On 19 May 2023 dynamic American violinist Randall Goosby releases his keenly awaited second album with Decca Classics: Randall Goosby, Yannick Nézet-Séguin • Max Bruch & Florence Price Violin Concertos.
The recording is an impressive collaboration with the Grammy Award-winning partnership of Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra cementing Goosby’s ever-growing stature as a multifaceted talent. Building on his debut album Roots (2021), which celebrated Black classical composers, this album showcases the trailblazing composer Florence Price and German romantic composer and conductor Max Bruch.
Goosby says “I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to record three stunning concertos with Yannick Nezet-Seguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
I fell in love with Bruch Concerto No. 1 when I was a kid, and it’s one of those pieces that just doesn’t get old. It is loaded with drama, excitement, heartbreak, and everything in between. What a joy it was to record this all-time favorite with the lush and expressive sound of the Philadelphia Orchestra behind me!
It was only a little more than a decade ago that Florence Price’s Violin Concertos were discovered in what used to be her summer home. Since the discovery, Florence Price’s unique musical language and style has enjoyed widespread recognition and appreciation, thanks in large part to Philadelphia’s incredible recordings of her orchestral works. Our recording of the violin concertos was incredibly special, not only because it was taken from live performances, but also because of the tangible energy and passion we share for Price’s music and legacy. Her music is an important part of American History, and it tells a story that I bet you haven’t heard before.”
Acclaimed for the sensitivity and intensity of his musicianship, Goosby is also known for his desire to make music inclusive and accessible, bringing the work of under-represented composers to light.
“I wanted to be the one to share these pieces in this way for the first time,” said Goosby of the new album – the first commercial recording and release by a major label of Florence Price’s violin concerti. It’s the latest instalment of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s plan to record all her major orchestral works.
Florence Price (1887–1953), composer, pianist, organist and pedagogue, made history in 1933 as the first African-American woman to have music performed by a major US orchestra. Despite this, prejudice meant she struggled to get her work played beyond African-American communities. Her music faded into obscurity until 2009, when rediscovery of her manuscripts led to new recognition. Her style fuses the classical tradition with haunting melodies of spiritual African-American folk tunes.
Max Bruch (1838–1920), composer, conductor, and teacher, wrote over 200 works including three violin concertos, the first of which, in G Minor, has become a staple of the violin repertoire and features on the album. He enjoyed success throughout Europe and America, based mainly on the reputation of his concertos for violin and cello, and his secular oratorios. Influenced by Mendelssohn and Schumann, many of his melodies were also based on folk song.
Also on the record is an arrangement for string orchestra and solo violin by Jim Gray of Price’s Adoration. Published in 1951, it was initially written as a short piece for organ intended for use in church and has become something of a trademark encore for Goosby in live performances.
On working with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Goosby said: “Yannick is great. He sort of spearheaded the Orchestra’s mission to bring Price’s music to the foreground. It’s very clear how much he cares about this music, what it means to him. That definitely found its way into the sound of the orchestra and recordings. I couldn’t have asked for a more ideal collaboration.”
Randall Goosby is a protégé of legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman, the youngest ever winner of the junior division of the prestigious Sphinx Competition and First Prize Winner in the 2018 Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York. He’s also the first ever Robey Artist with Young Classical Artists Trust in London.
Goosby is also a passionate advocate for diversity in classical music, a champion for music education, and a performer who seeks opportunities to inspire through music, via initiatives such as Project: Music Heals Us (in response to Covid−19) and London Music Masters. He’s an ambassador for the charity London Music Masters, a role that sees him mentoring students in schools around the UK.
Performing in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls, this month Goosby made his Walt Disney Hall debut with Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and upcoming concerts include the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, debut recital in Seoul, the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, Japan, Mostly Mozart Festival, New York as well as the St Louis Symphony Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony, among others.