at The ConcertHall.ca)

DEE DANIELS

b. Berkeley, California, USA

With a palpable authenticity, towering four-octave range, and a powerful blues and gospel-tinged jazz vocal approach, Dee Daniels has built a sterling reputation amongst jazz fans and critics around the world for over three decades. She has performed with symphony orchestras and big bands globally but has called Vancouver her home for more than thirty years. It is a pleasure to welcome Dee Daniels back to the Orpheum in the present program: For the Love of Song. Among the titles that Dee Daniels shares are two tunes associated with the great Nat King Cole.

The American songwriter, jazz pianist and actor Bobby Troup planned to “travel west” in 1946, in search of opportunities in California. Inspired by the journey, he penned the musical travelogue Route 66. The tune was recorded by Nat King Cole and became a hit on the R&B and pop record charts.

The enigmatic musician and songwriter known as eden ahbez (his name is un capitalized) was a progenitor of the back to nature lifestyle of Southern California’s Laurel Canyon. He shared a piece of sheet music with Nat Cole’s manager, and promptly disappeared. It was only after he was tracked down, living outdoors under the famous Hollywood sign, that Nat could release the tune: Nature Boy.

The performance closes with the premiere of new piece written by Dee Daniels last summer. “Let Freedom Ring” ( aka The Ballad of John Lewis) was inspired by an essay written by the late US congressman and civil rights leader. Shortly before his death in July of 2020, The New York Times printed an essay by Lewis titled “Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation.” As Dee Daniels recalls, “I teared up. I was aware of his history, what he accomplished, and what he stood for. I so admired him and his contributions. I went to my piano, and it took me half an hour to come up with a melody that I could set these words to. The song just evolved and morphed.” One of the lines in Lewis’s essay is particularly moving: Now it is your turn to let freedom ring. With her soaring voice and impassioned performances, Dee Daniels is giving voice to that message.

MEASHA BRUEGGERGOSMAN closes the program with an unaccompanied African American Spiritual: Over My Head I Hear Music in the Air. She performed it recently as part of The Resilient Symphony, the VSO Virtual Gala Concert which was held on February 18, 2021.

Notes by Matthew Baird.

Series Performances

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A Musical Quilt
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A Symphonic Tribute to Black History Month
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A Suite of Suites
More series performances to be announced.
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