WILLIAM CHAPMAN NYAHO
ASAPiano Music by Composers of African Descent, Volume 2
Wallace Cheatham, Halim El Dabh, Robert Kwami, Ludovic Lamothe, Bongani Ndodana, Fred Onovwerosuoke, Coleridge Taylor Perkinson, Alain-Pierre Pradel, Florence Price, Amadeo Roldan, Isak Roux
WILLIAM CHAPMAN NYAHO, piano
World Premiere Recordings
REVIEWSCRITICS' CHOICE 2009
American Record Guide
"This disc is subtitled 'piano music by composers of African descent,' and presents no fewer than six world premiere recordings. It provides a welcome glimpse into the workings of black composers resident both in Africa and beyond... A Want List candidate.
Colin Clarke, Fanfare [July / August 2009]
"I thoroughly enjoyed this disc. The program is well-chosen, with lots of variety. The 11 composers whose works are offered here are not known quantities in our country, but they should be."
Kushner, American Record Guide [May / June 2009]
"This release...collects music by black composers in a way that has rarely if ever been done before, and it's highly recommended to anyone interested in the intersection of African music with European concert forms. The program is unusual and instructive in two ways. First, it's cross-generational. Much of the music is by contemporary composers, but there are also a few classics of the genre... [Nyaho] brings out the continuities between the generations, with the basic impulse toward drawing on African-based rhythmic materials intact even as the younger composers add contemporary techniques... Nyaho makes a powerful case for the African diaspora as a musical unity. Much of the music has never been recorded before, and several of the African pieces are real finds... The music isn't particularly virtuosic for the most part, but Nyaho's way of finding the threads that connect it all is a kind of virtuosity in itself... a major find for students of the way African musical ideas have been diffused around the world."
James Manheim, All Music Guide [March 2009]
"This is a fascinating and mostly impressive collection of brief pieces for piano by a variety of composers from the worldwide African diaspora; six of the eleven selections are world-premiere recordings. Nyaho is an excellent pianist and gives each piece a bright and enthusiastic reading... taken together as a survey [the works featured] provide a very interesting picture of Africa's influence on contemporary art music around the world."
CDHotlist for Libraries [March 2009]
PROGRAM NOTESOXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS SHEET MUSIC EDITION
The vast repertoire of piano music of Africa and its Diaspora, which has until recently been generally unavailable, appears in myriad forms and styles, from simple to virtuosic. This compact disc brings to light compositions that may have remained in manuscript form, been out of print, or not widely circulated. I have entitled it Asa, which in Fanti (my mother’s language) is the noun for dance as most of the music on the disc finds its roots in dance music. I am particularly thrilled to discover wonderful works by composers of Africa and its Diaspora that reflect the intercultural nature of my upbringing. I am deeply indebted to the composers, colleagues, family, and friends who have been very encouraging in this project, and it is my sincere hope that this music will lead to an even greater surge in demand for art music from Africa and the African Diaspora. Enjoy!
WILLIAM CHAPMAN NYAHO, a Ghanaian American and resident of Seattle, received his degrees from St. Peter's College, Oxford University (UK), the Eastman School of Music and the University of Texas at Austin. He also studied at the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève, Switzerland. Chapman Nyaho is the recipient of prizes from international piano competitions. Following four years as a North Carolina Visiting Artist, Chapman Nyaho taught at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and was the recipient of the Distinguished Professor Award and held the Heymann Endowed Professorship. He was also the recipient of the Acadiana Arts Council Distinguished Artist Award. Chapman Nyaho has also served as Visiting Professor of Music at Colby College and Willamette University. His summer teaching appointments include Interlochen Summer Arts Camp and Adamant Music School.
As a regular guest clinician, Chapman Nyaho gives lecture-recitals and workshops advocating music by composers of the African heritage. He has compiled and edited a five-volume graded anthology Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora published by Oxford University Press. He has served on national committees for the Music Teachers’ National Association, College Music Society and the National Endowment for the Arts and been an adjudicator in International competitions in the North America and Europe and Africa.
Chapman Nyaho’s solo performances have taken him to Europe, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and North America including Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center. He has performed as soloist with various orchestras and as chamber musician as well as appearing regularly as duo pianist with the Nyaho/Garcia Duo. The duo has released a critically acclaimed CD Aaron Copland: Music For Two Pianos on the Centaur Label and regularly promotes music by composers of African and Hispanic heritage. Chapman Nyaho has been featured on radio and television broadcasts in Africa Europe and North America. He has also hosted his own show The Bach Show, developed for classical radio station KRVS in Louisiana.
Wiliam Chapman Nyaho’s first solo disc SENKU: Piano Music by Composers of African Descent [MSR MS1091], a groundbreaking compilation of music of the African Diaspora was recently choreographed by Tony Award winning Garth Fagan. The CD was named one of the "Best of the Year" by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which called it "altogether enthralling..." Gramophone said, "Nyaho’s gripping performances kept my ears glued to this disc…Let’s hope the pianist continues to explore –and record – more such commanding repertoire." Dr. Maya Angelou wrote that it holds "moments of discovery so delicious that the listeners will be made to laugh out loud and to compliment not just Dr. Chapman Nyaho, but themselves at their good fortune in finding these composers and this pianist."
PROGRAMFred Onovwerosuoke (b.1960) Nigeria
STUDIES IN AFRICAN RHYTHM
Robert Kwami (1954-2004) Ghana
Isak Roux (b.1959) South Africa
Bongani Ndodana (b.1975) South Africa
FLOWERS IN SAND
Halim El Dabh (b.1921) Egypt
Amadeo Roldan (1900-1939) Cuba
Ludovic Lamothe (1882-1953) Haiti
Alain-Pierre Pradel (b.1949) Guadeloupe
Florence Price (1887-1953) USA
DANCES IN THE CANEBRAKES
Wallace Cheatham (b.1946) USA
C. Taylor Perkinson (1932-2004) USA