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Coast-to-coast conductor Antoine Clark calls central Ohio home


Not long ago, Columbus conductor Antoine Clark found himself extremely busy and a little worried.

The day after his guest conducting debut with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Clark drove home nonstop to Worthington to conduct a concert on which he was also performing as clarinet soloist. Around the same time, he was shepherding the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra – which he founded in 2009 – into a new era as the Worthington Chamber Orchestra, while also preparing for his conducting debuts with the Wheeling and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestras.

DPO concert features Dayton debut of guest conductor Antoine Clark


Clark, a resident of Worthington, Ohio, will oversee a trio of works on the DPO Masterworks Series program. The evening will open with Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Forza del destino” Overture followed by Dimitri Shostakovich’s “Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor,” featuring internationally recognized Israeli violinist Vadim Gluzman, and Hector Berlioz’s “Symphonie fantastique.”

The inaugural season of the Worthington Chamber Orchestra


Antoine Clark, the founder, artistic director, and music director of MACCO and now of WCO, says the orchestra’s transition to independence will enable it to foster broader and deeper relationships in the Worthington community.

Worthington Chamber Orchestra relaunches independently


Since 2013, the Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center (MAC) has sponsored and been home to the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra. After a successful nine years, the Orchestra is ready to stand without the aid of the MAC and will accordingly relaunch as the Worthington Chamber Orchestra on May 1.

Vermont Symphony Orchestra releases spring schedule


Conductor Antoine Clark shared his excitement for the fusion of a show for both auditory and visual senses, commenting, “I am excited about these performances because I enjoy creating new and innovative experiences within classical music. As a conductor, I have combined music with poetry, dance, and sculpture. I am delighted that this Visualizer Orchestra program will feature well-known pieces in classical music and exciting works that the audience has never heard. The diverse program features compositions by women and people of color, which I believe is essential for hearing different perspectives.”

Artistic and Music Director Antoine T. Clark on Inspiration and Creative Process


Antoine T. Clark, the founding artistic and music director of the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra (MACCO), now in its ninth season, is known for compelling musical interpretations, energy on the stage and dedication to fostering inspiration and development of the next generation of musicians.

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Announces  Antoine T. Clark as the 2022 MAC Music Innovator


The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra announced Antoine T. Clark as its 2022 MAC Music Innovator. An award-winning conductor known for his engaging stage presence and advocacy for arts education, Antoine is the assistant conductor of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra and the founding artistic and music director of the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra.

Wheeling Symphony Orchestra Names Antoine T. Clark Assistant Conductor


The Wheeling Symphony Orchestra is welcoming a new assistant conductor, Antoine T. Clark.

A native Virginian and resident of Worthington, Ohio, Clark’s first concert assignment will be the WSO’s Nov. 20 SoundBites concert to be held at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in downtown Wheeling.

Conductor Antoine T. Clark talks with Mike Goldberg about the Richmond Symphony's (VA) 4th of July concert.


The Richmond Symphony will be performing at the annual July 4th celebration in Henrico County. The performance will be at Meadow Farm Museum at Crump Park, with festivities beginning at 4:00 pm. The evening concludes with the symphony concert and a laser light show finale.

Guest conductor Antoine Clark, who is a central Virginia native, talked with me about the program. I hope you enjoy our brief chat!

Yours in good music,
Mike Goldberg
Classical Music Host, VPM Music

Review: A musical plea for justice in Chicago Sinfonietta’s first virtual MLK concert


Ali-Landing plays with the kind of empathy, insight, and determination that is enviable for any performer, regardless of age — not to mention her laser-focused connection with the Sinfonietta and Clark, who led from the podium with balletic poise. I look forward to future performances of “breathe/burn” that may be a tad freer, a tad more luxuriant in the work’s transitional moments. But until that day, Ali-Landing and Clark’s interpretation of Thompson’s work will echo happily in my ears. Kudos to the Chicago Sinfonietta for convening such a triumvirate.

Behind the Scenes In A Rehearsal With The McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra


It's the stuff of anxiety dreams – having to play a clarinet in an orchestra while wearing a mask, or to play the flute with an unwieldy apparatus attached to it designed to keep your breath aerosols in check.

But this is no dream. Those are just a couple of the pandemic safety protocols the musicians of Worthington’s McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra (MACCO) have put in place as they rehearse together in-person for their livestream performance this Sunday.  

