BLACK CLASSICAL MUSIC PIONEERS

SAT FEB 22, 2020, 8pm
Pre-concert lecture 6:45pm

Melissa White, violin
Piotr Gajewski, conductor

Wynton Marsalis       Wild Strumming of Fiddle (from All Rise)
Florence Price           Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major
George Walker          Lyric for Strings
William Grant Still    Symphony No. 1 (“Afro-American”)

In this exciting program, European musical forms gain a new vibrancy through the influence of African-American traditions and the blending of classical and popular styles. Wild Strumming of Fiddle, by Wynton Marsalis (born 1961), comes from a remarkable 12-movement work that fuses jazz and symphonic music to create a dizzying array of sounds, rhythms and melodies. The Violin Concerto No. 1 (1939) by Florence Price (1887-1953) is a highly accomplished work in the models of the European classical concerto, by the first African-American woman to be widely recognized as a symphonic composer. The Lyric for Strings (1946) by George Walker (1922-2018), the first African-American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music, is a work of intimate beauty. The Symphony No. 1 (1930) by William Grant Still (1895-1978) is the first symphony written by an African-American composer. Its subtitle (“Afro-American”) points to the unique style of the work, which includes elements of blues and jazz.

Sphinx Competition winner violinist Melissa White is “bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing and intelligent.” – The Cincinnati Enquirer

Sponsored by Patricia Haywood Moore & Roscoe M. Moore Jr.

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