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The Harlem Chamber Players Poised to Release Debut Commercial Digital Album Celebrating the Musical Compositions of Adolphus Hailstork

Posted November 28, 2022

 Liz Player, Founding Executive and Artistic Director of The Harlem Chamber Players, is pleased to announce the anticipated release of its first-ever commercial digital album on Saturday, December 10th. The Harlem Chamber Players Perform The Music of Adolphus Hailstork contains compositions by renowned Black composer Adolphus Hailstork. The collection of three chamber music works will be celebrated the same evening with a live performance of one of his works, Nobody Know, at Harlem School of the Arts (645 St. Nicholas Avenue) on Saturday, December 10th at 4:00 PM. The digital album, priced at $10.00, will be available for download at https://www.harlemchamberplayers.org/album. Tickets for the performance highlighting the first piece on the new album are available at no charge.  George Walker’s String Quartet No. 1 and Frederick Tillis’ Spiritual Fantasy No. 12 are also on the program. Registration is required due to limited seating at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/music-by-walker-hailstork-tillis-tickets-455059654677?aff=ebdssbdestsearch.

 

Produced by Liz Player, The Harlem Chamber Players recently received accolades from critics and audiences alike for the rarely performed R. Nathaniel Detts’ oratorio The Ordering of Moses and played to a sold-out house as part of The Harlem Renaissance 100.  

After four years of championing the music of Adolphus Hailstork, The Harlem Chamber Players will release this debut commercial digital recording, consisting of three of the composer’s powerful chamber works. Led by Player, the ethnically diverse collective of professional, classically trained musicians has both commissioned and premiered new works by the award-winning composer in recent years, including the first work on the album, Nobody Know. Written to commemorate 1619, the arrival of the first enslaved black people in America, the piece received its world premiere as part of the 11th Annual Black History Month Celebration at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in February of 2019.

 

“Dr. Adolphus Hailstork is a brilliant composer and his music should be as much a part of the regular canon of American ‘music’ as much as of Copland and Barber are,” states Player. “It’s long overdue that this great composer gets recognized for his achievements.”

Two additional sweeping works by Hailstork complete the premiere recording. Piano Quintet (“Detroit”) is homage to the namesake city in which the composer received many important artistic opportunities in the early stages of his career, including the commissioning of his second symphony by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The final piece on the album The Songs of the Magi is an early work by Hailstork for an oboe and a string quartet.

Recorded by M.P. Kuo at Big Orange Sheep in Brooklyn, and produced by Carl Jackson, the recording features numerous members of The Harlem Chamber Players. For Nobody Know, Ashley Horne (violin), Claire Chan (violin), Will Frampton (viola), Wayne Smith (cello), and Kenneth Overton (baritone); for Piano Quintet (“Detroit”), Ashley Horne (violin), Claire Chan (violin), Will Frampton (viola), Wayne Smith (cello), and David Berry (piano); and for Songs of the Magi, Ashley Horne (violin), Claire Chan (violin), Amadi Azikiwe (viola), Wayne Smith (cello), and Hassan Anderson (oboe).


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