- Anya Laurence
(bc1930). American violinist. He began his studies at the age of seven and entered the Juilliard School of Music three years later. He completed his formal studies with Vera Fonaroff at the Mannes College of Music. In 1962, he was the first African American musician to become a regular member of the New York PO. He has appeared as a soloist with the Baltimore, Detroit, and Quebec symphony orchestras, and the New York Philharmonic. In 1998, he gave the first performance of Roland Hanna’s Sonata for Violin and Piano at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He was first violinist for the recording of Olly Wilson’s Of Visions & Truth, as well as the soloist for the recording of Roque Cordero’s Violin Concerto, which was released as part of the Columbia label’s pioneering Black Composers Series. Allen served on the advisory panel of the New York State Arts Council and was a member of the Executive Board of the Kennedy Center’s National Black Music Colloquium and Competition. He has been described as “a violinist who can meet the virtuosity challenges thrillingly. He has extraordinary commitment and finesse and the intensity generated by his impassioned performance is nothing short of overwhelming” (...