Wheeling Symphony to host “Festival of Ideas,” free discussions of racism, anti-Semitism, and more

Posted on: May 3, 2022

“The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra is calling on its audience to hold conversation usually discouraged at the dinner table: the crossover of politics and music,” reads an unsigned article in Saturday’s (4/30) WTRF-TV (Wheeling, WV). “Through the first-of-its-kind Festival of Ideas … throughout the month of May, they are examining three starkly different composers, all whose works will be featured in their concert come May 20th,” featuring music by Florence Price, Richard Wagner, and Dmitri Shostakovich. “Many of [Price’s] pieces were not performed because of the prejudices against her. Richard Wagner, … a horrible anti-Semite, will be examined under the light of Rabbi Joshua Lief…. Dimitri Shostakovich [was] oppressed by the Soviet government…. May 3rd kicks off the Festival of Ideas, starting at noon at Vance Memorial Presbyterian Church. All these discussions are free.” The May 3 event will feature Karen Walwyn, a pianist and Florence Price scholar who recently recorded the composer’s Piano Concerto in One Movement, in conversation with Music Director John Devlin and Assistant Conductor Antoine T. Clark. Panelists on May 9 and 16 will include John Devlin, Rabbi Joshua Lief, Antoine Clark, and Ron Scott, Jr., cultural diversity and community outreach director at YMCA Wheeling.