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Gardner Museum Series Spotlights Spirituals in Classical Music

A man sits at a piano, eyes closed as he plays "Deep River"
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; Castle of our Skins
Pianist Kyle P. Walker, in the video "Deep River | Witness: American Spirituals and the Classical Music Tradition"

The local ensemble Castle of our Skins crafts programs exploring the influence of spirituals on classical music, and particularly on Black American composers. Also in this roundup, the "Boston Peeps," the ProkoPiaf concerto, and an amazing trumpeter who doesn't even use a trumpet!

1. Trekkies, this one's for you! The evolution of the music in Star Trek, on violin:

2. In cellist and columnist Julian Lloyd Weber's latest for The Guardian, he spotlights musician Rebeca Omordia and her work unearthing African classical music.

3. Now this is an unexpected mashup. "Crazy violinist" Salvatore Lombardo debuts the ProkoPiaf concerto:

4. And speaking of Edith Piaf, TikToker itzabennie plays a seriously good trumpet cover of "La Vie En Rose," but... without a trumpet:

5. Plenty of movie and TV adaptations of Jane Austen's novels have pretty, Mozartian piano soundtracks. But what music did Austen really like to play? Our friends at Colorado Public Radio investigate.

6. This post in the Wicked Boston Facebook group gave us a good chuckle:

7. Our audio engineer, Antonio Oliart Ros, recently worked on a very cool project with the Boston-based ensemble Castle of our Skins at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Called "Witness: Spirituals and the Classical Music Tradition," this series of four free digital concert videos "explores the ways some Black American composers have found inspiration in the rich tradition of spirituals." Here's the first video in the series:

Kendall Todd is the Content Manager for GBH Music.