Native American Inspirations:

From Spillville to Pine Ridge

An unprecedented 125-year overview of music inspired by the Native American experience.

October 16- 21, 2019

Our topic is the controversial relationship between Native America and American identity — then and now.  

Our participants include:

The Lakota Music Project of the South Dakota Symphony, in its first trip east.

— Eminent Native American performers from South Dakota’s Pine Ridge and Sisseton reservations: flutist Bryan Akipa and singer Emmanuel Black Bear, also Oglala Lakota elder Chris Eagle Hawk.

We also exhume the “Indianists” movement in music — an attempt to use Native American music and lore to fashion a musical signature for all Americans.

Its practitioners included the great Czech composer Antonin Dvorák, who in Spillville, Iowa, spent a month with Native American musicians; and Arthur Farwell, who as the leading Indianist undertook astounding explorations of Native American culture in parallel Bartok’s excavations of folk culture in Hungary.

PCE’s Joe Horowitz describes Native American Inspirations: From Spillville to Pine Ridge:

To hear Arthur Farwell’s amazing “Pawnree Horses” for 16-part unaccompanied chorus:

Main Event

Other Events

Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 7;30 pm /
National Cathedral (The Great Nave)

Musicians from the Lakota Music Project (South Dakota)
Cathedra conducted by Michael McCarthy
Bryan Akipa, Dakota flute
Emmanuel Black Bear, singer
William Sharp, baritone
Netanel Draiblate, violin
Emanuele Arciuli, piano
PostClassical Ensemble conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez

Introductory remarks by Representative Deb Haaland (New Mexico)
Native American music and dance
Antonin Dvorák: Larghetto from Violin Sonatina
Ferruccio Busoni: Indian Notebook No. 2 for solo piano
Arthur Farwell: 16-part a cappella choral pieces, songs, piano works
Curt Cacioppo: North American Indigenous Songs for chorus (DC premiere)
Jerod Tate: Shakamaxon for string orchestra (DC premiere)
Jerod Tate: “Resolution” from Standing Bear (DC premiere)

Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 pm /
Center for Contemporary Political Art:

“Pine Ridge: Then and Now”
Performances by Lakota Music Project
Discussion with Lakota music scholar Ronnie Thiesz, composers
Jeffrey Paul and Curt Cacioppo, Lakota elder Chris Eagle Hawk, and others

Free admission
916 G Street NW/

Monday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 pm /
National Cathedral (Bethlehem Chapel)

The Lakota Music Project

Arthur Farwell: Hako String Quartet
Curt Cacioppo: Kinaalda String Quartet
Jeffrey Paul: Pentatonic Fantasy for Dakota flute and chamber orchestra
Jeffrey Paul: Desert Wind for Emmanuel Black Bear and strings
Jerod Tate: Guide Me for Emmanuel Black Bear and strings
Theodore Wiprud: Amazing Grace for Emmanuel Black Bear and chamber orchestra

Arthur Farwell’s historic Hako String Quartet (1920), plus contemporary chamber music by Jerod Tate, Jeffrey Paul, and Curt Cacioppo (including Native American musicians.)

Festival funders include

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