The Memphis Symphony Orchestra, vocal soloists, and choruses in the February 11 world premiere of Earnestine Rodgers Robinson’s “Harriet Tubman Oratorio,” led by Memphis Symphony Assistant Conductor Kyle J. Dickson.

In Thursday’s (2/8) Memphis Commercial Appeal, John Beifuss writes, “The large-scale musical compositions of Earnestine Rodgers Robinson have debuted in Carnegie Hall and in the Czech Republic. But Sunday’s performance of Robinson’s latest oratorio, devoted to fiery freedom fighter Harriet Tubman, will represent an overdue milestone. For the first time, a work by the Memphis composer will have its world premiere in Memphis…. Robinson is unusual in the classical music world. She is not just a Black woman composer but an entirely self-taught composer. She plays no instrument, and she did not begin to write music until she was in her 30s, by which time she was a so-called housewife and mother of five. ‘This is highly unique,’ said Memphis Symphony Orchestra assistant conductor Kyle J. Dickson, who will conduct Sunday’s performance…. The ‘Harriet Tubman Oratorio’ will require close to 150 performers, including the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Memphis Symphony Chorus; two narrators; four vocal soloists; and choirs from [area churches and schools] … The event represents the first Memphis Symphony performance presented in partnership with the National Civil Rights Museum…. Robinson said Memphis Symphony music director Robert Moody was the catalyst for ensuring the new oratorio had its debut in Memphis.”