Philadelphia Orchestra: in prisons, churches, community centers

Posted on: April 18, 2017

“Last month, visiting composer Hannibal Lokumbe took a string quartet of Philadelphia Orchestra musicians … into the Philadelphia Detention Center in Northeast Philadelphia’s Holmesburg section” to perform Lokumbe’s piece about Anne Frank, A Star for Anne, writes Peter Dobrin in Monday’s (4/17) Philadelphia Inquirer. The visit was “part of a multiyear Philadelphia Orchestra artist-in-residency program that will take him into churches, schools, and homeless shelters in the area. He’ll be back again in a couple of weeks to continue gathering material [for] Healing Tones, a full-orchestra oratorio to be premiered by the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2019…. [Hannibal’s] first piece to be performed by the orchestra was African Portraits, in 1997, and his role has grown, especially with the Philadelphia Orchestra residency, funded by New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras…. Talk after the recent string quartet performance took on the tone of a testimonial. ‘I can relate as an African American,’ … one inmate told the audience after the concert…. In Philadelphia, the ensemble’s social mission stems from a responsibility to the city, orchestra leaders say.” To read Symphony’s just-published article about orchestras involved with social-mission work, click here

Posted April 18, 2017

Pictured: Tulivu-Donna Cumberbatch sings during a performance with musicians from the Philadelphia Orchestra and musician and composer Hannibal Lokumbe at the Philadelphia Detention Center, March 3, 2017. Photo courtesy Philadelphia Orchestra