From our NEMPAC family to yours, we wish you the happiest New Year filled with contentment, joy, and plenty of music of course! 

As we greet both the New Year and a new decade, it’s a wonderful time to think about how we’d like 2020 to take shape. This year, we find ourselves seeking less busyness and stress and more community and connection. After talking with friends and neighbors, we know so many others feel the same. 

One of the ways we build community at NEMPAC is through our professional performing arts center. From the Opera Project at Faneuil Hall to Jazz in the Park at Greenway North End Park, our programming brings the greater-Boston community together through music and performing arts.

We invite you and yours to kick off the New Year in community with friends and neighbors by joining us at the next performance in our 2019/2020 season. On Friday, January 10, we’ll present ‘Seeking Sanctuary’: A Viola and Piano Chamber Recital Celebrating Black Artistry Through Music, the second installment in our winter concert series, at North Bennet Street School. 

This intimate chamber concert will feature two musical powerhouses, former NEMPAC faculty member and violist Ashleigh Gordon and pianist Joy Cline Phinney. In addition to their masterful technique and musical acuity, these lauded artists bring grace, finesse, and poise to each and every performance. 

“Ashleigh is the co-founder and Artistic/Executive Director of Castle of our Skins, an organization in Boston that celebrates black artistry through classical music, said Christina Wright-Ivanova, artistic director of the winter concert series. “Through this organization, she has highlighted and promoted lesser-known black composers as well as continued the legacy of well-known black artists and composers. Boston-based pianist Joy Cline Phinney has studied piano with some of the top piano pedagogues in the world and currently serves as Assistant Director of the Arts Program at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies. Both artists have several professional recordings on top labels and have performed both nationally and internationally in world-acclaimed venues.”

The concert will pay tribute to the profound impact African American composers and performers have had on the genre of classical music. Also, the concert will spotlight black artistry and explore civil rights, immigration, and social justice. 

Throughout the evening, patrons will hear legendary works from the following composers:

  • Florence Price
  • Margaret Bonds
  • Adolphus Hailstork
  • Anthony R. Green 
  • George Theophilus Walker 

Dr. Wright-Ivanova said, “The music heard during this concert will show great ranges of emotion, technical skill and virtuosity, depth of range and experience from both the composers and the performers, and extremes of passion and romance combined with melancholy, nostalgia, and thoughtfulness. Audiences will be able to make parallels, as well as distinctions, between the music featured this evening and other Romantic and post-Romantic works they may already be familiar with. As well as enjoying this aesthetically-beautiful and complex musical literature, this evening will also intellectually provoke the audience to think about the place this incredibly powerful music has in the canon of today’s literature and to learn more about these important voices of twentieth century classical music.”

North Bennet Street School will serve as a fitting venue for this audience education to take place. For those who don’t know, North Bennet Street School is one of our cherished community partners that offers violin making and piano maintenance, repair, and technology services to artists of all ages and abilities enrolled in our music school. We’re grateful to North Bennet Street School for providing a nontraditional performance venue for this chamber concert that shares close proximity to the North End and surrounding neighborhoods. 

The New Year and a new decade are here. Start 2020 in community with friends and neighbors by joining us at ‘Seeking Sanctuary.’ We can’t wait to (re)connect and share this exquisite chamber concert with you and your loved ones. 

Purchase your tickets to ‘Seeking Sanctuary’: A Viola and Piano Chamber Recital Celebrating Black Artistry Through Music today!