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American Life Celebrates Legendary African American Composers

November 15, 2019 - November 16, 2019

Cincinnati Music Hall

$14 – $130
American Life Symphony
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Photo provided by Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Did you know that jazz legend Duke Ellington performed and recorded with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra?


Hear his music, along with works by other African-American musical pioneers including Florence Price and William Grant Still, at American Life, presented by Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. The program will include Adolphus Hailstork’s An American Port of Call, James Lee III’s Sukkot Through Orion’s Nebula, Florence Price’s Piano Concerto, William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 1, Afro-American Symphony and Duke Ellington’s Harlem.


Tickets prices range from $14 – $130 and can be purchased online. The duration of the concert is two hours long with a 15-minute intermission. There will be a performance on Friday, November 15 at 11 a.m., and on Saturday, November 16 at 8 p.m.
Buy Tickets


ArtsWave members can receive buy-one-get-one-free tickets with their ArtsWave Pass.
ArtsWave Pass


Where should I park at Music Hall?
Several parking options surround Music Hall. A 450-space underground parking garage at Washington Park is located directly across Elm Street from the front doors of the venue. This convenient parking garage also has handicapped parking and elevators. A surface parking lot between Music Hall and Memorial Hall is accessible from Elm Street and Central Parkway. Convenient parking is also available at the Town Center Parking (CET) Garage on Central Parkway. Pay-on-entry parking is $5-$10 for special events at all nearby lots. For more information about parking at Music Hall, call 513-744-3344.


This concert is apart of the Multicultural Awareness Council (MAC) Series concerts. MAC is celebrating their 30th Anniversary with a series of special public events. Learn more about the council and check out their events for the 2019-2020 season.


Listen to the American Life Spotify Playlist

Who is Conductor Thomas Wilkins
Thomas Wilkins is the music director of the Omaha Symphony; a position he has held since 2005. Also, he is Principal Conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and holds the Germeshausen Family and Youth Concert Conductor chair with the Boston Symphony. Past positions have included resident conductor of the Detroit Symphony and Florida Orchestra (Tampa Bay), and associate conductor of the Richmond (VA) Symphony. He also has served on the music faculties of North Park University (Chicago), the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.


Devoted to promoting a life-long enthusiasm for music, Thomas Wilkins brings energy and commitment to audiences of all ages. He is hailed as a master at communicating and connecting with audiences. Following his highly successful first season with the Boston Symphony, the Boston Globe named him among the “Best People and Ideas of 2011.” In 2014, Wilkins received the prestigious “Outstanding Artist” award at the Nebraska Governor’s Arts Awards, for his significant contribution to music in the state.


During his conducting career, he has led orchestras throughout the United States, including the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra—both of which he will return to conduct in the 2016/2017 season. Additionally, he has conducted the New York Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, the Utah Symphony, at the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago, and the National Symphony in Washington, D.C., to name a few.


His commitment to community has been demonstrated by his participation on several boards of directors, including the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, the Charles Drew Health Center (Omaha), the Center Against Spouse Abuse in Tampa Bay, and the Museum of Fine Arts as well as the Academy Preparatory Center both in St. Petersburg, FL. Currently, he serves as chairman of the board for the Raymond James Charitable Endowment Fund and as a national ambassador for the non-profit World Pediatric Project headquartered in Richmond, VA, which provides children throughout Central America and the Caribbean with critical surgical and diagnostic care.


A native of Norfolk, VA, Thomas Wilkins is a graduate of the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He resides with his wife Sheri-Lee in Omaha. They are the proud parents of twin daughters, Erica and Nicole.


Listen to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Spotify Playlist



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