The chamber music of American composer William Grant Still was on full display Wednesday in the auditorium of the Palm Beach Day Academy.
The program, a presentation of the Palm Beach Symphony Chamber Music Series, featured a quartet of Evija Ozolins and Valentin Mansurov, violins; Chauncey Patterson, viola; and Claudio Jaffe, cello, along with guest host Dr. Rufus Jones Jr., a local conductor and scholar of Still’s music.
The career of Still roughly paralleled that of George Gershwin and Aaron Copland. While not achieving the lasting fame of those composers, Still proved that an African American could master the European classical style and bring a fresh perspective to it.
Jones, a tireless promoter of Still’s music, offered some opening commentary about Still’s career and introduced each selection. His enthusiasm for the composer delighted the audience just as much as the music.
The program opened with the Lyric Quartet. Like most of his music, it