Black Classical Musicians Festival

| October 21, 2017

The Colour of Music Black Classical Musicians Festival features vocal, piano and organ recitals, classical mixed ensembles and a finale chamber festival orchestra of black musicians presenting works by Saint-Georges, William Grant Still and George T. Walker.

Few classical music enthusiasts are aware of the contributions of an African-French composer, Joseph Boulogne, also known as Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Preceding Mozart by 11 years, Saint-Georges composed four operas and many mid-18th century works on par with or exceeding his contemporaries. His compositions are known around the world.

William Grant Still. Photo courtesy https://www.yourclassical.org/

William Grant Still. Photo courtesy https://www.yourclassical.org/

For years, black classically trained voice professionals have made enormous strides beginning with Marian Anderson’s groundbreaking 1955 debut at the Metropolitan Opera. Leontyne Price, Jessye Norman, Kathleen Battle, Denyce Graves and many others have followed, showcasing the “colour” of voice. On the orchestral stage, however, the prevalence of black classically trained instrumentalists in America lags behind their vocal counterparts.

Within the U.S. military, the corporate world, professional sports and politics, black Americans have moved beyond the boundaries that held back their ancestors. Yet today, only on rare occasions does a black conductor, concertmaster or principal classical musician grace the concert stage of a major American city or regional orchestra.

Visit www.colourofmusic.org for more information and schedule.

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