Grant Still

At the Ernest Read Symphony Orchestra we are committed to programming more music composed by female and BAME composers and we’re excited to be performing Grant Still’s Threnody in Memory of Jan Sibelius in our forthcoming concert.

Assistant conductor Olivia Tait tells us: “Grant Still was born in 1895 in Mississippi and grew up in Arkansas. He is primarily known for his first symphony ‘Afro-American Symphony’ which was the first time a complete score by an African-American composer was performed by a major orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic, and this went on to be widely performed. During the 1960’s, when the Threnody was written, Still’s music was being performed internationally by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony orchestra and the Tokyo Philharmonic orchestra. The Threnody in Memory of Jan Sibelius was written in 1965 to mark the centennial of Sibelius’s birth. Still’s Threnody is full of singing lament lines, and the occasional ‘bluesy’ harmonic language reflects his earlier music from the 1920’s which draws explicitly upon the tradition of the African-American spirituals.”

Find out more at: Classic FM

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