The Classics a Day team has celebrated Black composers before. This time around, I tried to avoid duplication with previous posts. It was easy to do. There is a lot of classical music by persons of color, both in the past as well as the present. A lot.
Here are my posts for the third week of #BlackHistoryMonth for #ClassicsaDay.
02/15/21 Julius Eastman – Femenine
Eastman performed with Peter Maxwell Davies, Meredith Monk, and Pierre Boulez. As a composer, he used minimalism to develop his music organically.
02/16/21 Helen Hagan – Concerto in C minor
Hagen was a pianist and composer, who studied at Yale. She premiered this concerto in 1912. Horatio Parker conducted. She was the first Black woman to graduate from Yale. Her concerto has yet to be recorded with an orchestra.
02/17/21 Adolphus Hailstork – Piano Concerto
Hailstork’s 1992 concerto was premiered in Norfolk with JoAnn Falletta conducting the Virginia Symphony (which co-commissioned the work). Leon Bates was the soloist.
02/18/21 Undine Smith Moore – We Shall Walk in Peace
Moore became known as “The Dean of Black Women Composers.” She wrote over 100 works, many for chorus. This is an arrangement of a traditional spiritual Moore published in 1977.
02/19/21 Philippa Schuyler – Five Little Pieces
Schuyler was a child prodigy, playing and composing at age 5. In her early 30s, she gave up the piano, weary of continually fighting prejudice in the classical music world.