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Hidden Gems – evening of American song and violin music

8th November 2023 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

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Come and join us on a beautiful autumn evening at St Mary Le Strand for an enriching concert presented to you by Hidden Gems concert series. Hidden Gems concerts were created to highlight often unjustly overlooked classical music pieces.

On November 8th soprano Charlie-Jade Jones, pianist Tim Evans, violinist and founder of Hidden Gems concerts Anna Ovsyanikova and pianist Thomas Ang present a programme of all-American music. Compositions include music by Amy Beach, Marc Blitzstein, Grant Still and many others. 

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Some information about select composers whose music is going to be performed at this concert:

William Grant Still (1895-1978) was an African American composer of nearly two hundred works, including five symphonies, four ballets, nine operas, over thirty choral works, art songs, chamber music, and solo works. Born in Mississippi and growing up in Little Rock, Arkansas, Still attended Wilberforce University and Oberlin Conservatory of Music as a student of George Whitefield Chadwick and then Edgard Varèse. Because of his close association and collaboration with prominent African-American literary and cultural figures, Still is considered to be part of the Harlem Renaissance – an intellectual and cultural revival of African American music, dance, art, fashion, literature, theater, politics and scholarship centered in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, spanning the 1920s and 1930s.

Henry Thacker Burleigh (1866-1949) was an American classical composer, arranger, and professional singer known for his baritone voice. The first black composer who was instrumental in developing characteristically American music, Burleigh made black music available to classically trained artists both by introducing them to spirituals and by arranging spirituals in a more classical form. When he was a student at the National Conservatoire in New York, he used to sing spirituals in the corridors. That’s where Antonin Dvorak, who was the director of the Conservatoire, first heard this music that later inspired a lot of his music, notably the symphony “From the New World”.

Amy Beach (1867–1944) was a composer and pianist. Like Clara Wieck-Schumann, Beach was a child prodigy, performing as a piano soloist to great acclaim while still in her teens. However, while Robert Schumann’s untimely death forced Clara back onto the concert stage in order to support her family, Beach’s marriage rather curtailed her performing and meant that composition became her principal activity. Her “Gaelic” Symphony, premiered by the Boston Symphony orchestra in 1896, was the first symphony composed and published by an American woman. She wrote symphonic and choral works, chamber music and solo piano music.



8th November 2023
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category: