Friday, October 9, 2020, at 10AM
Series Available at laphil.com/soundstage
The Los Angeles Philharmonic returns to Power to the People! in the third episode of its SOUND/STAGE media project of concert films, Friday, October 9, at 10am. The LA Phil’s Power to the People! festival, curated by Creative Chair for Jazz Herbie Hancock, was cut short earlier this year by COVID-19. Because the issues explored by the festival remain pervasive, the LA Phil chose to revisit its themes and take the opportunity amplify the voices of Black artists.
The concert program opens with Jessie Montgomery’s Banner, performed by the LA Phil and led by Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel. The piece was commissioned by the Sphinx Organization as a tribute for the 200th anniversary of the American national anthem. The composer noted that, in her piece, she made an attempt to answer the question: “What does an anthem for the 21st century sound like in today’s multi-cultural environment?” Montgomery talks further about her complex relationship with the national anthem in an online conversation with Dudamel, also featured on the SOUND/STAGE microsite.
Following Banner, the concert continues with William Grant Still’s “Sorrow” from his Symphony No. 1, “Afro-American.” In 1931, Afro-American became the first symphony by a Black composer performed by a major U.S. orchestra, and Still conducted the piece at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1936. The version of the second movement heard in SOUND/STAGE makes use of a smaller-than-usual ensemble with orchestration approved by Still’s daughter, Judith Anne Still.
The concert closes with powerhouse singer-songwriter Andra Day in a performance of one of the unofficial anthems of the Black Lives Matter movement, “Rise Up.”
In addition to Montgomery’s conversation with Dudamel, the SOUND/STAGE microsite includes a guest essay by The Autry Museum’s Associate Curator of Western History, Tyree-Boyd Pates, entitled “Artists as Activists.” Boyd-Pates served as the Humanities Curator for the Power to the People! festival, and the essay was originally scheduled for publication in March 2020. Also featured are mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, who was in the first SOUND/STAGE episode, in a performance of songs by pioneering African American composer Florence Price. Additionally, East Los Angeles band Las Cafeteras, who believe in using their music as a tool for creating positive change and serving as role models, provided an exclusive set for SOUND/STAGE that was recorded while participating in The Ford’s Solidarity for Sanctuary digital festival.
All SOUND/STAGE performances were filmed outdoors at the Hollywood Bowl under strict adherence to public health guidelines, with all performers maintaining social distance.
Power to the People!
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
Andra Day, vocalist
Jessie MONTGOMERY Banner
STILL “Sorrow” from Symphony No. 1, “Afro-American”
“Rise Up” performed by Andra Day
Includes an interview with Jessie Montgomery, a performance of Florence Price songs by J’Nai Bridges, an essay and playlist from Tyree Boyd-Pates, and an exclusive performance from Las Cafeteras recorded during The Ford’s Solidarity for Sanctuary digital festival.
Additional programming information for upcoming episodes will be announced.
WHEN: October 9, 2020, at 10AM
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