Thomas Wilkins conducts Hailstork, Sierra, Price and Ellington with saxophonist James Carter
Boston Symphony Orchestra
- Boston, MA
Thomas Wilkins, the BSO's Germeshausen Youth and Family Concerts Conductor, makes his subscription series debut with this concert, which features music of three African-American composers along with the Puerto Rico-born Robert Sierra. Sierra wrote his Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra for eminent jazz saxophonist James Carter, including opportunities for improvisation within his dynamic and soulful score. Also in the jazz spectrum is Duke Ellington's lush, impressionistic tone poem A Tone Parallel to Harlem. Florence Price graduated from Boston's New England Conservatory in 1906 as a pianist and organist; she also studied composition there. She wrote her Third Symphony in 1940 on a commission from the WPA; Thomas Wilkins has arranged sections of the four-movement work into a tone poem he calls "Symphonic Reflections." The brash, optimistic concert-opener An American Port of Call was written in 1985 for the Virginia Symphony Orchestra by Adolphus Hailstork, inspired by his bustling home city of Norfolk, VA, where he is a professor at Old Dominion University.