Composer Tamar-kali, whose “Sea Island Symphony: Red Rice, Cotton and Indigo” was given its world premiere by the American Composers Orchestra at Lincoln Center on July 5.

In Tuesday’s (7/5) New York Times, Tim Greiving writes that composer Tamar-kali “is always thinking about history, and it infuses her music. The largest expression yet is her ‘Sea Island Symphony: Red Rice, Cotton and Indigo,’ a new work for orchestra and vocalists that is to have its world premiere on Wednesday in Manhattan as part of Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City. The programmatic symphony paints the Gullah Geechee story from the Civil War through the rise of Robert Smalls, a Carolina man who was born enslaved and became a United States congressman in 1875…. The symphony’s world premiere, performed by American Composers Orchestra, is the culmination of a series she curated called ‘Freedom Is a Constant Struggle’ that has included panel discussions about the complex and often neglected history of America’s Black composers and classical music…. The four-movement ‘Sea Island Symphony’ is the most ambitious addition yet to a composing and performing career that has included punk rock, film scores and opera…. She insisted on this premiere being part of free programming … Having grown up attending free concerts … she knows that ‘the most multicultural, multigenerational audiences, of the most diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, exist at free public programming … the gateway to diversity in the halls.”