Black Lives Matter

I am extremely grateful to work for Chamber Music Tulsa, and to be affiliated with our national industry representative, Chamber Music America. Over the past few years, the CMT Board has worked to champion diverse musicians and composers. We are only in the beginning of this ongoing and vital work.

Yesterday, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals issued a statement and the excerpt below expresses how I feel.

“It is through this deep grief that we have great clarity. We embrace each other and the healing that is possible through the performing arts. 

  • We stand in solidarity with Black artists, Black arts professionals and the Black communities we serve. We acknowledge the daily physical and emotional risks and burdens you bear and that you are often targeted for your Blackness.

  • We urge that arts organizations, arts workers and artists hold ourselves to a higher standard by examining our own practices as they pertain to racial equity, diversity and inclusion (REDI).

  • We honor Black people as a vital part of our collective American identity and as inextricable contributors to the American cultural fabric, and to whom we owe a great debt. 

  • We believe in the sanctity of life, the promise of liberty, and the most fundamental and absolute right to personal safety regardless of race or gender. We believe in nonviolence and justice.”

Music has always had great power to heal. I miss sitting together to hear chamber music played live. In January 2019, the Kenari Saxophone Quartet performed Joel Love’s “In Memoriam” in Tulsa during a week-long residency. The third time I heard it that week, I was openly weeping. Music has that power. Here is a link to them performing it in 2018:
Be safe, be well.
Bruce Sorrell
Over the past few years, Chamber Music Tulsa's Board and program committee have made a conscious effort to engage diverse musicians and include music by diverse composers. This is only the beginning of this work.

99 years ago, Greenwood burned. After reflecting on how we could meaningfully participate in commemorating the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, Chamber Music Tulsa made a commitment a year ago to building equity in our field by commissioning new works by Black composers. We have commissioned new music from social-justice artist Anthony R. Green, Tulsa native Barron Ryan, and the Kenari Quartet's Corey Dundee. These works will premiere during the spring of 2021.

Though there is more work to do, commissioning these composers to write new chamber music is an act of hope. It is a statement of our belief that creating art that reflects who we are matters now and in the future, and it connects us to chamber music’s living tradition.