Release Date: November 13, 2015
Catalog #: NV6013
ALSO ON NAVONA RECORDS
CLEMENTI GRAND (NV5966)
MY CUP RUNNETH OVER
R. Nathaniel Dett
Clipper Erickson, piano
Composer, pianist, teacher, poet, and writer, Robert Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943) is regarded as one of the most important musicians in American history, lauded in his lifetime as the first American composer to fuse African American folk idioms with the European art music tradition in a sophisticated way. On his debut album on Navona Records, MY CUP RUNNETH OVER, pianist Clipper Erickson presents the first complete collection of Dett’s piano works, a milestone for American music discography.
From the first time Dett heard Antonín Dvořák’s works performed at Oberlin College, he strived to incorporate African American folk music themes in the highest forms of musical art. The piano suites embrace almost all of the composer’s creative life, from Magnolia, written soon after his graduation from Oberlin, to the Eight Bible Vignettes, written during the last two years of his life. They show a great development, variety and richness of style, and his lyrical gift; truly reflecting his struggles, triumphs, and deepening philosophical interests. Erickson’s performances on this album deliver some of the most significant music of early 20th-century America to the world, reminding us of the prominent role of African American spirituals and folk music in contemporary American art, culture, and philosophy.
Erickson has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in recitals in numerous notable concert venues around the world, including the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall
He studied at The Juilliard School, Yale University, and Indiana University as well as with renowned British pianist John Ogdon. In 2014 he received his Doctorate at Temple University researching Dett’s piano music
Erickson actively premieres new piano works written for him, most recently performing Una Carta de Buenos Aires by composer Richard Brodhead at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. In the fall of 2015 he gives the world premiere of Laurie Altman’s Sonata No. 7, “Tanzania”
Erickson currently teaches at Westminster Conservatory in Princeton NJ and Temple University in Philadelphia PA
Growing up in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, and later in New York, Dett was the first person of African descent to graduate from Oberlin College, with a double degree in piano and composition in 1908. Even after being awarded honorary doctorates in music from Howard University in 1924, and Oberlin in 1926, Dett chose to enroll at the Eastman School of Music in 1931 to obtain a master’s degree
Dett’s writings include The Emancipation of Negro Music, which won an important literary prize at Harvard University in 1920, and The Album of a Heart, a volume of poems
Clipper Erickson made his debut as a soloist with the Young
Musicians Foundation Orchestra at age 19 in Los Angeles. After studies at The Juilliard School, Yale University, and Indiana University with the renowned British pianist John Ogdon, his interpretations began earning prizes at international competitions including the Busoni, William Kapell, and the American Pianists Association. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in recitals in some of the most famous concert venues in the world, including the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Most recently he completed his DMA degree at Temple University, researching the piano music of Nathaniel Dett.
In addition to his powerful renditions of the great classical repertoire, Erickson’s interpretations of American music from past and present have launched a series of album releases that have received considerable critical acclaim and have often been featured on radio stations throughout the United States. Critics describe his playing as “colorful,” “powerful” and “exciting.” Typical is the Washington Post: “Like a true heroic pianist, Erickson approached Liszt with power, precision, and Romantic abandon … A take-no-prisoners rendition.”
Through his work as a roster member of Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour and earlier in the Xerox Pianist Program of Affiliate Artists, he has performed for all types of community groups, always engaging audiences with illuminating commentary on his program selections. An important part of his mission is encouraging the love of music through commitment to education, performances in schools, master classes, and the inspiration of future generations of musicians. He currently teaches at Westminster Conservatory in Princeton NJ and Temple University in PA.
In The Bottoms (1913)
Nepenthe and the Muse (1922)
Cinnamon Grove (1928)
Tropic Winter (1938)
Eight Bible Vignettes (1941-43)
After the Cakewalk (1900)
Cave of the Winds (1902)
Inspiration Waltzes (1903)
© NAVONA RECORDS LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Navona Records offers listeners a fresh taste of today's leading innovators in orchestral, chamber, instrumental, and experimental music as well as prime pieces of classic repertoire. Our music is meticulously performed by the finest musicians and handpicked to ensure the most rewarding listening experience.
223 Lafayette Road
North Hampton NH 03862
603.758.1718 x 161