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Conductor Anthony Parnther Makes Summer Debuts at BBC Proms with Chineke!, with Philadelphia Orchestra, with Sydney Symphony & at Music Academy

(June 2023) — Known for his “charismatic, captivating conducting” (Los Angeles Times), Anthony Parnther leads major orchestras on three continents this summer. He makes debuts with both the Philadelphia Orchestra (June 24) and Sydney Symphony (July 27–29), before joining Chineke! for his eagerly anticipated BBC Proms debut (Sep 1). The Los Angeles-based conductor also looks forward to multiple engagements in California: his Music Academy debut in Santa Barbara (July 8), a special evening titled: “Anthony Parnther & Friends: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” (June 27), and two programs with the San Bernardino Symphony, where he is now completing his fourth season as Music Director (July 1; Aug 12).

BBC Proms debut with Chineke!

Five years ago, it was Parnther who re-opened London’s newly-renovated Queen Elizabeth Hall with Chineke!, Europe’s first majority Black and ethnically diverse orchestra, in a historic concert that was broadcast live worldwide by the BBC. Their program concluded with Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony, in what The Guardian welcomed as “a high voltage interpretation that maintained a fine balance between detail and elan.” The review continued:

“The finale was edge-of-your-seat stuff, blending rhythmic precision and energy with heady elation. … A most exhilarating evening.”

Late this summer, Parnther and the British orchestra reprise their reading of Beethoven’s Fourth at another iconic London venue, when the conductor makes his BBC Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall (Sep 1). This time the work crowns a program comprising Seven O’Clock Shout, a pandemic anthem by Valerie Coleman, Performance Today’s 2020 Classical Woman of the Year; the Rondo from Sinfonietta No. 1 by innovative American composer Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson; Four Novelletten by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, the pioneering Black British composer for whom Perkinson was named; and Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, with Nigerian-Scottish trumpeter Aaron Azunda Akugbo as soloist. The concert will air live on Britain’s BBC television.

Films in concert: Philadelphia Orchestra & Sydney Symphony debuts

This momentous Proms appearance marks Parnther’s second Chineke! collaboration of the summer at London’s Royal Albert Hall, where he and the ensemble also gave last month’s European premiere of Black Panther: In Concert. As “Hollywood’s go-to conductor for epic projects” (Billboard), Parnther has helmed a host of blockbuster film scores, and is regularly invited to lead high-profile live-to-film events. This summer, he makes his Sydney Symphony debut with the Australian premiere of Black Panther: In Concert. Performed live to picture at the Sydney Opera House, their account of Ludwig Göransson’s Oscar- and Grammy-winning score will feature special guest Massamba Diop, the Senegalese talking-drum soloist heard on the game-changing 2018 movie’s original soundtrack (July 27–29).

Parnther was the conductor for the scores of two series in the Star Wars franchise – The Mandalorian and Book of Boba Fett – and has worked with five-time Oscar- and 25-time Grammy-winner John Williams on many live performances of the composer’s music, as well as serving under his baton as both bassoonist and contrabassoonist in the Hollywood recordings of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny and other projects. As the Hollywood Reporter marvels: “Few people know the music of Star Wars as intimately as Parnther.” Next month, in a concert marking his Philadelphia Orchestra debut, the conductor leads Williams’s score for Star Wars: The Force Awakens live in concert as the film is projected onto three giant screens (June 24).

Music Academy debut: Shostakovich, Carlos Simon & more

Having previously worked with young musicians at both the Cleveland Institute and the University of California, Los Angeles, this summer Parnther makes his debut at Santa Barbara’s Music Academy (formerly known as Music Academy of the West). There he joins Stéphane Denève, JoAnn Falletta, Hannu Lintu and Osmo Vänskä as one of five guest conductors of this year’s Academy Festival Orchestra. After giving audience members a pre-concert opportunity to “Meet the Conductor,” he conducts a program combining Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony with the overture to Weber’s Euryanthe, the suite from Herrmann’s iconic Psycho score and Elegy: A Cry from the Grave: a work dedicated to Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Michael Brown by Grammy-nominated American composer Carlos Simon (July 8).

“Anthony Parnther & Friends” in LA

Both Simon’s Elegy and Shostakovich are also on the program when Parnther joins LA’s Brightwork Ensemble for “Anthony Parnther & Friends: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” at the city’s Monk Space (June 27). Here Shostakovich will be represented by his Chamber Symphony – a string orchestral transcription of his 8th String Quartet – and the program also includes …with eyes the color of time, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated work by indigenous Hawaiian composer Anne Lanzilotti, and Parnther’s own setting of Gil Scott-Heron’s radical proto-rap classic, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

Summer programs with San Bernardino Symphony

Parnther rounds out his summer with California’s San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra, where he is now approaching the end of his fourth season as Music Director and Conductor. He and the orchestra celebrate Independence Day with “America, the Beautiful,” a patriotic program culminating with fireworks and a festive account of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture (July 1). Six weeks later, they reunite for “Movies with the Maestro,” which pairs favorite selections from Star Wars and other classic scores with the Horn Concerto by Kris Bowers – best known for scoring such hit TV series as Bridgerton and When They See Us – with its dedicatee, Andrew Bain, as soloist (Aug 12). The work was commissioned by the LA Philharmonic, with which Parnther and Bain gave its 2021 world premiere performance at LA’s Disney Hall.

Anthony Parnther: upcoming engagement
June 24
Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Orchestra (debut)
John WILLIAMS: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

June 27
Los Angeles, CA
Monk Space
Brightwork Ensemble
“Anthony Parnther & Friends: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”
Carlos SIMON: An Elegy: A Cry from the Grave
Anne LANZILOTTI: …with eyes the color of time
SCOTT-HERON / Anthony PARNTHER: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
SHOSTAKOVICH (arr. R. Barshai): Chamber Symphony

July 1
San Bernardino, CA
San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra
“America, the Beautiful”
Other rep TBA
TCHAIKOVSKY: 1812 Overture

July 8
Santa Barbara, CA
Music Academy (debut)
Academy Chamber Orchestra
Pre-concert event: “Meet the Conductor”
WEBER: Overture from Euryanthe
Carlos SIMON: An Elegy: A Cry from the Grave
HERRMANN (arr. C. Husted): Psycho: A Narrative for String Orchestra in Three Parts
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 9

July 27–29
Sydney, Australia
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Symphony (debut)
Ludwig GÖRANSSON: Black Panther: In Concert

Aug 12
San Bernardino, California
San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra
“Movies with the Maestro”
Music from Star Wars and other films TBA
Kris BOWERS: Concerto for Horn (with Andrew Bain, French horn)

Sep 1
London, UK
Royal Albert Hall
BBC Proms (debut)
Valerie COLEMAN: Seven O’Clock Shout
HAYDN: Trumpet Concerto (with Aaron Azunda Akugbo, trumpet)
COLERIDGE-TAYLOR: Four Novelletten
PERKINSON: Rondo from Sinfonietta No. 1
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 4

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© 21C Media Group, June 2023


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