There are thousands of prodigiously talented classical musicians, composers and vocalists of African descent throughout the world. Yet, very few of them are known in the U.S., and consequently their opportunities to perform on the concert stages of major American orchestras are rare. The Colour of Music Festival, which takes place Wednesday, Oct. 21 through Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015, at various venues throughout historic Charleston, is endeavoring to reverse that.
Now celebrating its third edition, this festival offers a musical kaleidoscope highlighting the impact and historical significance of black classical composers and performers on American and world culture. Though most of the performances, symposiums and recitals will take place at Charleston’s recently reopened Gaillard Center, two adjunct events will be staged on the College’s campus:
First, on on Thursday, Oct. 22, Russian classical pianist Gerard Aimontche will be interviewed by Russian studies professor Irina Erman and music professor Michael O’Brien from the College in a public conversation entitled “From Russia with Love.” This event, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled to take place in Arnold Hall in the Jewish Studies Center (52 Wentworth St.) at 5 p.m. The following day, Aimontche will perform works by Hailstork, Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky at the Gaillard Center as part of the Colour of Music Festival.
On Thursday, Oct. 22, “A Conversation between Carolina Friends” will take place at the Avery Research Center (125 Bull St.) at 6 p.m. Carrying the subtitle “About life, faith, hope, friendship, growing up in Carolina, show business, ‘permission’ and much more,” this will be a dialogue between director, writer and film producer Charles Randolph-Wright and Pauletta Washington, who is a well known actress, musician and humanitarian. The event is free and open to the public. Washington will be offering a PerFORUM (part concert, part question and answer session) the following day at the Gillaird Center as part of the festival.
Watch a video below of classical pianist Gerard Aimontche performing Beethoven at the Cleveland International Piano Competition.