Celebrity Series of Boston Neighborhood Arts Presents: “Solo(s) Together” 

A new commissioning project for quartets featuring five contemporary composers: Nathalie Joachim, Valerie Coleman, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Amir Bitran, and Paul Desenne

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Celebrity Series of Boston Neighborhood Arts presents Solo(s) Together, a new commissioning project that features works by five contemporary composers: Nathalie Joachim, Valerie Coleman, Amir Bitran, Paul Desenne, and Daniel Bernard Roumain. The composers were commissioned by the Celebrity Series to write a short piece for a quartet that consists of a solo for each musician with an ending that includes all four musicians. Participating Neighborhood Arts ensembles are Hub New Music, Unitas Ensemble conducted by Lina González-Granados, Boston String Academy, and Castle of our Skins. 

A composer roundtable, moderated by Jonathan Bailey Holland from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, begins the series of concerts and events on March 2. The four performances featuring these works take place in person from March 12-April 23, 2022 in various venues located in Boston. Tickets to the in-person performances are free, and each concert will be available for on-demand viewing on the Celebrity Series YouTube channel for three months after their premieres (https://www.youtube.com/celebrityseriesofboston). 

The idea for this new music project was inspired by Associate Director of Community Engagement Robin Baker’s involvement in Celebrity Series' 2019 Public Performance Project, Concert for One

“During the pandemic when live performances for audiences shut down in 2020, Celebrity Series Neighborhood Arts program commissioned five short chamber works dedicated to (and premiered by Boston-based musicians,” says Baker. “The format features ‘solo musical miniatures’ which can be performed for recitals, auditions, worship services, or public events, which highlight music by talented local composers of diverse backgrounds.”

Composer Daniel Bernard Roumain adds, “My new work, ‘Music For Black People,’ is a way to think about when the same music, words, and ideas can come together and form something new and holistic. I took this as an opportunity to think about my work as a composer, as a performer, as an educator, and as an activist.”

Solo(s) Together is made possible in part by support from Celebrity Series' LIVE PERFORMANCE! Arts for All Innovation Funds.

The 2021/22 Neighborhood Arts season is generously sponsored by the Stephanie L. Brown Foundation.


Solo(s) Together Virtual Composer Roundtable

March 2, 2022 at 12pm

Streaming—Details TBA


Watch as a roundtable filled with all five composers, moderated by Boston Conservatory faculty and composer Jonathan Bailey Holland, discuss the Solo(s) Together project. They'll give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at how the project came to be, and discuss the importance of supporting new works, both in person and streamed, by diverse composers.

Hub New Music, "Rogue Emojis" featuring a new work by Nathalie Joachim

March 12, 2022 at 3pm

More Than Words Bookstore (242 E Berkeley St, Boston) 

Tickets: Free


This performance will premiere on YouTube on April 7 and remain available for 3 months.


Boston's Hub New Music, a Neighborhood Arts standout in both in-person and digital performances, returns to our live performance series with a concert that kicks off the “Solo(s) Together” commissioning project, in which contemporary composers from diverse backgrounds will create short works for four musicians.  

Inspired by Celebrity Series’ 2019 “Concert for One” project, the pieces will feature short solos for each of the four players, before all the players come together at the end. To launch the project, Celebrity Series artist partners Hub New Music will perform a piece by Nathalie Joachim, GRAMMY-nominated Haitian-American composer and flutist (formerly of Eighth Blackbird), who creates varied and powerful works for organizations across the country. 

Joachim’s new piece, “They Found Me In Pieces,” is a play on words describing the modular puzzle piece structure of this work. “It is meant to be approached playfully,” Joachim says, “and is designed to be performed in a variety of structures: as four unique one-minute solos; as a flashy one-minute quartet; or in any and all combinations of duos and/or trios available (sequenced as the performers see fit). My hope is that every performance is approached with a sense of creativity and whimsy, making each iteration fun and unique.”

This program will also include works by contemporary composers Kati Agócs, Christopher Cerrone, Christian Quiñones and Yevgeniy Sharlat.

Hub New Music members – flutist Michael Avitabile, clarinetist Nicholas Brown, violinist Alyssa Wang, and cellist Jesse Christeson – are all committed educators and contemporary music advocates as well as virtuosic and expressive players. 

Neighborhood Arts Flute Quartet: “Bostonian Scenes” featuring a new work by Valerie Coleman

April 2, 2022 at 3pm 

Arlington Street Church (351 Boylston St, Boston)

Tickets: Free


This performance will premiere on YouTube on April 21 and remain available for 3 months.


Don't miss a rare opportunity to hear four flutists showcase the versatility and variety of the flute family! This performance brings together four of the Boston area's standout flutists for an afternoon of contemporary music anchored by an exciting world premiere. 

Composer and flutist Valerie Coleman – founder and former flutist of Imani Winds, an alumna of Boston University, and one of America’s most-performed living composers – has created a new work titled “Four Bostonian Scenes” for our Solo(s) Together commissioning project featuring four short flute solos, with a finale bringing the ensemble back together. 

The flute quartet includes Hub New Music founder and executive director, composer and flutist Michael Avitabile; contemporary music champion and Boston Conservatory at Berklee Contemporary Classical Department chair Sarah Brady; Fernando Brandão, professor at Berklee College of Music and lecturer on Brazilian music; and Cynthia Meyers, Boston Symphony Orchestra piccoloist and faculty member at New England Conservatory. 

