The Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra partners with the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center- Vincennes University, located at 20 W Red Skelton Blvd, Vincennes, Indiana, for November’s New Traditions Diversity Series on Thursday, November 4, at 6 p.m. CST.

Members of the Eykamp String Quartet (Jia-Rong Gan, violin; Michael Chu, violin; Mark Hatlestad, viola; & Graham Cullen, cello) will play works by underrepresented composers, including Jessie Montgomery, Gabriela Lena Frank, and Florence Price. Joining the quartet is pianist Sean Cavanaugh, an adjunct professor at Vincennes University.

Jessie Montgomery - Strum
Gabriela Lena Frank Selections from Leyendas-An Andean Walkabout
Florence Price - Piano Quintet in A minor

Jessie Montgomery (born 1981) was raised in Manhattan’s Lower East Side with her parents – her father a musician, her mother a theater artist and storyteller, who were engaged in the activities of the neighborhood and regularly brought Jessie to rallies, performances, and parties where neighbors, activists, and artists gathered to celebrate and support the movements of the time. It is from this unique experience that Jessie has created a life that merges composing, performance, education, and advocacy. Jessie is an acclaimed composer, violinist, and educator. She is the recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award from the ASCAP Foundation, and her works are performed frequently around the world by leading musicians and ensembles. Her music interweaves classical music with elements of vernacular music, improvisation, language, and social justice, placing her squarely as one of the most relevant interpreters of 21st-century American sound and experience. Her growing body of work includes solo, chamber, vocal, and orchestral works.

She began her violin studies, at the Third Street Music School Settlement, one of the oldest community organizations in the country. A founding member of PUBLIQuartet and currently a member of the Catalyst Quartet, she continues to maintain an active performance career as a violinist appearing regularly with her own ensembles, as well as with the Silkroad Ensemble and Sphinx Virtuosi.

Gabriela Lena Frank (born September 1972) was raised in Berkeley, California with her mother of mixed Peruvian/Chinese ancestry and her father of Lithuanian/Jewish descent, so she explores her multicultural heritage through her compositions. Inspired by the works of Bela Bartók and Alberto Ginastera, Gabriela has traveled extensively throughout South America in creative exploration. Her music often reflects not only her own personal experience as a multi-racial Latina, but also refract her studies of Latin American cultures, incorporating poetry, mythology, and native musical styles into a western classical framework that is uniquely her own.

Currently serving as Composer-in-Residence with the storied Philadelphia Orchestra and included in the Washington Post's list of the 35 most significant women composers in history (August 2017), identity has always been at the center of composer/pianist Gabriela Lena Frank's music. Before her current residency with the Philadelphia Orchestra, she completed her four-year tenure as composer-in-residence with the Detroit Symphony under maestro Leonard Slatkin, as well as a second residency with the Houston Symphony
under Andrés Orozco-Estrada.

Gabriela attended Rice University in Houston, Texas, where she earned a B.A. (1994) and M.A. (1996). She studied composition with Sam Jones, and piano with Jeanne Kierman Fischer. At the University of Michigan, where she received a D.M.A. in composition in 2001.

She currently resides in Boonville, a small rural town in the Anderson Valley, with her husband Jeremy on their mountain farm, has a second home in her native Berkeley in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Florence Price (born April 9, 1887 – June 3, 1953), was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, to a well-respected mixed-race family. Her father was the only African American dentist in the city, and her mother was a music teacher and was the guiding force of Florence's early musical training. Price gave her first piano performance at the age of four and had her first composition was published at the age of 11.

Florence attended the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts with a major in piano and organ. At the Conservatory, she studied composition and counterpoint with composers George Chadwick and Frederick Converse. Also, while there, Price wrote her first-string trio and symphony. She graduated in 1906 with honors, and with both an artist diploma in organ and a teaching certificate.

After graduating, Price returned to Arkansas, where she taught briefly before moving to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1910. There she became the head of the music department of what is now Clark Atlanta University, a historically black college. She then moved to Chicago, Illinois. There Florence Price began a new and fulfilling period in her composition career. She studied composition, orchestration, and organ with the leading teachers in the city, including Arthur Olaf Andersen, Carl Busch, Wesley La Violette, and Leo Sowerby. She published four pieces for piano in 1928. While in Chicago, Price was at various times enrolled at the Chicago Musical College, Chicago Teacher’s College, University of Chicago, and American Conservatory of Music, studying languages and liberal arts subjects as well as music.

Florence Price is most recognized as the first African American female symphonic composer. Price's arsenal of work spanned from 1899–1952 and was committed to sounds that honored the reality of urban society. Her compositions of symphonies, concertos, choral works, art songs, and chamber works moved audiences with blues-inspired melodies mixed with the rhythm and syncopation of spiritual music.

Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call (812) 425-5050, Ext 316.