Joan Armatrading.

In Sunday’s (11/12) New York Times, Hugh Morris writes, “Last year, Chi-chi Nwanoku, the founder and artistic director of the [U.K.-based] Chineke! Orchestra, received an email out of the blue from the singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading. She, the message said, had finished composing her first classical composition. They exchanged a few more emails about the piece, Symphony No. 1, and Nwanoku called to verify that she was talking with the real Armatrading, known for hits like ‘Love and Affection,’ ‘Down to Zero,’ and ‘Drop the Pilot.’ She wanted to hear the music, with the idea of having Chineke! premiere it—which the ensemble will do on Nov. 24 in London…. In Britain, Armatrading is a pioneering singer-songwriter, but, as The Guardian noted following her 2021 album ‘Consequences,’ she—a Black gay woman who challenged categories with both her sound and her determinedness to chart a career on her own terms—’still feels like a weirdly under-sung figure in pop history.’… A lover of classical music since childhood, Armatrading had long expected to take up the art form…. Armatrading sees this work as a beginning rather than an endpoint. After, all, the title Symphony No. 1 implies plans for more.”