November 19-December 19: American Promise

American Promise

Video streams begin at noon Eastern Time.
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Videos in This Series:


Ken-David Masur

Performance Details
Introduction by Ken-David Masur
Ken-David Masur, conductor
IVES The Unanswered Question

Feature: “The Only Light”

DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 9 New World

Feature: “Florence Price and the Legacy of Dvořák”

Chamber Music Performance
MEMBERS OF THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Xin Ding, violin I
Catherine French, violin II
Daniel Getz, viola
Mickey Katz, cello

Florence PRICE String Quartet in G

Download the full Program Notes (PDF)

Dvořák, Ives, and Florence Price

November  19, 12PM - December 19

The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2020-2021 season, “Music in Changing Times,” reflects on both the challenges and the hope that define this era of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. This concert, introduced by former BSO Associate Conductor Ken-David Masur, offers two wellsprings of American music—though one is by a Czech composer. Antonín Dvořák’s New World Symphony was the fruit of the composer’s stay in the United States in the early 1890s, and benefitted from his exposure to African American and Native American music. His example, in turn, provided a strong example for generations of African American composers in particular to use the raw materials of slave songs and spirituals in creating works for the concert hall. The celebrated Arkansas-born musician Florence Price was one composer who took up this challenge; her warm, folk-inflected String Quartet in G is a fine example of her music. Opening these programs is a piece evoking humanity’s enduring transcendental quest for meaning: Charles Ives’s The Unanswered Question. Now more than 110 years old, this innovative, exploratory work anticipated, both musically and philosophically, many of the most pressing inquiries of modern art and culture.

Two brief video features within the presentation, touching on the BSO’s history and hopes and the life of Florence Price, respectively, add further context to the program.

Available November 19 at 12PM through December 19

GO TO VIDEO: November 19, 12PM - December 19


Thomas Wilkins conducting

Performance Details
Thomas Wilkins, conductor
Aaron Diehl, piano
Charlotte Blake Alston, narrator

Jessie MONTGOMERY Starburst
ELLINGTON New World A-Coming
STILL Out of the Silence
ELLINGTON Come Sunday
STILL Finale from Symphony No. 4, Autochthonous

Boston Symphony Chamber Players
Osvaldo GOLIJOV Lullaby and Doina

Download the full Program Notes (PDF)

Jessie Montgomery, Still, Ellington and Osvaldo Golijov

November  26, 12PM - December 26

Thomas Wilkins, BSO Germeshausen Youth and Family Concerts Conductor and Artistic Advisor for Education and Community Engagement, leads the BSO in Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst; William Grant Still’s Out of the Silence and Duke Ellington’s New World A-Coming, both featuring piano soloist Aaron Diehl; Ellington’s Come Sunday with Charlotte Blake Alston as narrator, and the fourth movement from Still’s Symphony No. 4. The Boston Symphony Chamber Players perform Osvaldo Golijov’s Lullaby and Doina.

Available November 26 at 12PM through December 26

GO TO VIDEO: November 26, 12PM - December 26


Marcelo Legninger

Performance Details
Marcelo Lehninger, conductor
COPLAND Fanfare for the Common Man
Joan TOWER Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman    No. 1
BARBER Adagio for Strings
COPLAND Appalachian Spring

Featured BSO Performers
Leila ADU-GILMORE Alyssum

Copland, Joan Tower, Barber and Leila Adu-Gilmore

December  3, 12PM - January 2

Marcelo Lehninger leads the BSO in Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man and Appalachian Spring on a program with Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1 and Barber’s Adagio for Strings. Members of the BSO perform Leila Adu-Gilmore's Alyssum.

Available December 3 at 12PM through January 2

GO TO VIDEO: December 3, 12PM - January 2


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