On Friday, 9 May 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at Carnegie Hall, James Conlon conducted the May Festival Chorus and Cincinnati Symphony in the fourth and final instalment of the Spring for Music festival. Keeping with the festival’s concept of presenting uncommon works, the program features two 20th-Century American choral works including John Adams’ Harmonium and Robert Nathaniel Dett’s The Ordering of Moses, an oratorio that received its world premiere at the 1937 Cincinnati May Festival – then also performed by the May Festival Chorus and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. James Conlon celebrates his 35th year as Music Director of the Cincinnati May Festival in 2014.
James discussed the Carnegie Hall program in his recent interview with Tavis Smiley on PBS [Season 11, Episode 89] where he highlighted how this piece fits his work of Recovered Voices, http://www.jamesconlon.com/media/video_detail/recovered_voices_operas_suppressed_by_the_nazis. The concert brought clips at the beginning from the original 1937 national broadcast, along with the original interruption that abruptly ended the broadcast, now believed due to angry phone calls received at the station that were motivated by racism.
Cincinnati is the home of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened in 2004 to “teach, convene and inspire.”
The New York concert can be heard live at http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/cincinnati-symphony-plays-john-adams-and-dett-oratorio/.
This concert, which played earlier that week at Music Hall in Cincinnati on Wednesday, 7 May, will be broadcast on WGUC-FM, http://www.wguc.org/, on 19 October 2014 at 8pm.