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Nov 30, 2004 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Dvorak to Duke Ellington - Book Presentation

Tuesday, November 30 at 6 pm, The Czech Center New York, RSVP at (212) 288-0830, ext. 109

Dvořák to Duke Ellington-Book Presentation


Tuesday, November 30 at 6 pm



The Czech Center New York

109 Madison Avenue (at 83rd St.)

RSVP at (212) 288-0830, ext. 109


The American conductor Maurice Peress will present his publication Dvofiák to Duke Ellington: Exploring America’s Music and Its African-American Roots , which takes a new look at Antonín Dvofiák’s American adventure.

In Dvořák to Duke Ellington, Peress begins by recounting American music’s formative years. During his three-year residency as Director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York (1892–1895), Dvofiák taught two students, Will Marion Cook and Rubin Goldmark, who in turn became teachers of Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, and Aaron Copland. The story follows Dvofiák to the famed Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, where he directed a concert of his music for Bohemian Honor Day. Peress brings to light the little known African-American presence at the Fair: piano professors, about-to-be-rag timers, and the gifted young artists Paul Dunbar, Harry T. Burleigh, and Cook.

Peress, a distinguished conductor, is himself a part of this story. He worked with Duke Ellington on the suite Black, Brown and Beigeand on Ellington’s “opera comique” Queenie Pie. Peress also conducted the world premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s Massand reconstructed landmark American concerts such as the premieres of George Antheil’s Ballet Mecanique, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, James Reese Europe’s Clef Club Orchestra (the first all-black concert at Carnegie Hall), and Ellington’s Black, Brown and Beige. Concluding with an astounding look at Ellington and his music, Dvofiák to Duke Ellington offers an engrossing, elegant portrait of Dvofiák’s legacy, American music, and the inestimable African-American influence upon it.

Maurice Peress is a conductor with worldwide experience. He is currently a Professor of Music at the Aaron Copland School of Music and The CUNY Graduate Center. Peress’s research has made him a leading authority on Dvofiák’s American period, initiating invitations for him to give concerts and lectures throughout the US, Germany, and the Czech Republic.

Recently, Peress has worked in the Czech Republic, England, and Italy, and has conducted the Melbourne Symphony, the Shanghai Radio and Television Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Houston, Utah, and Cleveland orchestras, among others. His recent guest-conducting appearances in America include the Orchestra of St. Lukes and the American Composers Orchestra, both at Carnegie Hall. For G. Schirmer’s, Peress has edited and orchestrated five Ellington symphonic works.

Peress has conducted over twenty operas including Tristanat the Kennedy Center, the world premiere of Bernstein’s Massat the Kennedy Center and the Metropolitan Opera, Von Binum’s The Visitfor the San Francisco Opera, and Candideat the Los Angeles Music Center, Ravinia, and Lincoln Center

Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
United States


Nov 30, 2004 12:00 AM - 12:00 AM


Czech Center

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