Lawrence Brownlee to Perform Songs by Black Composers at Princeton University Concerts

By Nicolas Quiroga
Credit: Derek Blanks

Tenor Lawrence Brownlee returns to Princeton University Concerts (PUC) on March 8, 2023, to premiere a program of songs by Black composers of the Harlem Renaissance, including Jasmine Barnes, Margaret Bonds, Shawn Okpebholo, and Damien Sneed. The musical selections use texts by Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Georgia Douglas, and others. Collaborative pianist Kevin J. Miller will accompany.

The concert has taken poems from great Black writers of the Harlem Renaissance that speak to not just the struggles of the Black experience but also the positive strides African Americans have made in recent years. “These last few years have been a test, both for humanity in general and for the African-American population here in the United States,” said Brownlee in an official statement.

The director of the PUC, Marna Seltzer, stated, “It is exciting to have him back with a project that focuses on the Black artists of the Harlem Renaissance, and we are very grateful because he will use his voice to create a space for music that speaks of our past, present, and future history.”

Brownlee is recognized as one of opera’s most acclaimed singers by the international press. The New York Times described him as “an international star in the bel canto operatic repertoire.”

Brownlee’s collaborative pianist, Kevin J. Miller, is acclaimed for the dynamic performances that have placed him alongside the world’s great artists.

The concert, called “Rising,” will take place at Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.