mainstage live series
Brandon Patrick George, flute
Aaron Diehl, Piano
September 11, 2023, 7:30PM
PNC Theatre, 350 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15222
William Grant Still Suite
Florence Price Four Songs
Undine Smith Moore Three Pieces for Flute and Piano
Valerie Coleman Fanmi Imèn
Mary Lou Williams Blues for Peter
Sullivan Fortner Time in Circular Motion (2023)
arr. Brandon Patrick George & Aaron Diehl Three Spirituals
Valerie Coleman Wish Sonatine
Two powerhouse soloists partner to present Songs of Black America
Songs of Black America features works by Valerie Coleman, Undine Smith Moore, Florence Price, William Grant Still, Mary Lou Williams, and three spirituals arranged by George and Diehl. The concert will also debut a new commission by Grammy Award–winning American jazz pianist Sullivan Fortner, written especially for the Songs of Black America tour, which will continue across the country following the MainStage Live concert.
“It’s unique to have a classical flutist and a classically trained jazz pianist share the stage with such a deeply personal program,” says George. “There is so much joy and life in this music, and we hope people leave feeling uplifted.”
George is a “knockout musician with a gorgeous sound” (The Philadelphia Inquirer). This Grammy-nominated flutist has performed across the United States and Europe, sharing his talents as a soloist and member of the beloved Imani Winds Quintet. CMP welcomed Imani Winds as its first artists-in-residence during the 2022–23 MainStage Live season, and the quintet has an additional connection to the upcoming program: Imani Winds founder and former flutist Valerie Coleman is one of the composers featured in Songs of Black America.
A celebrated pianist and “composer worth watching” (The New York Times), Diehl has become one of the most recognizable solo pianists of his generation. Diehl gained international acclaim as a young musician for his command of the jazz genre and the Great American Songbook, touring with legends like Wynton Marsalis and Cécile McLorin Salvant. More recently, his versatile interpretations of modern classical works have gained critical acclaim.