“Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and pianist Jan Lisiecki concluded a European concert tour together, punctuated by a final stop at the Library of Congress Saturday night.
First on the program was Valerie Coleman’s “Phenomenal Women,” a suite of four movements inspired by admirable women, in a new chamber orchestra adaptation commissioned by the Library of Congress… The virtuosic playing of flutist Brandon George lit up the “Caravana” movement, dedicated to immigrant women crossing the U.S. southern border only to be separated from their children.”
“...The group — not Philadelphia-based, but a frequent visitor here — arrived in a state of transition. Founding flutist Valerie Coleman was represented with a performance of her Tzigane, but is no longer playing with the quintet. Her successor, Brandon Patrick George, is a knockout musician with a gorgeous sound. He should fit in beautifully. One of the qualities of this ensemble is its incredible virtuosity — heard in the extended solo George had in Coleman’s Tzigane...”
Imani has been commissioning new work for 12 years, with a focus on composers of color and, more recently, female composers of color. Each member — flutist Brandon Patrick George, oboist Toyin Spellman-Diaz (a Washington native), clarinetist Mark Dover, French hornist Jeff Scott and bassoonist Monica Ellis — is a virtuoso.”
“Tucked between these portraits was a poignant movement dedicated to the mothers walking in the caravan of migrants headed for the American border. A solo flute (the elegant Brandon Patrick George) wove echoes of Brahms’s classic Lullaby into a series of increasingly agitated flourishes. The music spoke of both tenderness and terror.”