Home
Blog
Composers
Musicians
Black History
Audio
About Us
Links

 

Musicians:
Blanke, John
Bridgetower, George A. P.
Chapman Nyaho, William H.
DePreist, James
Dworkin, Aaron Paul
Freeman, Paul
Johnson, Francis
Machado, Celso
Ngwenyama, Nokuthula
Wiggins, Thomas "Blind Tom"
Yifrashewa, Girma
 

 

AfriClassical Blog
Companion to AfriClassical.com

Guest Book

William J. Zick, Webmaster, wzick@ameritech.net


© Copyright 2006
William J. Zick
All rights reserved for all content of AfriClassical.com
 

 

 

 


Senku: Piano Music by Composers of African Descent
William Chapman Nyaho, piano
Musicians Showcase 1091 (2003)

 

 

 

 

 

Nyaho/Garcia Piano Duo
William Chapman Nyaho
Susanna Garcia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora
Compiled and Edited by
William H. Chapman Nyaho
Volume 1
Early Intermediate
Oxford University Press (2007)

Home -> Musicians -> Chapman Nyaho, William H.

Français

 
William H. Chapman Nyaho (b.1958)

African American Pianist & Professor

Nyaho/Garcia Piano Duo



 


Table of Contents

  1 Birth
  2 Music Studies
  3 Professor
  4 Senku
  5 Gramophone Review
  6 Aaron Copland
  7 Residency
  8 Africa Meets Asia
 
9 Dance   
  10 Anthology
 


ASA: Piano Music by Composers of African Descent
William Chapman Nyaho, piano
MSR Classics MS1242 (2008)

Audio Samples
1
Musicians Showcase 1091 (2003); Senku: Piano Music by
   Composers of African Descent
; William Chapman Nyaho, piano
     a Margaret Allison Bonds Troubled Water
      b Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Deep River
      c
R. Nathaniel Dett
        In the Bottoms Suite
         1 Prelude: Night 
           2 His Song 
           3 Honey: Humoresque
           4 Barcarolle: Morning 
           5 Dance: Juba

     d Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson
         Scherzo

2 MSR Classics MS 1242 (2008); ASA: Piano Music by Composers of
   African Descent;
William Chapman Nyaho, piano
      a Ludovic Lamothe La Dangereuse
       b
Amadeo Roldán y Gardes Preludio Cubano

1 Birth
The classical pianist and professor William H. Chapman Nyaho was born in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 28, 1958, but when he was only ten months old his parents returned to their native Ghana with him. He grew up there and graduated from Ghana's Achimota School after studying piano with John Barham.
 
2 Music Studies
Nyaho received his B.A. in Music from Oxford University in the U.K. After studies in piano at the Conservatoire de Musique in Geneva, Switzerland, and with Henri Gautier, he earned a Master of Music degree at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Nyaho studied with David Renner at the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his Doctoral degree in Music.
 
3 Professor
Following a four-year residency as a North Carolina Visiting Artist, Nyaho taught at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette from 1991-2002. He has performed as a soloist in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and North America. He also plays chamber music as part of the Nyaho/Garcia Duo. His Web site for both solo and duo activities is: www.nyaho.com
 
4 Senku
The CD Senku: Piano Music by Composers of African Descent, Musicians Showcase Recordings 1091 (2003) is comprised of solo piano works by eight composers. The program opens with Talking Drums  (14:56) by Joshua Uzoigwe (b. 1946) of Nigeria. Jamaican Oswald Russell (b. 1933) is represented next by Three Jamaican Dances (5:25). The music continues with Scherzo  (9:42) by the U.S. composer Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson (1932-2004). Next is Deep River  (6:20) by the Afro-British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912). Margaret Allison Bonds (1913-1972), an African American composer, is then represented by her signature work, Troubled Water  (4:52). Variations on an Egyptian Folksong  (6:21) is the next work, by Gamal Abdel-Rahim (1924-1988). It is followed by In The Bottoms Suite  (16:24), by the Canadian-born African American composer R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943). For the final work the program returns to Africa, for Earthbeats, Op. 22 (9:29) by Gyimah Labi (b. 1950) of Ghana. The liner notes are by the poet Maya Angelou, a mentor to the pianist.  Brief audio samples of all eight tracks can be heard at: www.nyaho.com/senku.cfm
 
5 Gramophone Review

Donald Rosenberg wrote a review of Senku for the March 2004 issue of Gramophone, One theme but many styles, all illuminated by some fine playing. He writes that "senku" is a Ghanian word referring to a keyboard instrument. Rosenberg also remarks:

As played with superior expressivity, rhythmic vivacity and kaleidoscopic shading by William Chapman Nyaho, the music speaks in many different, stimulating tongues, embracing Western traditions as well as sonic elements influenced by African and American sources.

