Black Composer Showcase: Chicago Connections
June 24, 2021
“Chicago Connections,” the first video in the Bienen School's Black Composer Showcase series, focuses on two female African American composers with ties to Chicago: Northwestern alumna Margaret Bonds ’33, ’34 MMus and her mentor Florence Price. Louise Toppin, professor of voice at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, provides historical background on these two groundbreaking artists between performances by Bienen voice and opera students.
(00:39) “Hold Fast to Dreams” from Five Art Songs (music by Florence Price; text by Langston Hughes)
Sarah Zieba, mezzo-soprano
(05:09) “Song to the Dark Virgin” (music by Florence Price; text by Langston Hughes)
Nicholas Lin, tenor
(12:01) “Minstrel Man” from Three Dream Portraits (music by Margaret Bonds; text by Langston Hughes)
Miya Simpson Higashiyama, mezzo-soprano
(20:55) “Poème d’Automne” from Songs of the Seasons (music by Margaret Bonds; text by Langston Hughes)
Kasey Nahlovsky, baritone
(26:45) "Summer Storm" from Songs of the Seasons (music by Margaret Bonds; text by Langston Hughes)
Helaine Liebman, soprano
Laurann Gilley and Alan Darling, piano
About the Black Composer Showcase Series
The three-part Black Composer Showcase series features performances by Bienen School voice and instrumental students, as well as scholarly background information on the works and composers provided by faculty and student musicologists and guest presenters. The goals of this series are to broaden the repertoires performed and studied at the Bienen School, inspire collaboration among music studies and performance students, and educate the Bienen School and broader communities about composers of color and their important contributions to classical music.