“The Dream Unfinished”: classical concert in response to racial tensions

Posted on: July 11, 2016

“In the wake of last week’s shootings, an orchestral concert to benefit the Black Lives Matter movement, scheduled for Wednesday night at the Cooper Union, has become tragically timely,” writes William Robin in Saturday’s (7/10) New York Times. “Clarinetist and music teacher Eun Lee … has been organizing the ‘Sing Her Name’ event for the past year” to mark the one-year anniversary of the death of Sandra Bland. The event is part of The Dream Unfinished project launched in December 2014 after the shootings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Leading the Dream Unfinished Orchestra are James Blachly and John McLaughlin Williams, with Kelly Hall-Tompkins as concertmaster for a program of music by African-American and female composers. “While classical music institutions have lately addressed issues of diversity—the theme of the League of American Orchestra’s annual conference last month was ‘The Richness of Difference’—they still tend to avoid confronting contemporary racial tensions…. Lee … argued that her project was essentially uncontroversial: ‘The Dream Unfinished is not really politically motivated, because I feel strongly that the issue of systemic racism and police brutality is something that should be bipartisan.’ ” 

Posted July 11, 2016