The HSO Reschedules From the New World for Thursday, May 26

The HSO Reschedules From the New World for Thursday, May 26

Hartford, CT (March 15, 2022) – The Hartford Symphony Orchestra is excited to announce that From the New World Masterworks series concert will be performed on Thursday, May 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Mortensen Hall, at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. This concert will feature guest conductor, Jeri Lynne Johnson and guest pianist Michelle Cann. Visit hartfordsymphony.org for tickets and information.

This concert program was originally scheduled for January 2022 and designed as a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s enduring legacy.  The program features works by Harry T. Burleigh, Florence Price, and Antonin Dvorák.

As a Black composer and a life-long champion of Black musicians and artists, Burleigh is the link to the music of Price and Dvorák. While a student at the National Conservatory of Music in New York, Burleigh worked in the maintenance department, and would often sing spirituals he learned from his grandfather in the halls during his shifts. At that time, Dvorák was the director of the Conservatory, and would listen to these spirituals, ultimately influencing his own compositions. Years later, through his work as a music editor, Burleigh’s words encouraged and supported Florence Price in her determination to become a composer.

“The Artistic Leadership team worked tirelessly with our guest artists and our partners at the Bushnell to reschedule this concert without having to change the programming,” said Steve Collins, President and CEO of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.  “This is a wonderful opportunity to welcome our masterworks audience to Mortensen Hall and engage the Greater Hartford community in celebration of the remarkable life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a concert program too important to cancel,” he continued.

“This concert celebrates music and artists I have long admired and loved. Piano Concerto in One Movement is composed by Florence Price, who, in 1933, became the first Black woman to have her music performed by a major orchestra. Dvorák’s love of spirituals can be heard in his music, especially in the Largo movement of his Symphony No.9, which inspired the beautiful popular song, ‘Goin’ Home.’”- Carolyn Kuan

Ticket holders who had purchased tickets to the original concert in January have been re-seated in Mortensen Hall and will receive new tickets in the mail. Patrons unable to attend the new date will have the option to exchange their tickets for another concert, donate their tickets, or request a refund.

We would like to thank our concert sponsor, the Saunders Fund for Innovative Programming, for their continued support. The 2021-2022 Masterworks Series is sponsored by the Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation and the Elizabeth M. and Harriette M. Landon Foundation.

Calendar Listing
Masterworks Series
From the New World
Thursday, May 26, 7:30pm
Mortensen Hall at The Bushnell
Tickets starting at $35; $10.00 for students with ID

Jeri Lynne Johnson conductor
Michelle Cann piano

Dvorák Slavonic Dances, Op. 46, No. 1 (C Major) & No. 8 (A-flat Major)
Burleigh Traditional Spirituals
Price Concerto in One Movement for Piano
Dvorák Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From the New World”


About Jeri Lynne Johnson

Jeri Lynne Johnson is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra. She founded Black Pearl in Philadelphia, PA as a model for the 21st-century American orchestras combining artistic excellence with cultural diversity and meaningful community engagement.  Black Pearl has been recognized nationally and internationally as an award-winning leading innovator in social justice and racial equity.  Based upon her work with Black Pearl, Ms. Johnson established DEI Arts Consulting in 2015 as a vehicle to offer strategic and creative solutions for cultural institutions seeking to create a culture of belonging.

In 2005 she made history as the first Black woman to win an international conducting prize when she was awarded the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship.  Ms. Johnson has broken barriers in Europe and the US as the first African-American woman on the podium for many orchestras and has conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, the Bournemouth Symphony (UK), the Weimar Staatskapelle (Germany) among others.


About Michelle Cann

Pianist Michelle Cann made her orchestral debut at age fourteen and has since performed as a soloist with numerous ensembles including The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, and the New Jersey Orchestra.

A champion of the music of Florence Price, Ms. Cann performed the New York City premiere of the composer’s Concerto in One Movement with The Dream Unfinished Orchestra in July 2016 and the Philadelphia premiere with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin in February 2021, which the Philadelphia Inquirer called “exquisite.” She has also performed Price’s works for solo piano and chamber ensemble for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Detroit, and the New World Symphony, among other presenters.

Highlights of her Summer 2021 activities include a repeat performance with The Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, an appearance with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, and a role on the jury of the Cleveland International Piano Competition.

Ms. Cann regularly appears in recital and as a chamber musician throughout the U.S., China, and South Korea. Notable venues include the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.; and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Barbican in London with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Ms. Cann regularly performs duo recitals with her sister, pianist Kimberly Cann; together their “sheer verve and evident passion is something to behold” (Mountain Xpress).

Ms. Cann has appeared as cohost and collaborative pianist with NPR’s From The Top, collaborating with actor/conductor Damon Gupton, violinist Leila Josefowicz, and violinist and MacArthur Fellow Vijay Gupta. She has also been featured on WRTI-FM and WHYY-TV in Philadelphia. Her summer festival appearances have included the Taos Chamber Music Festival, Yellow Barn, Perlman Music Program, Music Academy of the West, Geneva Music Festival, and Pianofest in the Hamptons, where she serves as artist in residence.

Ms. Cann has won top prizes in state, national, and international competitions including the International Russian Music Piano Competition, the Blount Slawson Young Artists Competition, and the Wideman International Piano Competition. In 2019 she served as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s MAC Music Innovator in recognition of her role as an African-American classical musician who embodies artistry, innovation, and a commitment to education and community engagement.

Ms. Cann manifests this commitment through her activities in Philadelphia and as part of touring engagements around the globe. She has served as the director of two children’s choruses in the El Sistema-inspired program Play On Philly and was among the first class of ArtistYear fellows at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she worked with community partners City Year, Teach for America, and AmeriCorps to provide arts education and access to underserved communities in Philadelphia. In 2019 she served on the faculty of the Sphinx Performance Academy during its inaugural year at the Juilliard School.

Ms. Cann holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Paul Schenly and Dr. Daniel Shapiro, and an Artist’s Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Robert McDonald.

Ms. Cann served as a collaborative staff pianist at the Curtis Institute of Music for several years. She joined the faculty in 2020 as the inaugural Eleanor Sokoloff Chair in Piano Studies.

HSO programs are funded part by the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and with support from the Department?of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.


About the Hartford Symphony Orchestra

The mission of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra is to enrich lives and community through great music. Now in its 78th season, the HSO is Connecticut’s premier musical organization, the second largest orchestra in New England, and widely recognized as one of America’s leading regional orchestras. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra named Carolyn Kuan as its tenth music director in January 2011; she is the first woman and youngest person to hold this title. The HSO captivates and inspires audiences of all ages by presenting more than 100 concerts annually, including the Masterworks Series, POPS! concerts, Sunday Serenades, HSO: Intermix Series, Discovery Concerts, Symphony in Schools, the Talcott Mountain Music Festival, and more.  The HSO aims to deliver uniquely powerful and emotional experiences that lift and transform the spirit, and to give back and help create vibrant communities in the Greater Hartford area.

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