#ClassicsaDay #BlackLivesMatter Week 3

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.

06/13/20 Margaret Allison Bonds (1913-1972) – Montgomery Variations

Bonds, as a classical pianist and composer, struggled against systemic racism. The variations were inspired by the March on Montgomery.

06/14/20 Ulysses Kay (1917-1995) Six Dances for Orhestra

Kay’s work was also titled “American Dances.” The dances draw from a variety of immigrant cultural traditions and feature a waltz, round dance, schottische, promenade, polka, and galop.

06/15/20 William L. Dawson (1899-1990) – King Jesus is A-Listening

Dawson composed original works, but he’s best remembered for his arrangements of African-American spirituals. This is one of his most-performed arrangements.

06/16/20 Florence Price (1887-1953) Mississippi River Suite

Price’s 1934 suite blends traces of spirituals, New Orleans jazz, popular songs to evoke the African-American experience along the river.

06/17/20 George Walker (1922-2018) Sonata No. 1 for piano

Walker wrote four piano sonatas. This 1953 work is cast in traditional forms but uses folk elements to create something unique.

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