The composers represented here here hail from Nigeria, Jamaica, England, Egypt, Ghana and the United States. Even so, their styles are woven from such diverse and fascinating musical cloth that it can be possible to discern distinctive national idioms. That is part of the beauty of Nyaho's programme, a group of dynamic and often ineffably beautiful works deserving wider dissemination. The most familiar genre is the spiritual, which Samuel Coleridge-Taylor employs with heartfelt expertise in his Deep River and which also animates the conflicting fervour in Margaret Bonds's bracing Troubled Water.

Folklorism gives refreshing life to Joshua Uzoigwe's Talking Drums, which blend un-hackneyed minimalist gestures with percussive vitality.  Oswald Russell's Three Jamaican Dances abound in exuberant and endearing spirits, while Gamal Abdel-Rahim's Variations on an Egyptian Folksong look to the Middle East with a classical personality that overflows with almost Brahmsian flair. And if R Nathaniel Dett's In the bottoms suite is a masterful evocation of populist forms, Ghanaian composer Gyimah Labi's pulsating Earthbeats reflects African culture with a harmonic pungency and rhythmic energy that Bartok might have appreciated.

The humanity of the music and Nyaho's gripping performances kept my ears glued to this disc. Let's hope the pianist continues to explore - and record - more such commanding repertoire.

6 Aaron Copland: Music for Two Pianos

The Nyaho/Garcia Duo is committed to performing music of composers of African or Hispanic heritage, as well works of contemporary, American and women composers. The Duo has a recording to its credit as well: Aaron Copland: Music for Two Pianos, Centaur 2405 (1998). The tracks include El Salon México, Rodeo selections, Dance of the Adolescent, Danza de Jalisco, Variations on a Shaker Melody, Danzon Cubano and Billy the Kid (arranged from suite from the ballet). Nyaho's Web site has this to say of the CD:

In November 1998, Nyaho and Garcia released their first compact disc recording of the complete transcriptions of Aaron Copland for two pianos for Centaur Records. Classical Magazine wrote then that the duo, "form a perfect match in their style of playing, their tone, and in their genuine feeling for and understanding of the Copland pieces... This CD will be the standard against which any futures performances of these dances will be measured."

7 Residency

Nyaho has been heavily involved in residency activities at a variety of levels and in a wide range of settings, including schools, colleges and community centers. His Web site elaborates:

Nyaho has served as a guest lecturer on piano technique and on specific composers, offered numerous master classes and specialized activities for students, and traveled into countless schools to wring unexpectedly beautiful music from dubious cafeteria pianos.

8 Africa Meets Asia
An example of the symposiums in which Nyaho participates is Africa Meets Asia, which was held at the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, China in October 2005. He performed both solo and duo piano works during the program.

9 Dance
The Jamaican choreographer Garth Fagan is Founder and Artistic Director of Garth Fagan Dance, an innovative dance company in its 35th season.  Its website is: www.garthfagandance.org  

Fagan's many awards include a 1998 Tony Award for Best Choreography, for his work on The Lion King.  In September of 2006, Nyaho announced that Garth Fagan was choreographing music from his CD Senku: Piano Music by Composers of African Descent.  A world premiere of a dance and live piano performance was scheduled for October 17, 2006 at the Joyce Theater in New York.  Additional live performances of the program were scheduled for Rochester, New York, where Garth Fagan Dance is based.

10 Anthology - Piano Music  of Africa and the African Diaspora
Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma

http://www.CasaMusicaledeLerma.com
William Chapman Nyaho, eminent scholar and pianist, resident of Seattle, is native of Ghana.  He secured his education at Oxford University, the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of Texas-Austin.    He has served on the faculties of the College of Maine and Williamette University.  In addition to concerts and lectures in Europe, North America, the Caribbean, South America and Africa, Dr. Nyaho is active as a member of the Nyaho/Garcia Duo.  His five-volume anthology, Piano music of Africa and the African Diaspora, is a graded collection of music by two centuries of composers from Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, Guadeloupe, the Dominican Republic, China, Canada, and the United States, and includs out-of-print classics as well as works never before published.  They offer the door to a new aesthetic with challenges for the venturesome novice as well as the concert artist.  Because the concepts might be new to the teacher and student, this reference to the publication and CD recording may facilitate this introduction and provide repertoire innovations for the classroom, radio, and recital.  It should also provide a stimulus for the recording of new works.

 Nyaho, William H. Chapman.  Piano music of Africa and the African diaspora.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2007-2208.  Five volumes.  ISBN 978-0-19-386823-6.  Foreword by Dominique-René de Lerma, preface and biographical notes by William Chapman Nyaho.

