Classical music is boring and out of touch with the present.
Yeah, right. This Saturday at 8 p.m. the PSO presents a very unique concert called "A Tribute to African American Heroes" and it will be anything but boring and out of touch.
The performance features some outstanding music and readings from the works of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Michael Harper. Included among the "heroes" of the title are three legendary African American baseball players: Josh Gibson, Hank Aaron, and Jackie Robinson, and a highlight of this portion of the concert is the world premiere of a new piece by living composer Richard Danielpour entitled "Pastime". Danielpour has a special connection to baseball – here’s a photo of a young Richard as a bat-boy sitting next to Hank Aaron in Atlanta:
"Pastime" is co-comissioned by the August Wilson Center for African American Culture and the Pittsburgh Symphony (along with the Atlanta Symphony and Brooklyn Philharmonic). It’s not too often you get to hear a piece of music with the composer sitting in the audience. And if you want some more insights, there will be a preconcert talk by historical interpreter Scott Nunnally at 7 pm, and following the concert, there will be a free Q&A session with conductor Daniel Meyer, composer Richard Danielpour and vocalist Nmon Ford (if you attended our performance of "Carmina burana" last year, you heard Nmon Ford singing the baritone part).
The programming for this concert is uplifting, with moments that will make you think, and others that should make you smile. You can see the complete listing here: http://www.pittsburghsymphony.org/pghsymph.nsf/concert+listings/35255F58CE20DC978525723C0073D2DB?opendocument
Thought-provoking, fun, emotional, and inspirational. I think there’s relevance in that.