The Souls of Black Folk: Rediscovering Black Classical Music
November 14, 2021

In partnership with Howard University and the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts

The program highlights Black women composers Florence Price and Margaret Bonds, explores the insights of Langston Hughes and W.E.B. DuBois through letters and texts, and weaves together an illustration of their continuing legacy in shaping American culture. Featuring pianist Elizabeth Hill and the CAAPA Chorale; narrated by Jenn White of NPR’s 1A.


Part of PCE’s season program: The Rediscovery and Renewal of Black Classical Music

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Mahler's Fourth: A Wicked New Look
January 19, 2022

Mahler 4 presages the emergence of jazz: the music riffs on itself throughout, replacing “classical” repetition of themes with constant variation. It feeds upon folk and dance tunes and rollicks with inner conflicts and contradictions, expressing Mahler’s own struggles. PCE premieres a new chamber version in which the symphony’s whirling scherzo becomes a concertino for bass trombone—a wicked showcase for one of the world’s great instrumentalists, David Taylor.

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The Black Virtuoso Tradition
February 26, 2022

In partnership with Levine Music and THEARC


PCE celebrates the dazzling repertoire of solo piano pieces by Black as wells as white American composers inspired by Black vernacular sources. Pianist Elizabeth G. Hill and noted stride-piano specialist Steve Mayer trace the history of Harlem Piano from Scott Joplin to James P. Johnson, Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, and Art Tatum, also including works by Louis Moreau Gottschalk, Antonin Dvorak, George Gershwin, and Margaret Bonds.


Part of PCE’s season program: The Rediscovery and Renewal of Black Classical Music

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Hope in the Night
March 18, 2022

PCE celebrates composer William Dawson and features a forgotten masterpiece from this major Black symphonist. At its 1934 premiere by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony received a thunderous ovation and was hailed by some as the highest achievement in American symphonic music. But Dawson never found a publisher, and the music disappeared from view.


Part of PCE’s season program: The Rediscovery and Renewal of Black Classical Music

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