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Afromodernism: Music of the African Diaspora

Oct 17 &18

Carlos Simon’s Four Black American Dances pays homage to the wide range of Black American dance traditions while Nathalie Joachim’s newly-penned cello concerto written for Seth Parker Woods honors the transformation of African fashion. Driving rhythms of David Baker’s Kosbro are followed by William Grant Still's Autochthonous Symphony, which portrays, in his words, “the fusion of musical cultures in North America.”

Date / Time

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Wu Tsai Theater, David Geffen Hall



Carlos Simon

Four Black American Dances

Nathalie Joachim

New work for cello and orchestra (New York Premiere–NY Phil Co-Commission with Spoleto Festival USA, Orchestre Métropolitain, and Chautauqua Institution)

D. Baker



Symphony No. 4, Autochthonous


Thomas Wilkins Conductor

Devoted to promoting a lifelong enthusiasm for music, Thomas Wilkins brings energy and commitment to audiences of all ages. Hailed as a master at communicating and connecting with audiences, he is principal conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra; artistic advisor, education and community engagement, at the Boston Symphony Orchestra; and principal guest conductor of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra; and he holds Indiana University’s Henry A. Upper chair of orchestral conducting, established by the late Barbara and David Jacobs. He completed a long and successful tenure as music director of the Omaha Symphony Orchestra at the end of the 2020–21 season. Previous posts have included resident conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Florida Orchestra (Tampa Bay).

Learn more about Thomas Wilkins

Seth Parker Woods Cello

Grammy Award–nominated cellist Seth Parker Woods is a versatile artist and innovator across multiple genres. His projects delve deep into our cultural fabric, reimagining traditional works and commissioning new ones to propel classical music into the future. He is an honoree of the 2023 Seattle Symphony’s 25th Anniversary Silver Gala and recipient of the 2022 Chamber Music America Michael Jaffee Visionary Award.

Learn more about Seth Parker Woods


The October 17 performance is supported by a generous bequest from Edna Mae and Leroy Fadem, loyal subscribers from 1977-2023.