May 24 concert celebrates the music of black composers | News

On May 24, the School of Creative and Performing Arts presents A Celebration of Music by Black Composers IV featuring faculty and students from the Music Division. This series was initiated in 2020, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The concert will feature music by Eric Brian Lacy, Joseph Bologna, William Grant Still and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

“The particularity of this program is that it offers a sample of musical works by black composers from more than four centuries,” explains Edmond Agopian, professor of music at the SCPA.

From 18and classic style of the century of Joseph Bologna, in the 19and romantic style of the century by Samuel-Coleridge Taylor, in the 20and century American jazz style of William Grant Still, and at the 21st style of the century modernist of Eric Brian Lacy, these works highlight the creativity of black composers who, despite racism and oppression, were able to excel as composers of music ranging from solo works to chamber music, to symphonic music, opera, etc. on.

The program includes Sonata for two violins No. 3a in A major by Bologna, Invariant for two Lacy violins, Suite for violin and piano by Still, and Quintet for Clarinet Op. ten by Coleridge-Taylor.

Featured musicians are Isaac Willocks and Edmond Agopian (violins), Ethan Mung (viola), Takumi Rodgers (cello), Sam Lucas (clarinet) and Jarome Harlea (piano).

About the composers

Contemporary American composer Eric Brian Lacy has composed music for all mediums, including orchestral and chamber music works, as well as music for films and video games. His unique ability to combine romanticism with 21st century compositional techniques brings a lush, expressive quality to his music, and his music has been performed around the world.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) sought to draw on African American music and integrate it into the classical tradition. In a telling quote from the preface to Twenty-four Negro Melodieshe writes: “What Brahms did for Hungarian popular music, Dvorak for bohemian and Grieg for Norwegian, I tried to do for these Negro melodies.

William Grant Again (1895-1978) was undoubtedly one of the most influential African-American composers of the early 20th century. His career as a composer began when he received a scholarship to study at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music during the era of Jim Crow segregation, when Oberlin was one of the few major conservatories to admit black students. . Still’s premiere African American Symphony in 1931 reported one of the first works by an African-American composer to earn a place in the orchestral canon. In the title of the work, Still identified his race with pride, inspired by the cultural activism of the Harlem Renaissance.

Joseph Bologna, Knight of Saint George (1745-1799), began his professional career as a musician with Les Concerts des Amateurs. He made a sensational debut as a soloist with this orchestra in 1772, playing two violin concertos of his own composition. In 1773, he was appointed conductor. Under his direction, it became considered the best orchestra in Paris and one of the best in all of Europe. In 1781, Bologna became director of the newly formed Le Concert Olympique orchestra. He composed string quartets, violin concertos, orchestral works, operas and other works.

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