#ClassicsaDay #WeWriteSymphonies Week 2

Last month the Classics a Day team made #BlackLivesMatter the theme. Systemic racism in classical music has limited exposure to composers of color. So for August, the team opened up the focus even further.

#WeWriteSymphonies is a hashtag used by composers of color, and it seems like a logical extension of #BlackLivesMatter.

For my contributions to the feed, I found examples throughout music history. The problem isn’t new. There are talented composers of color underrepresented in every era — not just in contemporary music.

Here are my #ClassicsaDay posts for the second week of #WeWriteSymphonies

08/10/20 Leo Brouwer (1939 – ) Cantilena de los Bosques

Cuban composer is a major figure in the world of classical guitar. IN addition to his music for the instrument, Brouwer has also composed film scores, ballets, and concert works.

08/11/20 Francis Johnson (1792-1844) – Johnson’s March

A trumpet virtuoso, Johnson was a groundbreaking Black composer. He was the first to have his music published, the first to give public concerts and perform on stage with both black and white musicians.

08/12/20 Isang Yun (1917-1995) – Violin Concerto No. 3

Korean composer Isang Yun emigrated to West Germany in 1959. He was kidnapped by South Korean police in 1967 and tortured to confess to espionage. A petition with over 200 of the world’s greatest classical artists eventually secured his release four years later.

08/13/20 Carlos Chávez (1899-1978) – Sinfonia No. 2 “Sinfonia India”

Chávez often incorporated elements of his native Mexican folk music into his works. The Sinfonia India uses traditional Yaqui percussion instruments.

08/14/20 Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) – Amazonas

This 1916 works marks a turning point. Villa-Lobos moved from writing in a purely Eurocentric style to one that closely integrated the music of his native country, Brazil.

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