Michael Christie and New West Symphony present America the Melting Pot - Virtual Festival June 24-27
Michael Christie, Artistic & Music Director With Guest Artists Lara Downes, Ashley Faatoalia, Xavier Foley, and Eunice Kim Sunday, June 27, 2021 at 3pm PT – Symphony Concert With Additional Cultural Festival Events June 24 and 26 Season and Concert Passports Available Here: www.newwestsymphony.org/2020-21-virtual-season/america-the-melting-pot
“[New West Symphony is] embracing the mission of refreshing the modern concert experience for a new generation” – Los Angeles Times
New West Symphony (NWS), with Grammy-winning conductor Michael Christie as Artistic and Music Director, continues its 2020-21 groundbreaking and reimagined season of “Global Sounds, Local Cultures” with America the Melting Pot. This virtual festival, running June 24-27, embraces New West Symphony’s belief that the arts have a critical role to play in capturing the most important stories of our times, expressing the lived experiences of all members of our society, and ultimately leading the way toward a more equitable, inclusive, and just world for all. America the Melting Pot culminates with a feature symphony concert program, streaming on Sunday, June 27 at 3pm PT, that promotes unity through music by presenting the works of Eubie Blake, Margaret Bonds, Valerie Coleman, Duke Ellington, Florence Price, Hazel Scott, William Grant Still, as well as featured guest artist, composer and double bass virtuoso, Xavier Foley. Additional guest artists for this performance include pianist and NPR series host Lara Downes, tenor Ashley Faatoalia, and violinist Eunice Kim. Season and Concert Passports are available here: www.newwestsymphony.org/2020-21-virtual-season/america-the-melting-pot. Along with the symphony concert, Season and Concert Passport holders can enjoy access to companion cultural festival programs for further immersion into the music, the artistry, and the culture that inspired the concert, curated by Michael Christie. These events will take place on Thursday, June 24 at 6pm PT – a Pre-Concert Talk from UCLA Senior Lecturer, David Ravetch, who explores the music presented in the America the Melting Pot concert in an informative, audience-friendly format; Saturday, June 26 at 7pm PT – during Meet the Artists, New West Symphony continues to explore Southern California’s heritage with an emphasis on the indelible imprint of those at the forefront of the Harlem and Chicago Renaissance and Civil Rights Movement. This segment includes demonstrations of instruments, and discussions about history, arts and music as well as biography, performance and insight into the artist’s process and talent, with Xavier Foley, Lara Downes, Ashley Faatoalia, and Eunice Kim. Of this festival’s programming, Michael Christie says, “It has been a remarkable year celebrating the musical heritage of cultures around the world, looking out, as we’ve had to experience this time sheltering in place. We’ve learned about regional differences, how poetry, dance, the sacred and the profane have influenced western classical music and vice versa. Now we continue our journey with aspects of our own American heritage. We do so at a time of necessary but intense social and political reckoning. The compositional and performing ‘voices’ we celebrate are geniuses whose legacies are coming into a fuller bloom, such as Florence Price, Duke Ellington, Eubie Blake or William Grant Still - and voices of today such as Xavier Foley, Valerie Coleman and Lara Downes. I am proud and grateful that New West Symphony has dedicated this year of challenge and change to diverse voices. The cultures we’ve featured often originate in faraway lands but have a profound connection to our Southern California community.” Christie will be available to answer questions in the live chat during each program. In addition to each initial live-streamed event, all programs (except the pre-concert talk) will be available on-demand to passport holders shortly after the initial broadcast ends. Program Information: America the Melting Pot – Symphony Concert and Cultural Festival Premieres Sunday, June 27, 2021 at 3pm PT Michael Christie, Conductor The Glywn and Ruth Chase Music Director Valerie Coleman | Umoja Florence Price | from Piano Concerto in One Movement Hazel Scott | Peace of Mind William Grant Still | Mother and Child for Strings Margaret Bonds | He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (arr. Rabson) | Echoes of Harlem Eubie Blake (arr. Arroyo) | Love Will Find a Way Xavier Foley | For Justice and Peace Foley | Cranberry Juice Ellington (arr. Rabson) | I’m Just a Lucky So and So Guest Artists: Xavier Foley, composer, double bass Eunice Kim, violin Lara Downes, piano Ashley Faatoalia, tenor Additional Cultural Programs Included with a Concert Passport: Pre-Concert Talk with David Ravetch Presented Thursday, June 24, 2021 at 6pm PT (not available on-demand) The New West Symphony’s pre-concert talk features UCLA Senior Lecturer, David Ravetch, who explores the music presented in the “America the Melting Pot” concert in an informative, audience-friendly format. Meet the Artists Premieres Saturday, June 26, 2021 at 7pm PT The America the Melting Pot edition of New West Symphony’s “Global Sounds, Local Cultures” season includes Meet the Artists, as NWS continues to explore Southern California’s heritage with an emphasis on the indelible imprint of those at the forefront of the Harlem and Chicago Renaissance and Civil Rights Movement. This segment includes demonstrations of instruments, and discussions about history, arts and music as well as biography, performance and insight into the artist’s process and talent. Featured soloists include composer and double bass virtuoso, Xavier Foley, as well as pianist and NPR series host, Lara Downes, tenor Ashley Faatoalia, and violinist Eunice Kim. New West Symphony Upcoming Festivals Program details will be released four weeks prior to the streaming dates. A Tour of South Korea Summer 2021 – dates TBD Community partners and advisors who have collaborated with New West Symphony on the development on the 2020-21 season include Ronald Reagan Presidential Library; Hirokazu Kosaka, Japanese American Cultural Community Center; Composer Reena Esmail; and Mark Kligman and Supeena Adler from UCLA’s Department of Ethnomusicology. Season sponsors are Home Helpers Home Care, Karen and Dr. Paul Finkel, Susan Burgos, and Fern & Dr. Arnold Heyman. New West Symphony has received grants to support this season from the Colburn Foundation, California Arts Council, Edison Foundation, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, Neiman Marcus Foundation, TOArts, City of Thousand Oaks, Westlake Women’s Club, Meadowlark Service League, City of Agoura Hills, Bank of America Foundation, and others. About New West Symphony: Now in its 26th season, the New West Symphony draws its players from the rich talent pool of accomplished Los Angeles-area musicians. Its mission is to inspire passion for symphonic music through live performances and education initiatives that engage and enrich its diverse audiences. For more information, visit www.newwestsymphony.org or connect on Facebook and Instagram. About Michael Christie: Grammy award-winning conductor Michael Christie is a thoughtfully innovative conductor, equally at home in the symphonic and opera worlds, who is focused on making the audience experience at his performances entertaining, enlightening, and enriching. The New York Times reports, “Michael Christie is a director open to adventure and challenge,” and the Cincinnati Enquirer declares, “If Michael Christie represents the future of music in this country, the future looks promising indeed.” For more information, visit www.michaelchristieonline.com.