Abdel-Rahim, Gamal, 1924-1988.  Egypt.
Variations on an Egyptian folksong.   vIIIn13. 
William Chapman Nyaho.  NSR 1091 (Senku; Piano Music by Composers of African Descent).

Adams, H. Leslie, 1932-.  US.
12 etudes for piano. Etude, C-sharp minor.  vVn3.
Maria Corley.  Albany TROY 639 (2004).

Alberga, Eleanor, 1948-.  Jamaica-UK.
If the silver bird could speak.  vIIn17. 
Thalia Myers.  NMC 0057 (1999, Spectrum; 50 contemporary works for solo piano).

Almeida, Laurindo, 1917-1995.  Brazil.
Lament in tremolo form.  vIIn1. 

Alston, Lettie Beckon, 1953-.  US.
Rhapsody, no. 4.  vVn7. 
Lettie Beckon Alston.  Albany TROY 439 (2001, Keyboard music by Lettie Beckon Alston).

Bland, Ed, 1926-.  US. 
Cell phone blues.  vIIIn11. 

Bonds, Margaret, 1917-1972.  US.
Spiritual suite. Troubled water.  vIVn5.
William Chapman Nyaho.  NSR 1091 (Senku; Piano Music by Composers of African Descent).
Maria CorleyAlbany Troy 857 (2006, Soulscapes: Piano music by African American women).
Althea Waites.  Cambria CD 1097 (1987, Althea Waites plays music by African American composers).

Capers, Valerie,1936-.  US.
     
Portraits in jazz. Sweet Mr. Jelly Roll.  vIn9.
     
Portraits in jazz. The Monk. vIn11.
      Maria Corley.   Albany TROY 857 (2006,
      Piano music by African American women).

Cheatham, Wallace McClain, 1945-.  US.       Three preludes.  Prelude, no.2, Poor mourner's got a home.  vIIn6.
Three preludes. 3. Didn't it rain?  vIIIn6.  Three preludes. Prelude, no. 1, Joshua fit the battle of Jericho. vIIn5. 
William Chapman Nyaho.  NSR 1245 (Asa; Piano Music by Composers of African Descent).

Coleridge-Taylor, Samuel, 1875-1912.  England.
24 Negro melodies, op. 59. Deep river. vIIIn2. 
24 Negro melodies, op. 59. The bamboula.  vVn1.
William Chapman Nyaho.  NSR 1091 (Senku; Piano Music by Composers of African Descent).
Frances Walker (1978).  Orion 7806-2 (2003).

Dett, R. Nathaniel, 1882-1943.  Canada-US.
In the bottoms.  . In the bottoms.  Juba dance.   vIIIn4.
In the bottoms. Honey.  v2n.
William Chapman Nyaho.  NSR 1091 (Senku; Piano Music by Composers of African Descent).
Natalie Hinderas (1971).  CRI 629 (1992, Natalie Hinderas plays music by African American composers).
Monica Gaylord. Music & Arts Programs of America 737  (1993, Piano music by William Grant Still ).

El-Dabh, Halim, 1921-.  Egypt-US.
Coma dance.  vIVn4.
Mekta in the art of kita, Book 3. Basseet.  vIIn15. 
Mekta in the art of kita, Book 3. Nin nawakht.  vIIn16.
Soufiane.vIn6.
William Chapman Nyaho.  NSR 1245 (Asa; Piano Music by Composers of African Descent).

Euba, Akin, 1935-.  Nigeria-US.
Four pictures from Oyo calabashes.  Igbá kerin. Awon abàmi eye; Supernattural birds. vIIn12.
Four pictures from Oyo calabashes.  Igbá kìnni.  Akèrègbé baba emu; The gourd master of the palm wine.  vIIn13. 
Scenes from traditional life, no. 1.  vIIIn8.
Peter Schmalfuss.   Elekoto Music Centre EMC LP 001 (1989, Piano Music of Akin Euba).

Kay, Ulysses, 1917-1995.  US.
Invention, no. 2.  IIn2. 
Tender thought.  v1n2.
Monica Gaylord. Music & Arts Programs of America 737  (1993, Piano music by William Grant Still ).

Kwame, Robert Mawuena, 1954-2004. 
     
Piano piece, no. 1.  vIn5.

Labi, Gyimah, 1950-.  Ghana.
Six dialects in African pianism.  The lotus.  vIVn7. 
William Chapman Nyaho.  NSR 1091 (Senku; Piano Music by Composers of African Descent).
Michael Leslie.  MP3: http://cdtracks.com/bid540455.html.

