By Cherri Gregg And Jericka Duncan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra will perform its Black History Month concert at the Philadelphia Cathedral in University City on Saturday.
Music director Jeri Lynne Johnson says she founded Black Pearl so that classical music lovers could enjoy music from a diverse range of composers. And on Saturday, she says, attendees will hear selections from musical geniuses, such as Haydn and Mozart, as well as someone many haven’t heard of.
Listen to Cherri Gregg’s interview with Jeri Lynne Johnson in this CBS Philly Podcast:
“The Afro-Parisian Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint George. He was very prominent in the court of Louis XVI. He actually commissioned a number of symphonies from Franz Joseph Haydn, called the Paris Symphonies. And he, as a black violinist and conductor and the leader of the orchestra, prepared these symphonies and performed them.”
Johnson, who is also a Philly 360 Creative Ambassador, says she started Black Pearl in 2007 so that the world could hear from a more diverse group of musicians.
“We have musicians that are African-American, Latin American, and Caucasian. It was really important for us to show that a symphony really should reflect the world around it.”
For more info on this weekend’s performance, go to BlackPearlCo.org.