Alexandria Symphony Orchestra Engages New Artistic Advisor
Posted Nov 19, 2020 | ASO News, Press Releases,
Alexandria, VA—The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra announces a new addition to its artistic team, Dr. Lester Green, as Artistic Advisor. Green joined the ASO in October, furthering an overall organizational commitment to social equity that the orchestra established with its strategic plan in 2019.
Dr. Green serves on the music faculty at the University of Maryland at College Park and maintains a voice studio at Morgan State University. He previously served on the faculty at Peabody Institute, Morgan State University, Howard University, and the Duke Ellington School for the Arts. For ten years, he was Minister of Music at the historic Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. He has since taken leadership roles as Artistic Director of the Coalition of African Americans in the Performing Arts and Assistant Director for the Children’s Chorus of Washington.
“Lester is a tremendous addition to the ASO artistic and creative team,” says ASO Executive Director George Hanson. “He will help ASO connect with diverse new projects, artists, composers and particularly vocalists. He will expand our collaborative reach within the community.”
Green moderated a question-and-answer session with filmmakers Jane Pittman and Annette Brieger earlier this month as part of the Alexandria Film Festival. Pittman’s and Brieger’s An American Scene: Black Lives Matter was commissioned for the AFF’s and ASO’s joint project, Homegrown: American Stories in Music and Film. Green is curating the program for one of ASO’s spring chamber concerts, serving as advisor for singers and soloists, and advising on all projects that build relationships with the Black community and people of color. He will contribute to ASO’s initiative to combat racism in classical music and provide a much-needed voice for social justice.
“Lester Green is a deeply inventive thinker and performer whose breadth of ideas will provide a new source of vital impetus for the ASO in these times when classical music is expanding the canon and looking for ways to dismantle its role in systemic racism,” says ASO Music Director James Ross. “He understands ‘voice’ as something beyond beautiful sounds emanating from people’s throats, but as an open expression and confirmation of heritage, personhood, and conviction.”
Green has contributed to a wide variety of genres through performances of solo piano, chamber, and vocal music. He has conducted opera performances in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore and worked as a coach and assistant conductor with opera companies and initiatives, both in the United States and abroad.
“As the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra continues to open doors to adventurous music-making, we are thrilled to have Lester join us in this exciting and important work,” says ASO Board President Melynda Wilcox. “The ASO aims to take a leadership role in advancing the cause of social and racial equity in classical music.”