Rediscovered Composers

February 1, 2023, 8:00 pm

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Margaret Bonds, by Carl Van Vechten [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The BBC Philharmonic, conducted by Jack Sheen, presents Margaret Bonds‘s Montgomery Variations and other music by composers from diverse backgrounds including Joseph Bologne, Ali Osman, Julia Perry, Nathaniel Dett, and Kikuko Kanai.

Composed in 1964 and dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr., Montgomery Variations is based on events and ideas in the civil-rights movement from the Montgomery Bus Boycott through the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing that killed four young Black girls in Birmingham in 1963. Throughout her life, Bonds was marginalized on the basis of gender and race; the composer heard this work performed just once in her lifetime.


Robert Nathaniel Dett: Magnolia Suite
Part II, No. 4 “Mammy”

Joseph Bologne: Symphonie concertante in B-flat, Opus 6, No. 2
Midori Sugiyuma, violin
Lisa Obert, violin

Julia Perry: Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra in Two Speeds
Kunal Lahiry, piano

Dett: The Daybreak Charioteer
Margaret Bonds: Troubled Water
Samantha Ege, piano

Ali Osman: From the South

Kikuko Kanai: Ryūkyū where the Deigo flowers blossom

Bonds: Montgomery Variations
I. Decision
II. Prayer Meeting
III. March
IV. Dawn in Dixie
V. One Sunday in the South
VI. Lament
VII. Benediction

BBC Philharmonic
Jack Sheen, conductor

Recorded live at Media City, Salford on November 4, 2022 and hosted by Linton Stephens. This concert is made available through WFMT’s association with the European Broadcasting Union.