34 episodes

Melanated Moments in Classical Music is a new podcast that shines a spotlight on musical works composed by, for, and about people of color. Melanated Moments is hosted by international opera soprano Angela Brown and music sociologist Joshua Thompson. For some listeners, Melanated Moments will uncover a hidden trove of classical music they never knew existed. For those with a deep knowledge of the genre, stories reflecting the cultural context of the African Diaspora will give a fresh voice to black contributions in the world of classical music.

Melanated Moments in Classical Music Classical Music Indy

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 20 Ratings

Melanated Moments in Classical Music is a new podcast that shines a spotlight on musical works composed by, for, and about people of color. Melanated Moments is hosted by international opera soprano Angela Brown and music sociologist Joshua Thompson. For some listeners, Melanated Moments will uncover a hidden trove of classical music they never knew existed. For those with a deep knowledge of the genre, stories reflecting the cultural context of the African Diaspora will give a fresh voice to black contributions in the world of classical music.

    Icon of Instagram: Drew Forde is ThatViolaKid

    Icon of Instagram: Drew Forde is ThatViolaKid

    Season Four culminates with violist, entrepreneur, and podcaster Drew Forde, known to over 100,000 Instagram followers as ThatViolaKid. Angela and Joshua spend time with Forde, who shares remarkable insights into the power of classical music. He explains how the viola serves as a window into his soul and shapes his trajectory within the classical genre and outside of it by collaborating with mainstream artists Alicia Keys, Adele, and others. Through it all, Drew Forde is a champion for artistic entrepreneurship and demonstrates the level of dedication and passion required to carry this versatile art form well into the 21st century.
    Featured Music:
    "Bach Cello Suite No. 2 (prelude)" arranged for viola
    "If I Ain’t Got You" by Alicia Keys, arranged for viola by Drew Forde
    "Sunflower" by Post Malone, arranged by Vitamin String Quartet, featuring Drew Forde
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    • 35 min
    Reaching Beyond Reggae with Dr. Mikhail Johnson

    Reaching Beyond Reggae with Dr. Mikhail Johnson

    Joshua introduces us to pianist and composer Dr. Mikhail Johnson. Born and raised in Jamaica, Dr. Johnson traces his musical influences from the region's choral composers to his foray into instrumental and 21st-century composition. Angela and Joshua listen to three contrasting works as Dr. Johnson provides compelling insights into the origins of their inception. Relying heavily on the lineage and language of an island and a people who continue to impact nearly every aspect of global and musical culture, his imaginative compositions inspire discovery and accessibility to transform the constructs of the classical canon.
    Featured Music:
    "Xamaica Fanfare" by Dr. Mikhail Johnson
    "Dutty Tough" performed by vocalist Autumn Cochran Jordan, and pianist and composer Dr. Mikhail Johnson
    "Wach ya HAYDN" performed by Benjamin Crook
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    • 36 min
    Julia Perry: A Prelude in Postmodernism

    Julia Perry: A Prelude in Postmodernism

    Joshua familiarizes us with the short but exceptional life of composer Julia Perry. He and Angela explore the meaning of postmodernism in connection with Perry's compositional evolution from traditional to postmodern stylings. A two-time recipient of the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship, Perry studied with the renowned Madame Nadia Boulanger in France, composed despite multiple strokes and significant health challenges, and had her music recorded by the New York Philharmonic in 1965.

    Featured Music:
    "Free At Last" arranged by Julia Perry, performed by vocalist Robert Honeysucker and pianist Vivian Taylor
    "Prelude No. 1 for piano" performed by Allegra Chapman
    "Short Piece for Orchestra" performed by the Imperial Philharmonic of Tokyo
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    • 24 min
    Reflections on Roland Hayes with Robert Sims

    Reflections on Roland Hayes with Robert Sims

    In this episode, Angela and Joshua welcome scholar, author, and renowned vocalist Robert Sims to discuss the life and legacy of Roland Hayes. An in-depth discussion reveals Sims' great care in charting Hayes' pioneering career pathway for Black male vocalists at the turn of the 20th century. Sims' research also highlights Hayes' influence on subsequent generations of celebrated singers throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, including himself.
    Featured Music:
    "Du bist die ruh," sung by Roland Hayes
    "Go Down Moses," sung by Roland Hayes
    "Little Boy," sung by Robert Sims
    "Oh My Lord, Keep Me from Sinking Down," sung by Roland Hayes and Robert Sims
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    • 51 min
    Leontyne Price: America’s Leading Lady in Opera

    Leontyne Price: America’s Leading Lady in Opera

    Joshua and Angela salute the illustrious career of opera soprano Leontyne Price. We hear three signature selections by Ms. Price and learn of her journey from Laurel, Mississippi, to capturing the attention and admiration of the world for her unparalleled vocal prowess and artistry. She remains a standard-bearer for opera singers globally.
    Featured Music:
    "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess, performed by Leontyne Price
    "O patria mia" from Aida, performed by Leontyne Price and The Metropolitan Opera
    "This Little Light of Mine" by Margaret Bonds, performed by Leontyne Price
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    • 29 min
    On Creation, Culture, and Connection with James Lee III

    On Creation, Culture, and Connection with James Lee III

    Angela and Joshua introduce and interview composer James Lee III. Lee gives us a peek into his composing process, deeply rooted in his fascination with and inspiration from his cross-cultural and musical background. Listeners are treated to three exquisite compositions that indicate why Lee is prized and in constant demand for his musical imagination and socio-historical significance.

    Featured Music:
    "Sonata for Violin and Piano"
    "Niiji Memories," performed by the Columbia Orchestra, featuring flutist Julietta Curenton, conducted by Jason Love
    "Beyond Rivers of Vision," performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, conducted by Scott Yoo
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    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
20 Ratings

20 Ratings

nicapostrophe ,

Fun, relevant, and digestible

Really enjoying this podcast so far, especially how current and relevant it is. Classical music often evokes thoughts of long dead composers, but here we are reminded the classical music is not only diverse, but current. And of course, it is a treat to hear and learn about composers of color in the classical space. I love the pace and timing of the show as well.

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