California’s Salastina ensemble: commissions, world premieres, “The Black Violin”

Posted on: November 18, 2019

“Maia Jasper White is a chamber musician, teacher, and the co-Artistic Director of Salastina, a [chamber] ensemble in Pasadena, California,” writes Jillian DeGroot in Thursday’s (11/14) “The ensemble’s 10th season features seven commissions and world premieres…. This season’s ‘The Black Violin’ [program] explores how music by Black composers and performers has not been given the recognition or credit it deserves. Q: ‘The Black Violin’ highlights Black composers and performers who were (often deliberately) erased from history. How do you untangle these rich and troublesome histories in order to share them, and why they’re important, with your audience? White: With honesty, curiosity, and pathos. (And without shaming, preaching, or virtue-signaling.) … Throughout ‘The Black Violin,’ Brian [Lauritzen] will interview Derrick Spiva Jr., the composer of the concert’s premiere … As I Heard When I Was Young…. Derrick’s … music is gorgeous, fun, open, and full of life. Q: What has utilizing a variety of concert formats taught you about audiences and the significance of modernizing the culture around classical music? White: That context is everything.… The context all Salastina events aspire to create is one of celebration…. When it comes to ‘The Black Violin,’ the celebration is, essentially, better late than never.”

Posted November 18, 2019