Mon | Aug 20, 2018

Felsted concert wonderful

Published:Saturday | November 25, 2017 | 12:00 AM


I was privileged to attend a staging of the Felsted concert put on by the Music Unites Jamaica Foundation (MUJF) at the Spanish Town Cathedral. As usual, the artists were top of their profession, and to know that all the music was of Jamaican origin shows the depth and variety of music that Jamaica has produced over the years.

This brings to mind a plaque that used to be on a wall on Duke Street just across Gordon House marking the birthplace of famous Jamaica-born pianist Sir Fredrick Hymen Cohen. Although he was born in Jamaica in 1852 and lived here for the first four years of his life, he is listed as a British pianist, and little is credited to his Jamaican origins. His peculiar middle name obviously did not detract from his brilliance as a musician, composer and conductor, among other feats.

He is credited with a formidable list of compositions comprising concertos, cantatas, symphonies, oratorios, songs and orchestral works. He is listed as conducting many of the big orchestras in England and Europe. The fact that he was knighted by the British because of his music must mean something out of the ordinary. The Gleaner carried a comprehensive article of his passing in 1935.

It would probably be a good idea if the MUJF could consider bringing some of his music to the Jamaican public at some time soon.