#ClassicsaDay #BlackHistoryMonth Week 1 2024

Classical music originated in Western Europe, but it’s not exclusive to dead, white European males. The challenge for February is to post videos of classical music either written or performed by musicians of color. 

There’s a lot to choose from. I decided to focus on composers, but there are plenty of conductors and performers going back farther than you might think. 

Here are my posts for the first week of #BlackHistoryMonth

02/04/24 Julia Perry: A Short Piece for Orchestra

Perry already had a strong reputation in Europe when she went to study with Nadia Boulanger. This 1952 work was written during that time.

02/05/24 Undine Smith Moore: Afro-American Suite for flute, cello, and piano

Moore based this suite on five traditional spirituals. It was premiered in 1969.

02/06/24 Rosamond Johnson: Lift Every Voice and Sing National Negro Hymn

James Weldon Johnson wrote the hymn “Lift Every Voice” in 1900. His brother Rosamond set it to music. It’s since become the unofficial Black National Anthem.

02/07/24 Julius Eastman: Stay On It

Eastman used advanced aleatoric techniques with this work. It can be played by any combination of instruments. Musical cells can be repeated ad-lib, and players can jointly determine when to move from one section to the next.

02/08/24 Harry T. Burleigh: The Lord’s Prayer

Burleigh studied with Antonin Dvorak and was renowned as a singer as well as a composer. Most of his works were for solo voice or choir.

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