Our Arts Speakers Series continues with Ashleigh Gordon, violist and artistic and executive director of Castle of our Skins. "Sankofa: Musical (and Life) Understandings to Inform our Future" will explore live, in-person music making with the understandings and lessons gleaned from the racial and health pandemics.
Event is free. Please register at salemstatetickets.com.
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Described as a “charismatic and captivating performer,” Ashleigh Gordon has recorded with Switzerland's Ensemble Proton and Germany's Ensemble Modern; performed with Grammy-award winning BMOP and Grammy-nominated A Far Cry string ensemble; and appeared at the prestigious BBC Proms Festival with the Chineke! Orchestra. Comfortable on an international stage, Ashleigh has performed in the Royal Albert and Royal Festival Halls (London), Konzerthaus Berlin and Oper Frankfurt (Germany), Gare du Nord and Dampfzentrale Bern (Switzerland), Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Lee Hysan Concert Hall (Hong Kong), and throughout Sofia, Bulgaria as part of the multi-disciplinary 180 Degrees Festival. Ashleigh is co-founder, Artistic/Executive Director and violist of Castle of our Skins, a Boston-based concert and educational series devoted to celebrating Black Artistry through music. In recognition of her work, she has presented at IDEAS UMass Boston Conference and 180 Degrees Festival in Bulgaria; has been featured in the International Musician and Improper Bostonian magazines as well as the Boston Globe; and was awarded the 2016 Charles Walton Diversity Advocate Award from the American Federation of Musicians. She is a 2015 St. Botolph Emerging Artist Award recipient, a 2019 Brother Thomas Fellow, a nominee for the 2020 "Americans for the Arts Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities,” and named one of WBUR’s “ARTery 25”, twenty-five millennials of color impacting Boston’s arts and culture scene.
As an advocate of social change through education, Ashleigh served as viola instructor in the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra's Intensive Community Program, a rigorous string instrumental program that provides instruction to populations often underrepresented in classical music. Beyond instrumental instruction, she has presented lectures on citizen artistry and entrepreneurship, workshops for fellow educators on Caribbean folksongs, and guest lectured at Gettysburg College (PA), Keene State College (NH), Oberlin College Conservatory of Music (OH), and North Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts (NC). She has shared the stage as a guest panelist at the Sphinx Connect Conference and Chamber Music America Conference discussing topics of diversity in classical music, and is an Instructor of Teaching Artistry at the Longy School of Music at Bard College.Ashleigh attended the International Ensemble Modern Academy (IEMA) at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt, a year-long program in Germany focused on the study and performance of contemporary music. As the sole IEMA violist, she studied and performed with members of Ensemble Modern with highlight appearances at IRCAM (Paris), Royaumont Abbeye (France), and the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe (Germany). Continuing her new music passion throughout her summers, Ashleigh has participated in numerous festivals in Germany, Austria, France, England and North America including the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme and 46 Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt, Germany studying with the Arditti Quartet, Ensemble Modern and Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne among others. Along with receiving a Master of Contemporary Music degree from IEMA, Ashleigh received degrees in viola performance from the New England Conservatory and Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music. Her primary teachers include Carol Rodland and Louise Zeitlin with supplemental solo and chamber music studies with Stephen Drury, Eric Rosenblith and Mai Motobuchi of the Borromeo String Quartet. She can be heard on chamber music and orchestral recordings under the Mode, Siemens, BMOP/Sound, Navona and Musiques-Suisse record labels.
Arts Speakers Series
Karen A Gahagan