Conductor Roderick Cox

“Southern California and the world awoke Sunday morning, Jan. 22 with the awful news of yet another mass shooting,” writes Richard S. Ginnell in Tuesday’s (1/24) San Francisco Classical Voice. “It happened late the night before in Monterey Park, a mostly Asian community … [At the Los Angeles Philharmonic] guest conductor … Roderick Cox … asked the audience for a moment of silence to remember those who were killed … Cox gently started the performance of Maurice Ravel’s ‘Pavane for a Dead Princess,’ which was supposed to launch the program anyway but never in memory had been put to such timely use…. Cox segued right into the main business of the afternoon, the first LA Phil performance of William Levi Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony, one of a steadily increasing handful of mid-20th-century symphonies by Black composers that have been recently dusted off and relaunched … Like some of the others, Dawson’s 1934 work was acclaimed when it was first played … and then left to hang out to dry in the archives, another casualty of racism … The West Coast … has been hearing the symphony frequently lately. Both the Seattle and Oregon Symphonies played the Negro Folk Symphony in 2022, the Oakland Symphony is due to perform it Jan. 27.”