Wednesday 20 May 2020

Music across the ocean: Chineke! and Sphinx collaborate in digital performance of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's 'Othello Suite'

Samuel Taylor-Coleridge
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
From today (20 May 2020 until Sunday 24 May 2020) the Chineke! Foundation and the Sphinx Organization will be releasing a series of films of a digital collaboration between the two organisations, a transatlantic concert performing Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Othello Suite, with one movement from the suite being released each day.

72 musicians of the Chineke! Orchestra and Sphinx Organization and 9 conductors recorded their individual parts in their homes in the UK, USA and in Europe. Simon Weir of Classical Media then edited the multi-screen footage to create the unified sound of one ensemble.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) was born in London, the son of an English woman and a Creole man from Sierra Leone who was studying medicine in London. Displaying talent from a young age, he was initially taught violin by his grandfather (a farrier by trade), and thanks to family support was able to attend the Royal College of Music, studying composition with Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, Coleridge-Taylor wrote incidental music for a production of Shakespeare's Othello at His Majesty's Theatre in 1910-11, and he subsequently arranged five movements as a suite.

Founded in 1997 in Detroit, Michigan, Sphinx has been a trailblazer in enhancing minority ethnic representation in classical music in the United States, and Chineke! was founded in the UK in 2015 to provide performance opportunities for established and up-and-coming black and minority ethnic (BME) musicians, through the work of its professional Chineke! Orchestra, Chamber Ensemble, the Chineke! Junior Orchestra and a thriving Learning & Participation programme.

The films will be released daily at 3pm (UK time) on the social media channels of both organisations:
Sphinx: YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

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