Classical 91.5

Gateways

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As the 2020 Gateways Music Festival launches its first-ever all-virtual festival, WXXI Classical celebrates the week with a tribute program featuring all music from black composers, including Adolphus Hailstork, Florence Price and Michael Abels. We'll also hear a unique arrangement of the Black National Anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing," all performed by the Gateways Music Festival Orchestra recorded live at the Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre in Rochester, New York in August 2019.

 

Falling in line with other festivals throughout the world, the Gateways Music Festival, postponed from earlier this summer, has confirmed plans to go virtual in November.

The event, which has brought classical musicians of African descent to Rochester since 1995, first partnered with the Eastman School of Music four years ago. Last year’s seven-day event was its largest ever, with 17 public programs, more than 30 community performances and 125 musicians. This year’s Gateways, a five-day event starting on Nov, 9, may be equally ambitious in a different way, when set against the challenge presented by COVID-19.


Sheridan Paige Photography

Violinist Epongue Ekille from Rochester is one of the people calling for a greater recognition of Black musicians’ contributions to classical music. She shares her experiences and some listening recommendations.

Violinist.com

“The show must go on...”

That mantra is the rallying cry of artists finding ways to create, perform, and share their work no matter what is happening around them. But Tuesday June 2nd is different: a group in the music industry is calling on performers, musicians and the industry itself to make a different choice in light of ongoing racism and violence.

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Conductor Michael Morgan, music director of the Oakland Symphony in California, will make his San Francisco Symphony debut April 30-May 2, 2020. Morgan will bring a whole new program to the symphony.  The concert will include a performance of Florence Price's 1940 Symphony No. 3, the first local performance of Carlos Simon's 2019 work AMEN! as well as Brahms' Alto Rhapsody with mezzo-soprano Melody Wilson, and Franck's The Cursed Huntsman.

Photo: Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

He works on both sides of the podium with your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, grooves at the Rochester International Jazz Festival and the Fringe Fest, teaches students of all ages, is a longtime participant with the Gateways Music Festival, and plays with the Gateways Brass Collective. Meet Herb Smith...a proud graduate of the Eastman School of Music, and one of Rochester's most versatile and vibrant musicians. Intrigued? You can hear Herb perform in the William Warfield Scholarship Fund concert on Sunday, January 12 at 3 PM in Kilbourn Hall. 

A Gateways Music Festival Reflection with Jaman Dunn

Aug 20, 2019
Neal Ganguli

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Jaman Dunn, the new Assistant Conductor, Community Engagement at the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Jaman was in Rochester to participate in the Gateways Music Festival as a guest conductor. Gateways aims to connect and support professional classical musicians of African descent, and enlightens and inspires communities through the power of performance.


The Gateways Music Festival is in Rochester this week, capped off by a concert Sunday in Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre.

The 125 musicians from all over the country rehearsed Friday morning, in advance of a preview concert held that afternoon, and among them was Amadi  Azikiwe, a violin and viola player based in New York City.

Garrett McQueen is a man of many talents: overnight host for Classical 24, creator and producer of the podcast Trilloquy, and bassoonist extraordinaire. He's in town to moderate the opening day panel discussion for the Gateways Music Festival, but found a moment or two to sit down and chat with Julia Figueras about his life path, and why Gateways is inspiring and important to him...and to us.

Backstage Pass is hitting the road again, and you can be there to see it! In celebration of the Gateways Music Festival, Julia Figueras again hosts Backstage Pass live from Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre with the GMF Orchestra, guest artists, and a live audience.

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