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African Musical Arts: Coro Allegro to Premiere Piano Concerto by Fred Onovwerosuoke Sunday, March 12, 3:00 PM Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA

Fred Onovwerosuoke
Caprice for Piano and Orchestra

Caprice for Piano and Orchestra
Fred Onovwerosuoke
Commissioned by Coro Allegro, Boston, MA
for Darryl Hollister

African Musical Arts
The 2-movement concerto is based on two short poems, Incolatus and Evigilans, also by composer Fred Onovwerosuoke. The first movement, the composer notes, "is a snapshot of one life's journey bedecked by reveries, mirages and intrigues. Of triumphs, echoes thereof often hazed by another drowsy night." The second Movement, Evigilans, opens suddenly with a tour-de-force passage inspired by "Sikuti" celebratory dances of the Massai and Samburu warriors of Eastern Africa. The middle section draws from a variety of imageries of African responsorial traditions. Then recapping through a series of tender musical vignettes, reminiscent of childhood memories - of innocence, toys, playtime, etc., - the work closes with an annotated reprise, culminating in what the composer remarks, "is a befitting accolade to a beloved friend and a bold quest charting new musical frontiers!" The Caprice for Piano & Orchestra is scored for chamber orchestra and solo piano, and is published by the African Music Publishers, a non-profit publishing subsidiary of the African Musical Arts in St. Louis.
About Fred Onovwerosuoke, composer
Award-winning composer Fred Onovwerosuoke ("Fredo," as most friends and colleagues call him) was born in Ghana to Nigerian parents.  Onovwerosuoke grew up in both home countries and eventually naturalized in the United States. His influences are wide and varied, and is much at home discussing Handel, Mozart and Jazz, as he is talking about the African gonje, mbira, kora, kontingu and balafon riffs, or foremost exponents of traditional African music. FredO's works have been featured in a variety of recordings, films, documentaries and radio, including Robert De Niro's film, The Good Shepherd, Niyi Coker's Pennies for the Boatman, IMI Chamber Players' Dances & Rhapsodies: Works for Wind Quintet, William-Chapman Nyaho's CD, ASA, Hymes/Hollister's CD African Art Music for Flute, Peter Henderson's CD, Twenty-Four Studies in African Rhythms for Piano, among others. His book, Songs of Africa: 22 Pieces for Mixed Choirs published by Oxford University Press has quickly become a favorite among choral directors across the United States and globally, and his Twenty-four Studies in African Rhythms is acclaimed as one of the most-demanded African-rhythm influenced piano studies known. FredO is a Fellow of the Regional Arts Commission. For more information, please visit   
Fred Onovwerosuoke is represented by IMI Artists (

About Darryl Hollister, pianist

Darryl Hollister was born in Detroit, Michigan. He attended Michigan State University, where he studied with Ralph Votapek and Deborah Moriarty. He received his Master’s Degree from New England Conservatory of Music, working with Patricia Zander. Touring with the program “Sharing a New Song,” Mr. Hollister performed as accompanist and soloist in Russia, Georgia, Estonia, Ukraine, and Armenia. Mr. Hollister is an active accompanist and performer with many well-known choral groups in the Boston area and regularly performs with Coro Allegro, Dedham Choral Society, the Heritage Chorale in Framingham, and the choruses of Commonwealth School.

Mr. Hollister is considered one of the leading interpreters of African classical piano music. He has premiered works of many outstanding African composers such as Akin Euba, Joshua Uzoigwe, Fred Onovwerosuoke, and many others. He has performed recitals of African and African- American piano music in Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., St. Louis, London and Cambridge, England. He and flutist Wendy Hymes have recorded a CD entitled African Art Music for Flute, and has toured throughout the Caribbean, South Africa, and England with soprano Dawn Padmore in recitals of African and African-American music. He is founder of the world music ensemble Mundial whose performances highlight the works of African and African-American composers.

About David Hodgkins,
conductor & music director

photo by Susan Wilson
Artistic Director David Hodgkins has delighted audiences in the greater Boston area for over 20 years with "creative programs, sung with enthusiasm and tonal beauty" (Ed Tapper, Bay Windows). Mr. Hodgkins is the Artistic Director of Coro Allegro in Boston, which Boston Globe critic Michael Manning deemed "one of Boston's most accomplished choruses,” Artistic Director of The New England Classical Singers in Andover, Director of Music at The Commonwealth School in Boston, advanced conducting instructor at the Kodály Music Institute,his ensembles have collaborated with the Boston Celebrity Series, Boston Cecilia, Handel and Haydn Society, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, The New England String Ensemble, and the Boston Landmarks Orchestra.

Mr. Hodgkins has conducted numerous world and Boston premiere performances of works ranging from Marianne Martinez to Arvo Pärt. Mr. Hodgkins with Coro Allegro received the 2012 Chorus America Alice Parker/ASCAP Award for their collaborative premiere performance of Kareem Roustom’s oratorio Son of Man, with The United Parish Church of Brookline and Music Director Susan DeSelms, a work commissioned by United Parish. That same year, Mr. Hodgkins with Coro Allegro released the critically acclaimed CDs Awakenings and In Paradisum on the Navona label, which feature contemporary composers Robert Stern, Ronald Perera, and Patricia Van Ness and soloists Sanford Sylvan and Ruth Cunningham. Gramophone magazine noted of Awakenings that "Coro Allegro, led by David Hodgkins, performs each score with fine balance and interplay."

Mr. Hodgkins has been featured in Choral Director Magazine, The Voice of Chorus America, UMass Amherst Magazine, and Haverhill Life. He has served as producer for three award-winning CDs by La Donna Musicale, Laury Gutiérrez, Artistic Director, In the Style of… for Terry Everson, trumpet, and Shiela Kibbe, piano on Albany Records, and a CD of trumpet concerti for the Boston University Wind Ensemble and Terry Everson, directed by David Martins. 

About Coro Allegro
25 years ago, David Cutler founded a Gay and Lesbian choir with a dual purpose - to build bridges between disparate communities while striving for the highest of artistic standards. And out of this, Coro Allegro was born. Under the direction of David Hodgkins, Coro Allegro has blossomed into a nationally recognized LGBTQ and allied classical chorus. Known for award-winning programming, eclectic commissions and critically acclaimed performances and recordings of works by diverse classical and contemporary composers, Coro Allegro received the prestigious Chorus America/ASCAP Alice Parker Award in 2012 for its world premiere performance of Kareen Roustom’s The Son of Man. Coro Allegro has released four critically acclaimed commercial recordings: In Paradisum and Awakenings on the Navona Records label, as well as In the Clearing and Somewhere I Have Never Traveled.

Coro Allegro offers a subscription series at venues such as the Church of the Covenant and Sanders Theater at Harvard University. Coro Allegro also reaches national and international audiences through broadcasts on WGBH “Classical Performances.” In 2008, Coro Allegro established the Daniel Pinkham Award in memory of the late Boston composer and conductor. The award is given annually in recognition of outstanding contributions to classical music and the LGBT community.
(More information online at 

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African Musical Arts: Coro Allegro to Premiere Piano Concerto by Fred Onovwerosuoke Sunday, March 12, 3:00 PM Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA


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