Chineke! at 2021 Proms

February 8, 2022, 8:00 pm

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Pianist Jeneba Kanneh-Mason, conductor Kalena Bovell, and the Chineke! Orchestra perform at the BBC Proms (Photo: Mark Allan)

The Chineke! Orchestra returns for its fourth visit to the Proms, celebrating diversity in composers as well as performers. Black British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s overture to his popular cantata based on the tale of a Native American leader quotes the spiritual “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.” There are further meetings of African and European musical styles in Nigerian composer Fela Sowande’s African Suite and the piano concerto by Florence Price, the first female African-American composer to win renown in America. By contrast, Coleridge-Taylor’s Symphony, written as a 20-year-old student of Stanford at London’s Royal College of Music, reveals the influence of his hero, Dvořák.

Pianist Jeneba Kanneh-Mason is the soloist, and Kalena Bovell is the conductor.