Based in Houston, Texas, the Apollo Chamber Players comprises violinists Matthew J. Detrick and Anabel Ramirez Detrick, violist Whitney Bullock, and cellist Matthew Dudzik.
They were a recent winner of Chamber Music America’s Residency Partnership Award and in the past five years, they have performed twice at Carnegie Hall to sold-out audiences.
“With Malice Toward None” is a culmination of globally-inspired compositions and collaborations, involving original works by Vietnam War veteran, J. Kimo Williams; American composers Pamela Z and Eve Beglarian; Christopher Theofanidis and Mark Wingate; and Armenian ethnomusicologist and composer, Komitas.
Performers on the album include electric violinist Tracy Silverman, Armenian violist and acting principal of the Houston Symphony Joan DerHovsepian, duduk player Arsen Petrosyan, and percussionist Pejman Hadadi.
The pieces by Pamela Z, Theofanidis, Wingate, and Beglarian are part of Apollo’s 20x2020 project which launched in 2014 focusing on the commissioning of 20 new multicultural works before the end of the decade.
On the title track by J. Kimo Williams, his wife, Carol Williams said in a press release: “A speech by a politician is not expected to be the equivalent of poetry, or to cast a lasting memory in popular culture; especially not one given 155 years ago.
“But that is precisely what [Abraham Lincoln’s] phrase, ‘with malice toward none, and charity for all’ has become,” she continued.
“It is the definition of politics seamlessly intersecting with art. So should it be any different from having music intersect with politics? Today, there is still a critical need for ‘socially responsible pieces of music’ that can address our human failures with as much hope as it does despair,” she concluded.