The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts will present the professional world premiere of Duke Ellington’s most significant work Black, Brown and Beige, the only-full length orchestration, as well as the composer’s equally pioneering and swinging work, Sacred Music, in a special, one-night event on Wednesday, January 26, 2022.

What’s Happening:

  • One of the most prolific and iconic composers of all time, Duke Ellington created Black, Brown and Beige to provide a more accurate accounting of African American history written for the first time by a member of his race. It was, according to Ellington, “a parallel to the history of the Negro in America,” with black, brown and beige representing red, white and blue.
  • The “Ellington-Horton Black, Brown and Beige” set to be premiered at Steinmetz Hall was commissioned by G. Schirmer, Inc. through Ellington’s son Mercer in 1987 and arranged and orchestrated by music scholar and former Ellington bandmate Randall Keith Horton—who is also the co-author of Duke Ellington: The Notes the World Was Not Ready to Hear along with Karen S. Barbera.
  • Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Jazz Orchestra at Dr. Phillips Center, musicians from the Jazz at Lincoln Center and Bethune-Cookman University Concert Chorale will come together for this powerful performance, which is part of the two-week Grand Opening Celebration marking the completion of Steinmetz Hall—the third theater in Orlando’s $615 million performing arts center
  • In addition to Black, Brown and Beige & Sacred Music, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will also perform with popular artists across different genres during its 10-day residency at the performing arts center, including The Royal Ballet in Covent Garden, Jennifer Hudson, Leon Bridges and Lyle Lovett to show the versatility and acoustic depth of the new theater.
  • To learn more or to purchase tickets visit


What They’re Saying:

  • Six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald said: “It means so much to bring back to life a work that was meant to inspire and chronicle the injustices of the Black experience in America. It is a true honor to share the stage with so many talented performers to pay tribute to the late, great Duke Ellington in Steinmetz Hall.”

About Steinmetz Hall:

  • Named after philanthropists Chuck and Margery Pabst Steinmetz, Steinmetz Hall will be one of the world's most acoustically remarkable spaces designed to reach the lowest levels at which humans can detect sound in a modern building. The multi-form venue is one of the few in the world that can also transform in shape, seating and sound to accommodate a variety of art forms and events.
  • Kathy Ramsberger, president and CEO of the Dr. Phillips Center said: “This has been one of the most ambitious performing arts development projects of the 21st century. Our approach all along was to redefine the role, and the perception, of a modern performing arts center. So we placed it in the heart of Orlando, surrounded by the true culture of our city—where Arts For Every Life would always have a home.”
  • Our own Jeremiah was recently invited out to the Dr. Phillips Center to get a sneak peek at the all new Steinmetz Hall.