Columbus Makes Art Presents Antoine T. Clark, Founder, Artistic and Music Director of MACCO


Antoine T. Clark, artistic and music director, founded the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra in 2013 to support local artists while providing diverse and dynamic programming that entertains, inspires, and fosters music education. The MACCO performs concerts throughout the year, the next of which is a virtual concert, Folk Impressions, on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021 at 3 p.m. We caught up with Antoine to learn a little more about him.

Chicago Sinfonietta Announces 2020-21 Project Inclusion Fellows


In announcing the young conductor, Maestra Chen said, "In recent seasons, a promising young conductor who has participated in Project Inclusion Fellowship is selected to serve as Assistant Conductor to a Sinfonietta season to master the multiple skills required by such a specific role. Such extension of the Fellowship program has proven to be incredibly successful in launching close to a dozen young conductors of color into professional staff conducting positions in the nation! I am happy to announce that this season's Assistant Conductor is Antoine T. Clark."

McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra Performs Free Outdoor Concerts


Last spring, the coronavirus pandemic forced the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra’s 2019-20 season to a premature close. This Saturday the orchestra launches its 2020-21 concert season with two outdoor performances, as the McConnell Arts Center increases its offerings of art classes and opens a new gallery exhibition.

Local Orchestra Gives Virtual Concert


For the foreseeable future, the internet may be the only safe place where musicians and audiences can come together.

That’s why the musicians of Worthington’s McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra (MACCO) have gone virtual, turning their own homes into recording studios and using smartphones and other high-tech tools to give a performance of music by J.S. Bach.

Coronavirus In Ohio: Local Arts Organizations Pay Steep Price


The world premieres of musical works by two Columbus composers were scratched when the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra (MACCO) in Worthington canceled what was to be its final concert of the season. The cancellation of the orchestra’s May 3 concert, “Do More Than Listen, Hear Our Voices: Voices of Freedom,” came as a result of the McConnell Arts Center’s closure through May 10. The May 3 concert of MACCO was to feature the world premiere of a tone poem by Mark Lomax and the world premiere of work by Linda Kernohan, which MACCO commissioned. MACCO music director Antoine Clark says he hopes to reschedule the performances of Kernohan’s and Lomax’s works. “The biggest impact  (of the concert cancelation) will be on our musicians, who are pay-per-service musicians. Since we cannot collect ticket revenue, we cannot pay them for unfulfilled services,” Clark said. “Many freelance musicians have lost a lot of work.”

Music in Mid-Ohio: McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra


Conductor Antoine Clark did the bravest and the best thing an artist can do. He started his own orchestra. He gives employment to musicians, joy to audiences and he gets to play his own instrument.

MACCO Season Commits to Works from Diverse Voices


Columbus conductor and clarinetist Antoine Clark wants women musicians and musicians of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds to be heard.

Clark is bringing his vision to the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra’s (MACCO) 2019-20 Masterworks series, Amplified: Do More than Listen, Hear Our Voices. The focus of the series’ three concerts – Voices Past and Present, Voices of Hope and Voices of Freedom – will be on works by women composers and composers of color, all presented alongside works by major composers of the classical music canon.

Locally renowned clarinetist to show off broad range of music


Adjunct Instructor of Music Antoine Clark’s first recital on the Hill in eight years will include a diverse repertoire of 19th and 20th century composers such as Leó Weiner, Bohuslav Martinů, Louis Spohr and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Columbus Museum Of Art, Classical 101 Commemorate Harlem Renaissance Centennial


The concert program by the same name features clarinetist Antoine T. Clark, flutist Dennis Carter, pianist Caroline B. Salido-Barta and narrator Herbert Woodward Martin. In addition to performing, Clark is the creator and organizer of the musical portion of this event and provided program notes.

2018 Colour of Music Festival Announced For October 24-27


“Presenting black classically trained musicians in chamber settings on Charleston’s high battery showcases the many facets of this Festival. What attendees will see and hear this year is Charleston’s classical music history coming full-circle with world-class musicians performing the original versions of what we call classical music,” said Lee Pringle, Founder and Artistic Director.

“Having the opportunity to conduct and lead world-class musicians and present historic music from the Baroque to early classical period in such a historic and charming city is among my career highlights,” says, Antoine T. Clark, Guest Conductor.

