The Classics a Day team unanimously decided to make #BlackLivesMatter the theme for July. Classical music isn’t immune to systemic racism. It’s an art form that, like painting, sculpture, literature, or poetry, is a powerful form of expression for many voices. But some voices are heard more often than others.
If you’d like to learn more about composers of color, I recommend Music by Black Composers as a starting point.
06/06/20 Clarence Cameron White (1880-1960) Levee Dance
White was one of the foremost violinists of his generation, with career opportunities limited by race. Many of his works draw on African-American traditions.
06/07/20 Charles Lucien Lambert (1828-1896)
Lambert was born in New Orleans, a “free person of color.” He enjoyed a successful career as a composer and pianist only after leaving the U.S. in 1854 for France.
06/08/20 Lucien-Léon Guillaume Lambert (1858-1945)
Lucien-Léon was the son of Charles Lambert and born in France. He had a successful career in France, Portugal, and Brazil. But not the U.S.
06/09/20 Adolphus Hailstork (1941 – ) Epitaph for a Man Who Dreamed
Hailstork’s 1978 composition was written in memory of Martin Lurther King, Jr. He called it “a graveside service for a great man.”
06/10/20 Anthony R. Green – Fighting Spirit
Green calls himself a composer, performer, and social justice artist. He writes “when our work is blatantly ignored, disrespected, not studied, and not programmed, our voice is all we have.”