“There was a joke that, earlier in his career, Thomas Wilkins and his fellow black conductors would share knowingly,” writes David Weininger in Thursday’s (3/21) Boston Globe. “The joke was: We were always really busy in February … Black History Month… This topic came up as Wilkins was discussing the music of Adolphus Hailstork, a contemporary African-American composer whose vibrant ‘An American Port of Call’ is on a March 23 Boston Symphony Orchestra program with which Wilkins, who has been the BSO’s youth and family concerts conductor since 2011, will make his BSO subscription-series debut…. The four composers on the BSO program: Hailstork, Duke Ellington, Florence Price (all African-Americans), and Roberto Sierra, who is Puerto Rican…. Wilkins said, ‘I think it’s fair to say that with this concert the BSO said, wait a minute: We have a conductor we know, and that we respect, who knows this repertoire. He’s a family member. Let’s use this as the launching point to move forward…. We have been talking about this intensely [for] at least the last four years.’ … He’s already had discussions with the orchestra about another such program in the future. ‘I know that it’s not a one-off-er for them.’ ”

Posted March 25, 2019