The Marsh Festival of New Musical Voices 2021

Music & Muses of

Margaret Bonds & Langston Hughes

October 2 at 2pm | October 3 at 5pm
October 10 at 5pm
The Marsh Berkeley

written & performed by Candace Johnson
accompanied by Marc Shapiro

Music & Muses explores the inner world of Margaret Bonds (1913-1972), an American pianist and composer who, at 21 years old, was the first African American to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Bonds enjoyed a 30-year collaboration with Harlem Renaissance poet, Langston Hughes (1901-1967). Singing actress Candace Johnson will perform select art songs by Bonds featuring Hughes’ text, accompanied by Marc Shapiro (principal keyboard, San Francisco Symphony). Johnson will also voice the story of Bonds’ relationship with Hughes through her original songs composed for Music & Muses. Together the composer and poet used their creativity to push back the boundaries of racism. Music & Muses delves into their deep admiration for one another and their connected passion for creating beauty.

About the Performers

Praised by Opera Wire for her vocal clarity, dramatic presence, and expressive interpretation, soprano Candace Johnson, has concertized widely, including guest appearances at Carnegie Hall and The Manhattan Center. In 2018, Johnson premiered her one-woman show, VOX in a BOX at UC Berkeley, followed by a 2019 “Marsh Rising” performance. The show is a musical biography of how she uniquely fused her black music heritage and classical training to find her “voice”. On the music faculty at UC Berkeley, Johnson teaches voice classes and specializes in the research and performance of classical works by African-American composers. Johnson earned her doctorate in voice performance from the University of Michigan. 

Pianist Marc Shapiro is an acting member of the San Francisco Symphony, with whom he has toured the United States, Europe, and Asia. As featured soloist with the orchestra he has performed Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals, Frank Martin’s Petite Symphonie Concertante, and James P. Johnson’s Yamekraw. He is also Principal Keyboardist with the California Symphony, Berkeley Symphony,  and for twenty years was the San Francisco Symphony Chorus accompanist. Mr. Shapiro has partnered with such distinguished soloists as John Mack, Timothy Day, David Wilson-Johnson, Geraldine Walther, William Bennett and The Martha Graham Dance Company. He can be heard on the soundtracks of Mars AttacksHouse of Yes and Hellboy, and has recorded with the heavy metal group Metallica. He has appeared on four continents as solo pianist for the touring orchestra concert “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony.”  Marc is a frequent performer for Composer’s Inc., Chamber Music Sundae, San Francisco Symphony Chamber Music Series, Sierra Chamber Music Society, and Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego. Mr. Shapiro received his bachelors and masters of music from The Peabody Conservatory of Music, and has recorded for Cantilena, New Albion, Music and Art, Delos, Argo, SarnWorks, Albany Records and Lapis Island Records.

About the Director

David Ford (Director) has been collaborating on new and unusual theatre for three decades and has been an artist-in-residence at The Marsh for most of that time. The San Francisco press has variously called him “the solo performer maven“, “the monologue maestro”, “the dean of solo performance”, and “the solo performer’s best friend” and a week rarely goes by when residents of the Bay Area can not enjoy one of his productions.

Show Info

Tickets: $20 – $35 General Seating sliding scale
$50 & $100 Reserved Seating
Festival Pass $50
October 2, 3 & 10, 2021 | The Marsh Berkeley
Saturday at 2:00pm – Sundays at 5:00pm
60 minutes | Ages 13+

For more information on the sliding scale ticketing policy, late seating and reserved seating please click here.

Health, Safety and COVID-19 Information
Our commitment to our patrons

Proof of vaccination along with valid ID
Face Coverings are required


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