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The Second African Concert Series

Wifnmore Hall

Saturday May 13th

The Second African Concert Series at the Wigmore Hall will be held on Saturday May 13th under the directorship of the Series founder, Dr Rebeca Omordia, who begins the day’s three concerts at 11.30 with a solo piano recital, ‘African Pianism’.  Dr Omordia opens her programme with the Second Piano Sonata, The Passion, by Ayo Bankole, followed by music from Christian Onyeji and Nabil Banabdekjali.  Music by the white South African composer David Earl – his ‘Princess Rainbow’ from the suite Scenes from a South African Childhood – is followed by six Studies (from a set of 24 Studies in African Rhythms) by Fred Onovwerosuoke, which concludes Dr Omordia’s programme.

Much of the music in this solo recital has been recorded by Rebeca Omordia on her SOMM CD ‘African Pianism’ [SOMM 0647 – described by Gramophone magazine as ‘richly rewarding’]

The second programme – at 3.00pm – in the day’s events, is of a wide-ranging collection of ‘African Art Songs – Journeys from Home’, performed by Omo Bello, soprano, with Rebeca Omordia, piano  and Richard Olatune Baker, percussion.  The concluding evening concert, beginning at 7.30, will be given by Louise Lansdown viola, Leon Bosch double bass, Moussa Dembele percussion, Andre Swanepoel violin, Elliott Bailey cello, Tessa Uys piano, Theo Magongoma baritone and Claudia Dehnke violin, featuring music by Grant McLachlan, Mokale Koapeng, Moussa Dembele, Fodé Lassana Diabaté, Grant McLachlan, David Earl and Klatzow.

No-one has done more than prize-winning pianist Rebeca Omordia to promote African classical music and it is, therefore, with some justifiable pride that she is able to announce that her pioneering African Concert Series, now supported by Arts Council England’s National Lottery Grants, has joined Wigmore Hall’s Family of Partners with a day of concerts on May 13 2023 at the famous concert venue. The Hall’s distinguished Director, John Gilhooly, has  “welcomed Rebeca’s inspiration and initiative.”

With her mixed heritage of Nigerian and Romanian parentage she is ideally qualified to bridge the gap between Western classical music and traditional African music. In 2019 she curated the widely acclaimed first series, since when it has now become an essential part of the London musical calendar. As Patron Julian Lloyd Webber has said: “I was honoured to be asked by Rebeca to be Patron of her wonderful initiative The African Concert Series. Since its pioneering early days, it has gone from strength to strength and I look forward to hearing more fantastic music and performances during the coming seasons.”

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