Liz Player leads the ethnically diverse and classically trained musicians of The Harlem Chamber Players through nearly two years of adversity as they debut their first commercial digital album celebrating the musical compositions of classical Black composer, Adolphus Hailstork.
Founder, Executive and Artistic Director of The Harlem Chamber Players, Liz Player, has spent the last 15 years dedicated to bringing high level live classical music that is affordable and accessible to the Harlem community. Now with their debut commercial digital album, they are expanding that accessibility to other communities to experience the beauty of classical music.
The album debuts a newly commissioned and never before recorded piece from the award-winning composer titled, Nobody Know along with another original work, Detroit Piano Quintet. Both made their world premiere at the 11th Annual Black History Month Celebration at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in February 2019. Nobody Know commemorates the arrival of the first enslaved Black people of America in 1619. Detroit Piano Quintet pays homage to Dr. Hailstork’s namesake city from which he earned many opportunities as a young artist. The final piece featured on the album is one of Adolphus Hailstork’s earlier works, The Songs of the Magi.
Liz Player has been championing Adolphus Hailstork’s work for over four years.“It was such an honor for us to be the first to perform them and they are both the way that Adolphus Hailstork writes,” Player says. The Harlem Chamber Players had the honor of being coached by Dr. e disadvantage of not being able to hear any prior recordings of the new works. “There are moments where it gets so hairy in the parts that it sounds like they’re off, but then you hear them coming back together. So there’s this moment in there, that sounds a bit chaotic, but it’s really genius,” Player says.
After many hours of rehearsals, The Harlem Chamber Players were able to create this magnificent classical album. Player points out the difference in growth of Nobody Know from when it made its world debut at the Schomburg Center in February of 2019, to the recording of the album, to even now after the album’s release with Nobody Know sounding like a “whole new piece,” Player says.
In addition to community outreach, The Harlem Chamber Players have built their diverse audience by collaborating with schools, arts organizations and cultural institutions within the Harlem community by providing live chamber music and opportunities for classically trained Black and Brown musicians.