The Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra’s provides our free diversity series, “Connect & Celebrate: New Traditions,” virtually on the Orchestra’s Facebook page Thursday, February 18 at 7 PM.

The Eykamp String Quartet members (Alan Snow and Jia-Rong Gan, Violin; Mark Hatlestad Viola; and Graham Cullen, Cello) will perform two movements from String Quartet in G minor, Op 1, No. 3 by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, one movement from String Quartet No. 2 in A minor by Florence B. Price, and At the Kansas City Chinese New Year Concert by Yi Chen during this Facebook live event.

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (b. Guadeloupe, December 25, 1745 – June 12, 1799) was a classical composer, virtuoso violinist, a conductor of the leading symphony orchestra in Paris. He was the son of George Bologne de Saint-Georges, a wealthy married planter and his wife's African slave. When he was young, his father took him to France, where he was educated. Chevalier de Saint-Georges is best remembered as the first known classical composer of African ancestry. He composed numerous string quartets and other instrumental pieces, as well as operas.

Florence Beatrice Price (b. Little Rock, AK, April 9, 1887– June 3, 1953) was an African American classical composer, pianist, organist, and music teacher. Even though her training was steeped in European tradition, Price's music consists of mostly the American idiom and reveals her Southern roots. Price began to incorporate elements of African American spirituals, emphasizing the rhythm and syncopation of the spirituals rather than just using the text. Her melodies were blues-inspired and mixed with more traditional, European Romantic techniques. Price is noted as the first African American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer, and the first to have a composition played by a major orchestra.

Yi Chen(b. Guangzhou, China, April 4, 1953) blends Chinese and Western traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries. Her music has reached a wide range of audiences and inspired peoples of different cultural backgrounds throughout the world. She holds a BA and MA in music composition from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and a DMA from Columbia University in New York City, studying composition with Wu Zuqiang, Chou Wen-chung and Mario Davidovsky. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2019. Dr. Chen is a cultural ambassador who has introduced hundreds of new music compositions and a large number of musicians from the East and the West to music and education exchange programs in the US, Germany, the UK, and Asian countries.

This project is made possible through a partnership with Toyota.