On this edition of CLASSICAL MUSIC IN COLOR, hear all about Operas composed and performed by African-Americans. There’s more than you think, from composers whose names you don’t know. We speak to Dr. Naomi Andre, an opera lover first of all, and an associate professor in African and Afroamerican Studies and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. She is the author of the book Black Opera: History, Power, Engagement from University of Illinois Press. She reveals all kinds of surprises and compositions by Black opera composers today and yesterday.
Here are the links to some of the events and competitions mentioned.
Where Freedom Rings – a 10th Anniversary Celebration of the African-American Composer Initiative in East Palo Alto, California.
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In honor of Composer George Walker, here’s a look back at his career. The first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize in Music, died last month at the age of 96. The interview with Mr. Walker is from October 2016. He’s also wrote about his life in his book: Reminiscences of an American Composer and Pianist.
On this edition of Staccato we talk to the curator of the 10 Great Children’s Books about Classical Music. Jennifer Hambrick of WOSU classical radio in Columbus says these books might encourage a child to take up an instrument or music in general.
After you’ve kissed the cousins and ate a great meal, find some time to enter some classical music and jazz competitions. Links to each competition mentioned are at the bottom of the page.
Here are links to the competitions mentioned in this Staccato.
This edition of STACCATO is about Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy. They are once again offering grants to small orchestras and other groups if they perform classical works composed by women. President Liane Curtis, talks about how the #METOO movement is helping their cause. At least one group, The River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston is going all in.
In this episode of CLASSICAL MUSIC IN COLOR , we feature CASTLE OF OUR SKINS.
Two Boston based African-American classical musicians, concerned about how much they DIDN’T know about Black classical composers, formed CASTLE OF OUR SKINS , dedicated to showcasing the music of Black classical composers.
STACCATO – The Little Opera in San Francisco. It’s an after school program for children from K-5th grade. They perform operas and compose their own original short operas. They were also challenged to listen to as much of Wagner’s The Ring Cycle as possible to raise money.
Classical Music in Color – ORCHESTRA NOIR in Atlanta. It is one of the few all African-American orchestras in the country. It was started by Conductor Jason Ikeem Rodgers.
FEEDING THESPIS – Please hear THE REDNECK GRAIL by Allyson Currin of Washington, DC. It’s a play about a young woman in search of something she doesn’t think exists. She’s doing it for her ailing grandfather and meets some curious characters in her search.
STACCATO – This installment of Staccato is about a long lost opera called TOM TOM from 1932. It was found by Yale Doctoral Student Libby Caplan who ran across it in the Harvard library.