Nassau Music Society Outlines New Season

Thursday 11th, October 2012 / 13:19 Published by

Kenneth Law

The Nassau Music Society starts its Season at the end of October and you can find and view our programme on our website. However along with our regular programme we have something special for you this Season. We have invited an orchestra “Ensemble Du Monde” from Washington, DC to come to Nassau to play for you. What is particularly special about this orchestra is that it will play music written by composers from the Caribbean.

These special composers come from various islands and perhaps the most famous is Joseph Bologne from Guadeloupe who became known as Saint-Georges “the Black Mozart” He lived in the 18th Century, possibly met Mozart and was fortunate enough to be sent to France where he was favoured by Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI and was able to write a lot of music some of which will be played by the orchestra in February. As it happens he was also a very accomplished fencer and considered one of the best in Europe during his life. He was also a hero of the French Revolution and he certainly was a big influence on classical music.

Dominique Le Gendre

The orchestra will also play music by Still and Coleridge-Taylor who are well respected Caribbean composers and by Dominique Le Gendre who will be in Nassau with the Orchestra and some new works composed by her will be introduced by the Orchestra. This will take place during the week of February 20-24.

The Orchestra as the name suggests is international although based in Washington DC and the majority of the members are Afro-American with the remainder from all over the world, Japan, India, Spain and Moldavia to name a few places. They come together a few times a year and in particular to perform at the Saint-Georges International Festival in Guadeloupe which has been been a prominent music Festival in the Caribbean for a number of years. The aim is to do something similar in Nassau. The Music Director of the Ensemble Du Monde is Marlon Daniel, one of the foremost exponents of music by African and African-American composers.

Marlon Daniel

The orchestra will play four concerts either as the full orchestra or as a quintet during the four days they are in Nassau – Marlon and Dominique Le Gendre will also participate in a Community Forum in the library at the College of the Bahamas and give a pre-concert lecture on Caribbean composers before the final concert on the Saturday night.

One concert will be reserved exclusively for children and the orchestra will also hold an open rehearsal prior to the children’s concert. We hope that by bringing the orchestra and having them play Caribbean composers music we can demonstrate to the youth in Nassau and hopefully from some of the other Family Islands that some of their forbearers were excellent composers and deserve a place in the highest annals of classical music. Classical music did not all originate in Europe, Saint-George himself is a tribute to that.

The orchestra will be based at Atlantis who have generously arranged for them to be accommodated. One of the concerts will be held at Atlantis and open to the public.

We are preceding the main event with a concert by the Three-C’s and the Highgrove Singers on the Wednesday 20th February who will introduce the Caribbean composers from a local perspective. We are very pleased that they have agreed to perform for us. Therefore we hope you will join us at all the February concerts and perhaps volunteer to help with the organisation as this event requires a lot of organising and also dare I mention funding. Please contact us at admin@nassaumusicsociety.org if interested. We will be sending out details shortly of the programmes (each concert has a different programme), venues and times but keep February 20-24 marked in your diaries.

Phillipe Loli and Leopold Giannola

For the rest of the Season we have a nice well balanced programme although slightly slanted towards France. In October we host two guitarists – guitar seems to be very popular in the Bahamas – Phillipe Loli and Leopold Giannola will entertain with a programme of guitar music from Spain and France.

Cyril Huve

They are followed at the end of November, beginning December by Cyril Huvé, a pianist from France who is partially sponsored by the Alliance Francaise here in Nassau.

Cyril Huvé is a big name in classical piano and won the 2010 French Victoires de la Musique for classical recording. He is playing a programme consisting of music by French composers.

Christine Gangelhoff

January we welcome Kenneth Law (cello) and Christy Lee (piano) from the College of the Bahamas who have played together in Freeport in the past and whose programme, by coincidence, has a French content as Christy was recently in Paris!!

February is reserved for the Ensemble Du Monde and finally in March we feature Andrea Stern on harp – it is a long time since we had a harpist in the Bahamas – playing with Christine Gangelhoff also from the College of the Bahamas on flute. However we have one more and that is a Members Evening in May where we feature young musicians from Nassau.

Andrea Stern

We thank His Excellency Sir Arthur Foulkes, Governor General, for continuing to be our patron this Season. Our major corporate sponsors, Dominique Lefevre of Societe Generale, Yves Lourdin of Pictet Bank and Trust, Emmanuel Alexiou of Colina and RoyalStar Assurance, join me, Patrick Thomson, President of the Nassau Music Society and the Committee in hoping you have, our Members and the public, a great season of music and many enjoyable evenings. As always we hope to make every Season the best!!

Patrick Thomson, Nassau Music Society

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