Conductor Antoine Clark’s love of classical music distinct for a few reasons


Antoine Clark certainly wasn’t the first child to be captivated by classical music. But his race and his place - an African-American growing up in a working-class family in rural Virginia - meant that he was the only one around at the time. More than a quarter-century later, Clark stood in front of the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra on a recent Sunday.

The African-American Conductor: James DePreist


The wonderful Antoine Clark is a Columbus based clarinetist, teacher and conductor. Antoine recently took some time out of a ferociously busy schedule to help me with a series of podcasts on African-American conductors.

Elsewhere on this blog, you'll find our profiles of Thomas Wilkins, Henry Lewis, and Dean Dixon. Oh! And not forgetting, Antoine is the Founder and Music Director of the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra.

Now we discuss James DePreist. Born in Philadelphia in 1936, DePreist won the Dmitri Mitropoulos conducting competition while still a young man. He served as Leonard Bernstein's assistant at the New York Philharmonic. Over a long career, DePreist was music director of the National Symphony, the Monte Carlo Orchestra, and most notably enjoyed a long tenure with the Oregon Symphony. In 2005 he was awarded the National Medal of the arts by President George W. Bush.

James DePreist died in 2012.

African-American Conductors Podcast: Thomas Wilkins


Here's another in a series of podcasts on the lives and careers of African-American conductors. 

My collaborator in this project is a young man called Antoine Clark. We're a bit late with this next installment, for all the right reasons. Antoine is ferociously busy as a conductor, working with his own orchestra, the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra.

When not conducting there, he is doing guest appearances, he is teaching, he is an orchestra and chamber musician and is juggling phone calls from irritating radio producers about working on a podcast project

It was Antoine who reminded me of Thomas Wilkins. I should not have needed reminding.

Maestro Wilkins has been a welcome guest with the Columbus symphony.

Thomas Wilkins, born in Virginia, has served as music director of the Oregon Symphony and the Hollywood Bowl, and continues as Germershausen Conductor of the Boston Symphony Youth and Family Concerts.

Maestro Wilkins tell us "Music is greater than we are". You'll hear more comments from him, plus Antoine Clarks's perspective and musical examples, in this podcast tribute to Thomas Wilkins., Enjoy.

Celebrating the African-American Conductor Henry Lewis


Continuing our series of podcasts on the African American conductor, I've asked Columbus based conductor Antoine Clark to join me in talking about Henry Lewis (1932-1996).

Columbus musician Antoine Clark discusses the life and music of African-American conductor Henry Lewis.

Henry Lewis was born in California. Trained on the double bass, Lewis formed the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and conducted for the U.S. Army in Europe in the 1950s. Henry Lewis became Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony in 19868, soon elevating a community based orchestra into the big leagues.

Lewis made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera  on October 16, 1972, conducting La boheme.  He led 138 performances at the Met, including productions of Carmen and Le Prophete starring his wife, mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, whom he married in 1960. The couple divorced in 1979.  Other Met assignments were Romeo et Juliette and Un ballo in maschera.

Henry Lewis went on to conduct the Netherlands Radio Symphony as Principal Conductor, and continued to appear internationally until shortly before his death in 1996.

Our podcast tribute to Henry Lewis includes excerpts from his recording of Richard Strauss's Don Juan, his 1976 television special for the BBC, and a 1991 performance of Rossini's Semiramide in Venice.

Celebrating the African-American Conductor: Dean Dixon


I've asked Columbus based conductor Antoine Clark to join me for a series of conversations about African-American conductors. Antoine is finishing a masters at OSU, and is the founder and music director of the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra.
The classical music world is slowly becoming less color blind as far as maestri are concerned, but there is work to do. 

Our talks begin with Dean Dixon (1915-1976). Dixon was a New Yorker who trained at Juilliard and Columbia University. He formed three orchestras on his own in New York, and took them to Town Hall and Carnegie Hall. His successes came to the attention of Eleanor Roosevelt, who wrote about Dixon in her syndicated  newspaper column, My Day, and who attended his concerts. Dates followed conducting the New York Philharmonic and the NBC Symphony.

But Dixon's career was largely European based. He returned to New York for conducting dates in 1970, and died six years later. There's a new biography of this break through talent, Dean Dixon: Negro at Home, Maestro Abroad by Rufus Jones, Jr.

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