Gateways Music Festival in association with Eastman School of Music launches its landmark 30th anniversary season with a week of events in Rochester, NY and New York City from October 17-22, 2023. Rochester highlights include: an Eastman Presents concert featuring the newly formed Gateways Chamber Players, with award-winning TV and stage actress Phylicia Rashad as special guest; a concert and film screening spotlighting the works and life of Black 18th century composer and violinist Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges; and performances by the Gateways Brass Collective. These events will take place at multiple venues in Rochester and New York City, including Kilbourn Hall and Carnegie Hall.
These rich fall offerings represent the first half of Gateways’ expanded 2023-24 season which continues with a debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (February 13, 2024) and a weeklong residency in Chicago (April 15-19, 2024). By connecting and supporting professional classical musicians of African descent, while enlightening and inspiring audiences through the power of performance, Gateways’ anniversary season expands and deepens its efforts to reshape the classical music narrative.
Click here for the full press release, which includes further details on the New York, D.C. and Chicago programming and schedule, and Gateways’ website for additional information about the season and how to purchase tickets.
Schedule of Rochester Events | Oct 17–20, 2023
Tuesday, October 17
7:30 p.m. | Hatch Recital Hall at Eastman School of Music
Gateways Brass Collective
Wednesday, October 18
6:00 p.m. lecture | Taylor Recital Hall at Hochstein School of Music
7:30 p.m. concert | Performance Hall at Hochstein School of Music
Gateways Chamber Orchestra, Antoine Clark, conductor, featuring Brendon Elliott, violin; Terry Andrews, flute; Angelica Hairston, harp; Marian Anderson String Quartet
Lecture: “Undoing ‘Black Mozart’: Towards a Truer Legacy of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges,” presented by Julian Ledford, Ph.D.
Concert: “An Evening of the Music of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges”
Thursday, October 19
7:30 p.m. | Hatch Recital Hall at Eastman School of Music
Chevalier (2023): Screening and pre-film chat with Chevalier composer Kris Bowers
Friday, October 20
7:30 p.m. | Kilbourn Hall at Eastman School of Music
Eastman Presents: Gateways Chamber Players
Damien Sneed, conductor
Tai Murray, violin
Igor Stravinsky: The Soldier’s Tale Suite
Wynton Marsalis: A Fiddler’s Tale (with Phylicia Rashad, special guest narrator)
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About Gateways Music Festival:
The mission of Gateways Music Festival is to connect and support professional classical musicians of African descent and enlighten and inspire communities through the power of performance. Founded in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1993 by noted concert pianist Armenta Hummings Dumisani, the festival was brought to Rochester, New York in 1997 when Hummings Dumisani joined the Eastman School of Music faculty. Approximately 125 musicians – comprising players in major symphony orchestras, faculty from renowned music schools and conservatories, and active freelance artists – participate in each festival. In 2016, while remaining an independent non-profit organization, Gateways formalized its longstanding relationship with Eastman and the University of Rochester. Among other mutual benefits, this deepened relationship provided much of the infrastructure and resources necessary for Gateways to increase its programming capacity, appoint its first paid staff position and broaden its impact in and beyond Rochester, NY.
In addition to the annual full-orchestra festival held each spring, other Gateways initiatives include a yearly chamber music festival each fall; the Gateways Showcase, a social media campaign designed to shed light on the extraordinary stories, artistic achievements and indelible impact of Black classical musicians; the Gateways Brass Collective, the only all-Black professional brass quintet in the country; the Gateways Residency, by which renowned Gateways artists are presented nationwide throughout the year in recitals, masterclasses and community-based activities; the Gateways Chamber Players, an all-star touring ensemble featuring some of the nation’s most renowned classical musicians; and, since January 2023, Gateways Radio, a one-hour syndicated radio program featuring Black classical artists on radio stations across the United States. To learn more, follow Gateways on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. For high-resolution photos, click here.
About Eastman School of Music:
The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Mr. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training.
More than 900 students are enrolled in the Collegiate Division of the Eastman School of Music—about 500 undergraduates and 400 graduate students. They come from almost every state, and approximately 23 percent are from other countries. They are taught by a faculty comprised of more than 130 highly regarded performers, composers, conductors, scholars, and educators. They are Pulitzer Prize winners, Grammy winners, Emmy winners, Guggenheim fellows, ASCAP Award recipients, published authors, recording artists, and acclaimed musicians who have performed in the world’s greatest concert halls. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 900 concerts to the Rochester community. Additionally, more than 1,700 members of the Rochester community, from young children through senior citizens, are enrolled in the Eastman Community Music School.
About the University of Rochester:
The University of Rochester is one of the nation’s leading private research universities, one of only 62-member institutions in the Association of American Universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University gives undergraduates exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College, School of Arts and Sciences, and Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are complemented by the Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, and the Memorial Art Gallery.