Fred Onovwerosuoke’s seminal work pays due homage to some of his beloved forebears of African music. Tribute to Great African Composers was conceived as a homage to some of Africa’s unsung cultural heroes. The idea for the work first took root when the composer was reading about how Muzio Clementi, the Italian composer and contemporary of Mozart, used his third symphony to pay glowing tribute to his adopted home of England. That year was 2005, the Centenary of the birth of the Nigerian choral composer, Ikoli Harcourt-Whyte. Then the monstrous Hurricane Katrina hit in New Orleans, Louisiana, where the composer was residing with his family at the time, and so all the sketches he had made to begin the project had to be shelved. In 2007, two movements of the work – Rhapsody on Nketia’s “Republic Suite” and Tribute to Dr. Ephraim Amu, were commissioned for performance by the Ghana’s National Symphony Orchestra to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Ghana’s Independence from Great Britain. A third movement, Harcourt-Whyte Lullaby, was added to commemorate 30th Memorial of Harcourt-Whyte’s passing. In 2009, the composer received a grant from the American Music Center (now renamed New Music USA) to revise the work and expand it into five movements. The composer hopes that audiences around the world would immediately identify with the imageries of Africa evoked by the pieces – the promise of independence, the challenges of nation building, and the measured triumphs through the decades. For, sprinkled within each movement one would find some of those musical elements that become apparent with a little scrutiny as progenitors, the ROOTS, of various African American and other African-derived musical idioms.
Booking fee ranges from $6,500.00 – $10,568.00 for preferred conductor, mezzo-soprano soloist, 1 week composer residency. Presenter also to assume all other costs pertinent, including orchestra of prescribed instrumentation, trained chorus of mixed voices, etc. Interested presenters to please call IMI Artists at +1 314 289 4052 (email to firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss additional details.