Performance Today®

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr delivering his "I Have a Dream" speechPhoto: Rowland Scherman, via National Archives

January 17, 2022

In the spring of 1968, conductor Paul Freeman ran into Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Atlanta airport. Their brief conversation was one he never forgot. On this episode of Performance Today, hear about that life-changing encounter in our musical celebration of King's life and legacy.

Episode Playlist

Hour 1

John Williams: Air and Simple Gifts
Anthony McGill, clarinet | Yo-Yo Ma, cello | Itzhak Perlman, violin | Gabriela Montero, piano
Album: The Music of America: John Williams
Sony 770363

Adolphus Hailstork: Epitaph for a Man Who Dreamed: In Memoriam: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Chicago Sinfonietta | Paul Freeman, conductor
Album: African Heritage Symphonic Series, Vol. 2
Cedille 61

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1, "Ghost"
Philippe Quint, violin | Alisa Weilerstein, cello | Inon Barnatan, piano
Aspen Music Festival and School, Harris Concert Hall, Aspen, CO

Michael Abels: Winged Creatures
Anthony McGill, clarinet | Demarre McGill, flute | Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra | Allen Tinkham, conductor
Album: Winged Creatures
Cedille 187

Hour 2

Thomas Dorsey: Precious Lord, Take My Hand
Mahalia Jackson, vocal | Mildred Falls, piano | Ralph Jones, organ
Album: Bless This House
Columbia Records 889

Duke Ellington: Three Black Kings: Ballet Movement 3 Martin Luther King
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra | JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Album: Duke Ellington: Black, Brown, and Beige
Naxos 559737

Ben Hippen: American Nocturne
Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra | Benjamin Loeb, conductor
Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra, Lviv National Philharmonie, Ukraine

Joel Thompson: America Will Be!
Tonality | Alexander Lloyd Blake, conductor
Album: America Will Be

Reena Esmail: The Light is the Same
Imani Winds
Album: Bruits
Bright Shiny Things

Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson: Sinfonietta No. 1
Sphinx Virtuosi | Damon Gupton, conductor
Album: Live in Concert
White Pine Music 227