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.
06/29/20 Chanda Dancy (1978 – ) Centrifuge, or the Powers that Separate Us
Dancy writes: In society, our “centrifuge” uses the powers of fear, lies and hate to force people of a united country to separate, leaving the heavy burdened – the poor, the sick, the pariahs – to the bottom of the “great experiment”, crying out in anguish and calling for “Riot!”
06/30/20 Jessie Montgomery (1981 -) Banner
About this work the composer writes: I’ve made an attempt to answer the question: “What does an anthem for the 21st century sound like in today’s multicultural environment?”
07/31/20 Rosephanye Powell (1962 – ) Still I rise
As a composer, Powell specializes in choral music and art song. She’s also a leading authority on the music of William Grant Still.