Valerie Coleman, “Four Bostonian Scenes”

Promenade Along the Charles River

Cambridge on Sunday Morning

Tire Jumping (based on artwork by Allan Rohan Crite)


This program will also include solo and chamber works by Amanda Harburg, Kaija Saariaho, Margaret Lowe, Jessie Montgomery and others for flute(s), cello, and piano.

This event is co-hosted by Ágora Cultural Architects and Celebrity Series of Boston Neighborhood Arts.

Unitas Ensemble & Boston String Academy Stringfest” featuring new works by Amir Bitran and Paul Desenne

April 14, 2022 at 7pm

Roxbury Community College Theatre (1234 Columbus Ave. Roxbury, MA 02120)

Tickets: Free


This performance will premiere on YouTube on May 5 and remain available for 3 months.


Young musicians from Boston String Academy take the stage at Roxbury Community College alongside Unitas Ensemble, whose founder and artistic director Lina González-Granados makes debuts in 2021-22 with the San Francisco Symphony and the New York Philharmonic, and was recently named Resident Conductor of the Los Angeles Opera.

The program is anchored by two world premieres in our Solo(s) Together commissioning project: composers Amir Bitran and Paul Desenne have created works for four instrumentalists with short solos for each of the performers and a conclusion that brings them all together.  

Composer and biophysicist Amir Bitran sees inspiration just about everywhere to create his compositions: his multicultural, multilingual Jewish and Latin American upbringing; rock and pop artists like Green Day and Queen; international folk traditions; the natural world; and the inner workings of cells, notably DNA and protein-folding processes.

Cellist and composer Paul Desenne threads together Latin American influences heard in his native Venezuela and beyond with global and academic inspirations from his time in Paris: he creates a lush, rhythmic world of sound. La Petite Bande à Schubert is a mini concerto with an introduction and four “solo episodes” in variations from a theme taken from Schubert’s Trio Op. 100 finale.

Amir Bitran, "Morphogens"



Mitotic Waves



Paul Desenne, "La Petite Bande à Schubert"

Schubert in Caracas

Spaghetti Western




This program will also include selections of Latin composers, TBA.

Castle of our Skins: "For Black People" featuring a new work by Daniel Bernard Roumain

April 23, 2022 at 3pm

Arlington Street Church (351 Boylston St, Boston)

Tickets: Free


This performance will premiere on YouTube on May 19 and remain available for 3 months.


Our 2022 Solo(s) Together project concludes with a concert featuring a Boston ensemble that's making news nationally and a widely-acclaimed composer and musician with local ties. A quartet from Boston's Castle of our Skins artist collective -- a group of artists of all kinds dedicated to celebrating Black artistry through music -- performs contemporary works to include a piece for four instrumentalists by Daniel Bernard Roumain, with short solos for each of the performers and a conclusion that brings all the performers together.  

Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) is a prolific and endlessly collaborative composer, performer, educator, and social entrepreneur. “About as omnivorous as a contemporary artist gets” (New York Times), DBR has worked with artists from Philip Glass to Bill T. Jones to Lady Gaga; appeared on NPR, American Idol, and ESPN; and has collaborated with the Sydney Opera House and the City of Burlington, Vermont. Acclaimed as a violinist and activist, DBR’s career spans more than two decades, earning commissions by venerable artists and institutions worldwide. He recently composed the music for Jamila Wignot's feature documentary, Ailey, and his music can be experienced this season in The Just and the Blind, his collaborative multimedia exploration of Black fatherhood and Black boyhood in an age of mass incarceration, with spoken-word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph. 

Daniel Bernard Roumain, Music for Black People, No. 1 "Relentless"

This program will also include music by Black composers Undine Smith Moore, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Tania León, Andre Myers, and Zenobia Powell-Perry.

Composer note from Daniel Bernard Roumain:

“Music for Black People, No. 1 – Relentless” is just that: music for people who are Black.  If you’re not Black, you can, of course, still listen to this music but you might not hear it. If that offends you, you might ask yourself why. Power and place to Black people!"

Musicians from Castle of our Skins:

Brianna J. Robinson, soprano

Francesca McNeeley, cello

David Coleman, piano

DeShaun Gordon-King, flute

This event is co-hosted by Ágora Cultural Architects and Celebrity Series of Boston Neighborhood Arts.

Castle of our Skins is funded in part by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.


Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Celebrity Series has been bringing the very best performers—from orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, and more—to Boston’s major concert halls for 83 years. The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives, and build better communities. Through its education initiatives, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience—on stages, on streets, in neighborhoods—everywhere.

Celebrity Series of Boston is grateful to our 2021/22 Season Sponsors Amy & Joshua Boger, 2021/22 Neighborhood Arts Presenting Sponsor Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, and to the many individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies whose generosity supports Arts for All! and help fulfill our mission to present performing artists who inspire and enrich our community. Individual and institutional supporters include Leslie & Howard Appleby, Barr Foundation through its ArtsAmplified initiative, Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, Amy & Ethan d’Ablemont Burnes, First Republic Bank, Foley & Lardner LLP, George & Lizbeth Krupp, Liberty Mutual Foundation, Richard K. Lubin Family Foundation, Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Stifler Family Foundation, Yawkey Foundation, Anonymous (3), and many others. 

Arts for All! programs are also made possible by support from the LIVE PERFORMANCE! Arts for All Endowment & Innovation Funds of the Celebrity Series of Boston.