The "Blacknificient 7" Take Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Montgomery and the Blacknificient 7
The opening of the 2023/24 CSO MusicNOW season illuminates works by a dynamic collective of Black composers, the Blacknificent 7. Highlights include a world premiere of a new work by Jasmine Barnes, Damien Geter’s Annunciation — featuring Chicago favorite Russell Thomas, “a voice that marries Wagnerian stamina and Italianate beauty” (Wall Street Journal) — and Dave Ragland’s Eight Tones for Elijah, a loving tribute to young violinist Elijah McClain, who was killed by the police on his walk home. Nimble and accomplished improvisers, CSO Mead Composer-in-Residence Jessie Montgomery and Carlos Simon perform of-the-moment interludes, woven between each piece on the program.
Curated by Mead Composer-in-Residence Jessie Montgomery.
SHE WHO DARED, a history making opera.
“She Who Dared” is about the women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, one of the longest and most successful boycotts in America’s history. You might know Rosa Parks, but the community who sparked these boycotts and desegregated the bus system displayed a team effort largely lead by Black Women. This story bring the women of the Browder V. Gayle court case to the spotlight of history. This opera that’s a first of its kind. The cast consists of 7 black women and the creative team , myself Jasmine Arielle Barnes and Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton are black women. Upon researching, there haven’t been any mainstage operas written by two black women. Recently, Deborah and I visited Montgomery to further our research for the opera. Stay tuned for our presentation of our historic visit and also, please consider donating to our fundraiser for the workshops of this opera. We held our Piano Vocal Workshop in May 2023 and look forward to our Orchestral Workshop in August 2024.
Opera Theater of Saint Louis
New Works Collective
The three teams are made up of composer Jasmine Barnes and librettist Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton, composer J.E. Hernández and librettist Marianna Mott Newirth, and composer Ronald Maurice and librettist J. Mae Barizo. They will work closely with stage director Kimille Howard throughout the development process, collaborating with OTSL’s artistic leadership and staff to develop and workshop their 20-minute operas. All three pieces will then be performed as one suite of works in early March 2024.
The first work of the 2024 New Works Collective is On My Mind by composer Jasmine Barnes and librettist Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton. On My Mind tells the story of Lyric and Melodee, who meet at a conference as the only Black people there. Their hilarious blooming friendship makes space for them to be vulnerable and connect more deeply, defying the stereotype that every Black woman must be strong, and instead build an indelible bond of sisterhood.
Apollo Chamber Players
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17 | 7:00PM @HOLOCAUST MUSEUM HOUSTON
Apollo collaborates with two Houston Poet Laureate Emeriti for a genre-fusing musical conversation about peace, poetry and Revisionism as a means to Black censorship. Program features a new commission by award-winning poet, activist and educator Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton and Emmy-winning composer Jasmine Barnes, with vocal guests from Houston Ebony Opera Guild.
NY Philharmonic, Julliard Pre-College,
and American Composer's Forum
Inaugural Composing Inclusion Composer Commissions Announced Partnership between The Juilliard School’s Preparatory Division, New York Philharmonic, and American Composers Forum, with Funding from Sphinx Venture Fund Side-by-side Premieres by the New York Philharmonic and Juilliard’s Preparatory Division students in Spring 2023, 2024 NEW YORK––Nine composers have been selected for Composing Inclusion, a new partnership between The Juilliard School’s Preparatory Division, the New York Philharmonic and American Composers Forum, and made possible with a $100,000 Sphinx Venture Fund grant. Composers Jasmine Barnes, Nicolas Lell Benavides, Jordyn Davis, James Díaz, Thomas Flippin, Lauren McCall, Patricia Martinez, Andrés Soto, and Elijah J. Thomas will develop new works for orchestra or chamber ensembles over the course of a year through four workshops and rehearsals that engage multiple generations and members of the New York musical community. Trevor Weston, composer and Juilliard Preparatory Division faculty, serves as advisor to the project’s partners and composers.
More Announcements to come!
Barnes has quite the upcoming schedule for 2024. Stay Tuned for more information.