Critic’s Choice

March 20, 2019 at 4:20 pm

By Aaron Keebaugh

James Carter

James Carter

The Boston Symphony Orchestra turns its attention to a program of mostly African-American music this week as Youth and Family Concerts conductor Thomas Wilkins makes his subscription debut leading works by Hailstork, Price, Duke Ellington, and Roberto Sierra.

In Saturday night’s performance, Hailstork’s An American Port of Call will offer a brash, jazzy complement to “Symphonic Reflections,” Wilkins’s arrangement of themes from Florence Price’s Symphony No. 3. Duke Ellington’s A Tone Parallel to Harlem, also to be heard, treats bluesy riffs and big band swing to impressionistic harmonies and textures.

The solo spotlight will fall upon saxophonist James Carter, who will perform Sierra’s Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra, a blazing score that mixes improvisation with stinging harmonies and propulsive rhythms. 

The performance will take place 8 p.m. Saturday at Symphony Hall. bso.org; 888-266-1200

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