Lamothe, Ludovic, 1882-1953.  Haiti.
La dangereuse, meringue haitiènne. vIIIn3.  William Chapman Nyaho.  NSR 1245 (Asa; Piano Music by Composers of African Descent).

Ndodana-Breen, Bongani, 1975-.  South Africa.
Flowers in the sand,  vIVn3.
William Chapman Nyaho.  NSR 1245 (Asa; Piano Music by Composers of African Descent).

Nketia, J. H. Kwabena, 1921-.  Ghana
Twelve pedagogical pieces. Volta fantasy. vIIn11.  
Bulsa work song.  vIn13.
Artis Woodehouse (2011).   On line: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GO1IpC8U64s&feature=related.

Okoye, Nkeiru.    US.
     
Dancing barefoot in the rain..  vIn10.
     
Dusk.  vIn4.
      Artis Woodehouse (2011).   On line:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?
      v=yUCjRPwmwQg.

Onyeji, Christian, 1967-.  Nigeria.
     
Oga; Maiden's game.   vIIn7. 
     
Ufie III.  vIn14.

Osman, Ali, 1958-.  Egypt.
Afro Arab blues.  vVn4.

Perkinson, Coleridge-Taylor, 1932-2004.  US.
Toccata.  vIVn6.
William Chapman Nyaho.  NSR 1245 (Asa; Piano Music by Composers of African Descent)
Michael Kim.  CRI NWCR 823 (2007, A la par).

Pradel, Alain Pierre, 1949-.  Guadeloupe.
Sept pièces créoles. Pomme cannelle.  vIIn14. 
William Chapman Nyaho.  NSR 1245 (Asa; Piano Music by Composers of African Descent).

Price, Florence B., 1887-1953.  US. 
Dances in the canebreaks. Nimble feet.  vIIIn10. 
Dances in the canebreaks. Ticklin' toes.  vIn8.
Dances in the canebreaks. Silk hat and walking cane.  vIIn9. 
William Chapman Nyaho.  NSR 1245 (Asa; Piano Music by Composers of African Descent).

Roldán y Gardes, Amadeo, 1900-1939.  France-Cuba
Preludio cubano. vIIn8. 
William Chapman Nyaho.  NSR 1245 (Asa; Piano Music by Composers of African Descent).

Roux, Isak, 1959-.  South Africa.
8 Preludes in African rhythm. Township guitar.  vVn5. 
Kwela, no, 1.  vIn1.
Lullaby. vIn11.
William Chapman Nyaho.  NSR 1245 (Asa; Piano Music by Composers of African Descent).

Russell, Oswald, 1933-.  Jamaica-Switzerland.
Jamaica dance, no. 2.  vIIIn5. 
Humoresque, no. 1.  vVn2
Papillons.  vIIIn12.
Paul Shaw.  (Le grand tour; Paul Shaw plays Caribbean art music).  [On line: Jamaican pianist, Paul Shaw, discusses Oswald Russell, Three Jamaica dances, for piano; 2. Andabte moderato, at the College of the Bahamas.  http://www.nme.com/nme-video/youtube/id/3GxE3MVm671/search/paul-shaw).

Scherzinger, Martin, 1969-.  South Africa.
Tumbling dance.  vVn8. 

Smith, Hale,1925-2009 .   US.
    
Faces of jazz. Off-beat Shorty.  vIn7.
    
Faces of jazz. My scarf is yellow.  vIn3.
     Aguilar-Delgado Duo [arrangement]  Protone
     Records (From Juon to jazz).

Swanson, Howard, 1907-1978.    US.
The cuckoo.  vIIIn7. 
Monica Gaylord. Music & Arts Programs of America 737  (1993, Piano music by William Grant Still ).

Uzoigwe, Joshua, 1946-2005.  Nigeria.
Four Nigerian dances.  Nigerian dance, no. 1.  vIIn4. 
Talking drums. Egwu amala.  vVn6.Talking drums. Ukom.  vIVn2
William Chapman Nyaho.  NSR 1091 (Senku; Piano Music by Composers of African Descent).

Vindu, André Bangambula, 1953-.  Congo-
     China.
    
Lullaby.  vIn12.

Walker, George, 1922-.  US.
Prelude and caprice.  vIVn1.
George Walker.  Albany TROY 523 (2002, George Walker in concert).

Wheatley, Andrés, 1916-.  Dominican Republic-Virgin Islands-France
Scherzino.  vIIIn9. 

Work, John Wesley, III, 1901-1967.  US.
Appalachia.  Take me back.  vIIIn1.  US
Scuppernong. At a certain church.  vIIn10. Natalie Hinderas (1971).  CRI 629 (1992, Natalie Hinderas plays music by African American composers).
 

This page was last updated on January 1, 2016