Discovering and showcasing African classical music in online concert series

Posted on: April 5, 2021

A “pioneering concert series has beaten the odds with its series of online live events,” writes British cellist and conductor Julian Lloyd Webber in Wednesday’s (3/31) Guardian (U.K.). “The African Concert Series is the brainchild of my former duo partner, the pianist Rebeca Omordia. She has half-Romanian, half-Nigerian heritage. But while we would often discuss world-renowned Romanian classical musicians … when it came to Nigerian classical composers, we drew a blank…. This was back in 2013, and her subsequent research has uncovered more than 200 composers of African art music, Nigerians among them…. Entirely self-funded until this year … Omordia has battled skepticism, indifference and … nearly insuperable difficulties tracking down the music itself, which remains mostly unpublished. Yet the 2020 African Concert Series has proved to be an outstanding success, which has sparked widespread interest in this hitherto virtually unknown genre. Launched the previous year with a mission to introduce music by African art composers to the mainstream … the series’ … online concerts have been reaching thousands of viewers.… Omordia’s discovery of these untapped musical riches has already invigorated the classical repertoire and … unleashed a wave of creative thinking among Africa’s classical musicians.”