“[Randall] Goosby plays like an angel with nothing to prove,” claims the L.A. Times. The youngest recipient ever to win the Sphinx Concerto Competition and an artist dedicated to the dynamic music of Black composers, violinist Randall Goosby joins the Festival to perform a scintillating work by Saint-Saëns and Florence Price’s sweeping Second Violin Concerto, lost to history until 2009. These showpieces are introduced by an orchestral work by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, the arresting and achingly romantic Ballade that made the young composer an overnight sensation. Christian Reif joins the Festival to lead Sibelius’ sonorous Second Symphony; Sibelius once said of its first movement, “It is as if the Almighty had thrown down the pieces of a mosaic for heaven’s floor and asked me to put them together.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, conductor Ryan Bancroft is unable to visit the Festival this summer. Christian Reif will conduct this program; all repertoire remains the same.
Location: Chautauqua Auditorium
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Randall Goosby, violin
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Ballade in A Minor for Orchestra
Florence Price, Violin Concerto No. 2
Camille Saint-Saëns, Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28
Jean Sibelius, Symphony No. 2, Op. 43
Read this concert’s program notes >
- June 2021 marked the release of Goosby’s debut album for Decca entitled Roots, a celebration of African-American music which explores its evolution from the spiritual through to present-day compositions. Collaborating with pianist Zhu Wang, Goosby has curated an album paying homage to the pioneering artists that paved the way for him and other artists of color. Listen as Goosby performs Florence Price’s “Adoration”
- “In November 1943, the composer Florence Price wrote to Serge Koussevitzky, the music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, asking him to consider performing her scores.
‘Unfortunately the work of a woman composer is preconceived by many to be light, froth, lacking in depth, logic and virility,’ she said. ‘Add to that the incident of race — I have Colored blood in my veins — and you will understand some of the difficulties that confront one in such a position.’” Read more about the fascinating Florence Price at the New York Times
- “Finns quickly appropriated [Sibelius’] Second as an emblem of national liberation; the conductor Robert Kajanus heard in it ‘the most broken-hearted protest against all the injustice that threatens at the present time,’ together with ‘confident prospects for the future.’” Read more from The New Yorker’s Alex Ross
- Ryan Bancroft is the first American conductor to be named principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales; read about his appointment
- “Every time I go to Finland, I feel I learn more bit by bit about many different Finnish musics, Sibelius included. There really is a quiet intensity about the place that is quite infectious.” Read more about conductor Ryan Bancroft’s love for Finland and Sibelius
- When Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was just beginning his career, esteemed composer Edward Elgar declared him to be “far away the cleverest of the young men” and recommended him for an orchestral commission for the 1898 Three Choirs Festival. The resulting work is the dramatic Ballade performed at these concerts, which skyrocketed Coleridge-Taylor to fame. Preview the Ballade