Since 1979, June has been African-American Music Appreciation Month. The Classics a Day team decided to adopt it for the June 2019 theme as well. Popular music genres will no doubt be well-represented by others. We’ll be focusing on the composers, conductors, and performing artists of color who have contributed to classical music.
For my part, my feed features African-American classical composers. Here are my posts for Week 2 of #ClassicsaDay #BlackMusicMonth
6/10/19 Adolphus Hailstork (1941 – ) – “Sonata da Chiesa” for String Orchestra
Hailstork studied with David Diamond and Nadia Boulanger. His music seamlessly blends European and African-American traditions together. “Sonata da Chiesa” was premiered in 1979.
6/11/19 Ulysses Kay (1917-1995) Fantasy Variations
Kay studied with Paul Hindemith in the 1940s. Some of that influence can be heard in the way Kay develops his variations from the theme.
6/12/19 Dorothy Rudd Moore (1940 – ) – A Little Whimsy
Moore is one of the founders of the Society of Black Composers. Included in her catalog is the 1985 opera, “Frederick Douglass.”
6/13/19 Derrick Spiva, Jr. (1982 – ) – American Mirror
In addition to Western classical music, Spiva has also studied Hindustani, Balkan, Persian, and West African music. His own work incorporates all of these musical traditions and more.
6/14/19 Olly Wilson (1937-2018) – Trilogy for Orchestra
In addition to being a composer, Wilson was also a pianist and double bassist. He established TIMARA (Technology in Music and Related Arts) at Oberlin.