As we lead up to 11th Annual “Artists Under The Dome” Event* and the MALC 2017 “Champion of Artists” Awards on November 8th at the State House, we are highlighting each of the five “Champion of Artists” awardees. This is the second time MALC has given these awards, which will be part of the morning program (10-11am).*
The five “Champion of Artists” awardees for 2017 are:
- State Representative Chris Walsh
- Danielle Legros Georges, Boston’s Poet Laureate
- Ashleigh Gordon, viola and Co-Founder of Castle of our Skins
- Jonathan C. Rappaport, musician, composer, conductor and Executive Director of Arts Learning
- Erin Williams, playwright, theater director, dramaturg, Cultural Development Officer for the City of Worcester and Executive Director of the Worcester Cultural Coalition
For this blog post we are profiling awardee Ashleigh Gordon, an acclaimed and sought-after violist and co-founder, violist, and Artistic Director of Castle of our Skins, a concert and educational series devoted to fostering cultural curiosity and celebrating Black artistry through music. Her work and collaborations have not only been critical to inspire the next generation of musicians and classical music lovers, but has helped to sustain her peers here in the Commonwealth and beyond.
From Ashleigh’s website:
Passionate about contemporary music, Ashleigh performs regularly with Boston’s Callithumpian Consort, NYC’s ECCE Ensemble, and the Grammy award winning Boston Modern Orchestra Project. From 2013-2017, she served as founder and violist of Boston’s contemporary music string trio Sound Energy. Ashleigh has worked and recorded with Switzerland’s Ensemble Proton and Germany’s Ensemble Modern; performed with Boston Landmark’s Orchestra, Odyssey Opera and A Far Cry; and recently performed with Chineke! Orchestra, Europe’s first majority Black/minority ethnic orchestra at the prestigious BBC Proms Festival. Excited by collaborations, Ashleigh enjoys working with living composers and has worked with Beat Furrer, Thomas Adès, Heinz Holliger, Helmut Lachenmann, Chaya Czernowin, Steve Reich, Matthias Pintscher and Jeffrey Mumford among many others. Comfortable on an international stage, Ashleigh has performed in Jordan Hall and Symphony Hall (Boston), the DiMenna Center and MoMA (NYC), the Royal Albert and Royal Festival Halls (London), Konzerthaus Berlin and Oper Frankfurt (Germany), Gare du Nord and Dampfzentrale Bern (Switzerland), Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Lee Hysan Concert Hall (Hong Kong) , and throughout Sofia, Bulgaria as part of the multi-disciplinary 180 Degrees Festival.
Ashleigh is a firm believer in holistic teaching and strives to spark curiosity in the arts, foster necessary life skills through music and serve as a mentor to each child. As an advocate of social change through education, she is a viola instructor in the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Intensive Community Program (ICP), a rigorous string instrumental program which provides instruction to populations often underrepresented in classical music. Prior to ICP, she served as a teaching artist, mentor and violist of musiConnects, a unique organization serving students, communities and families through the transformative power of chamber music.
(via Castle of our Skins’ Team Leaders, Ashleigh Gordon, Artistic & Executive Director)
As Artistic and Executive Director of Castle of our Skins, Ashleigh has helped create thought-provoking concert experiences that blend music and spoken word with history and culture at the Museum of African American History and Roxbury Community College among other venues, and co-designed/led educational workshops for over 1,000 youths in the Greater Boston area primary schools and community centers. In recognition for her advocacy of social and cultural awareness, she has given presentations at IDEAS UMass Boston and the North Carolina Governor’s School of the West; has been featured in the June 2015 International Musician Magazine, the Boston Globe and Improper Bostonian; and awarded the St. Botolph Emerging Artist and Charles Walton Diversity Advocate award from the American Federation of Musicians.
Ashleigh attended the Internationale Ensemble Modern Akademie at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt (Germany) and is a graduate of Baldwin-Wallace University and New England Conservatory. Her primary teachers include Carol Rodland and Louise Zeitlin with supplemental solo and chamber music studies with Stephen Drury, Eric Rosenblith and Mai Motobuchi of the Borromeo String Quartet. She can be heard on chamber music and orchestral recordings under the Mode, Siemens, BMOP/Sound, Navona and Musiques-Suisse record labels.
* More info on 11th Annual “Artists Under The Dome” Event and the MALC 2017 “Champion of Artists” Awards. These events are free and open to the public
Date/Time/Place: Wednesday, November 8th, from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the State House’s Great Hall, (Boston, MA),
What: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts invites Massachusetts artists working in all disciplines (visual arts, literary, performing, crafts, new media, etc.) to thank them for all they contribute to our state’s economy and quality of life. Massachusetts is the only state in the country to hold such an event. Although not required, those attending are encouraged to register for this free event .
For more information and to register: http://www.artistsunderthedome.org/annualevent.html