The event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20, at the Rooftop at Gibson’s Italia, 233 N. Canal St.
Against the backdrop of panoramic views of the city’s skyline, Pine will present an ambitious classical tour of American music-making throughout history including works by African-American composers, Noel da Costa, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, and Daniel Bernard Roumain.
Guests will taste the historic 2015 vintage from a wine barrel “hive” designed by Dwayne MacEwen, proprietor of the award-winning architecture and interior design firm DMAC Architecture P.C., and local Chicago artist Randy Davidson of Restoration Creative.
The program will begin with a beloved Bach Partita and European dance music of the early American settlers, and will lead the audience through classical music influenced by blues, spirituals, and even hip hop before concluding with Vieuxtemps’ thrillingly virtuosic variations on ‘Yankee Doodle.’
In constructing this program, one of Pine’s goals was to give the audience the proper context to appreciate the massive contribution of Black musicians to what we understand as American music. Throughout the concert program, the music early settlers brought from Europe transforms into a uniquely American style due to the influence of African-American music-making.
The prominent inclusion of works by Black composers is part of a broader series of initiatives spearheaded by Pine to place Black classical composers and much of their previously overlooked music into today’s cultural consciousness.
The evening benefits The Rachel Barton Pine Foundation which supports talented young string players and expands awareness of and appreciation for classical music. Last year Pine and The Rachel Barton Pine Foundation’s Music by Black Composers initiative launched a free online directory of music by living Black classical composers.
Currently, the Foundation, in collaboration the Orchestral Music by Black Composers (OMBC) project founded by scholar-harpist Dr. Ashley Jackson and conductor James Blachly, is working to complete its online database of all composers of African descent, living and deceased.
Also in October of last year The RBP Foundation Music by Black Composers initative released three landmark projects: MBC Violin Volume I, the first in a series of pedagogical books of sheet music exclusively by Black classical composers featuring 22 works for violin from 1767 to 2014;The Rachel Barton Pine Foundation Coloring Book of Black Composers featuring 40 prominent Black composers throughout history, and an illustrated timeline poster of 300+ Black classical composers from around the world.
During the August 20th evening an array of Gibsons Italia’s signature dishes will be served from salmon crudo and crabmeat avocado parfait to bruschetta and meatballs—paired with tastes of the Jordan Cuvee by Champagne AR Lenoble, 2017 Jordan Chardonnay, 2013 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon in magnum, 2015 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon and two very rare big bottles, including the 18-liter 2015 Jordan Melchior. The Melchior holds 24 standard 750mL bottles in one, and it will be served alongside two artisanal products made with historic 2015 vintage: a cow’s milk cheese made by local Caputo Cheese Company and a salame buio from Sonoma County’s Journeyman Meat Co.