Scott Joplin and Wynton Marsalis may be the best-known names among Black composers, but even a surface scratch of research turns up an extraordinary list of talent reaching as far back as 1745 (Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-George) up through this decade (George Walker, who died in 2018). Why are orchestral works, concertos and operas by Black composers not more prominent on American orchestras’ rosters? Celeste Headlee, whose grandfather was “the dean of African American composers” William Grant Still, talks with guests about the hidden repertoire of the great composers of color, and steps being taken by BLO and others to bring diverse composers’ voices to the forefront.
For more information about our host and panelists, visit www.blo.org/weneedtolisten.
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