On a stage elevated above the audience, an orchestra is traditionally separated from its audience. This separation isn’t just physical — it’s often emotional, as well. Xavier Foley has focused his career on being a different kind of musician, who explores the space between the performer and their audience. A good performance is much more than playing the notes right — it’s speaking to the audience’s feelings, perceptions, and notions of what a performance should be. As a Black soloist who plays a non-traditional solo instrument — the bass — Foley is in the perfect position explore the limits and margins of music performance. During his residency, he will offer a string masterclass for students and workshop with Longy composers, culminating in a performance alongside the Du Bois Orchestra.[/vc_column_text]
Xavier Foley is known for communicating his virtuosity and passion for music on the double bass, which is rarely presented as a solo instrument. Winner of a prestigious 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant, he was recently recognized on New York WQXR’s “19 for 19” Artists to Watch list, and featured on PBS Thirteen’s NYC-ARTs.
Also a composer, Mr. Foley was co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and the Sphinx Organization for a new work entitled “For Justice and Peace” for Violin, Bass, and String Orchestra, which was recently performed at venues including Carnegie Hall as part of a program designed to promote social justice.
As concerto soloist with orchestra, he has performed with the Atlanta Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, Brevard Concert Orchestra, Victoria Symphony, Sphinx Symphony and Sphinx Virtuosi at Carnegie Hall.
Mr. Foley won the 2016 Young Concert Artists International Auditions along with four Performance Prizes and a Paiko Foundation Fellowship, and First Prizes at Astral’s 2014 National Auditions, Sphinx’s 2014 Competition, and the 2011 International Society of Bassists Competition.
In 2018, he made his acclaimed New York recital debut at Merkin Concert Hall and his Washington, DC debut at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater on the Young Concert Artists Series. The program included two of his own compositions. He has also performed at Carnegie Hall as a Laureate of the Sphinx Competition, at the Young Concert Artists Series at Alice Tully Hall and the Morgan Library, and for Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Paramount Theatre in Vermont, Harriman-Jewell Series in Missouri, and Buffalo Chamber Music Society. This season, invitations for Mr. Foley to perform include Arizona Friends of Chamber Music, Alys Stevens Performing Arts Center, Shriver Hall Discovery Series, Virtuosi Concert Series of Winnipeg, as well as the Zenith and Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festivals.
An active chamber musician, Mr. Foley has appeared at the Marlboro Music Festival, Tippet Rise Music Festival in Fishtail, MT, Bridgehampton and Skaneateles (NY) Festivals, New Asia Chamber Music Society in Philadelphia, South Mountain Concerts, Wolf Trap, and with New York’s Jupiter Chamber Players.
A native of Marietta, GA, Xavier Foley is an alumnus of the Perlman Music Program, and earned his Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music working with Edgar Meyer and Hal Robinson. His double bass was crafted by Rumano Solano.
The Du Bois Orchestra, founded by Harvard students in 2015 to make music a means of overcoming social exclusion, has exploded onto the local musical scene. It performs to large, diverse audiences, and elevates underrepresented composers by performing their works alongside works from the traditional classical canon.
The orchestra recently performed a concert series in honor of the 150th birthday of W.E.B. Du Bois, a civil rights leader and the first African American to graduate with a PhD from Harvard. At one performance during the series, the City of Cambridge issued a proclamation honoring Du Bois’s legacy, and the Du Bois Society at Harvard put on an exhibit honoring his life. The orchestra’s upcoming concerts will continue to feature composers from underrepresented backgrounds.
The Du Bois Orchestra includes musicians from Harvard University, Longy School of Music, New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, and members of the local musical community. Concerts are FREE, but audience members do have the option to donate online, or in-person.
“What has this Beauty to do with the world? What has Beauty to do with Truth and Goodness—with the facts of the world and the right actions of men? ‘Nothing’, the artists rush to answer. They may be right. I am but an humble disciple of art and cannot presume to say. I am one who tells the truth and exposes evil and seeks with Beauty and for Beauty to set the world right. That somehow, somewhere eternal and perfect Beauty sits above Truth and Right I can conceive, but here and now and in the world in which I work they are for me unseparated and inseparable.”
–W.E.B Du Bois
There will be a Pre-Concert talk at 7:00pm.
Website Link: Xavier Foley
The Du Bois Orchestra