Monday, February 11, 2013

'Black History Month on, 2013: Blacks in Classical Music'

[The life, fencing and music of Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799) are presented at]

AfriClassical presents a message from Dr. Quintard Taylor and an excerpt from the Black History Month 2013 Classical Music page, which is dedicated to Margaret Allison Bonds, whose birth Centennial is March 3, 2013:

On February 1, ( had its sixth birthday but we were almost too busy to notice. On that same day we posted the new Classical Music Page for Black History Month.  With the help of fifteen volunteer contributors and the long hours of volunteer staff, we were able to craft a page which has names and profiles of 68 composers and performers of African descent.  The first person listed is Joseph de Bologne, Le Chevalier de Saint Georges (1745-1799) who performed in the Court of France’s Louis XVI in the late 1700s.  Here is a link to the page:

This page is dedicated to classical music composer Margaret Allison Bonds on the centennial of her birth.
The presence and role of persons of African ancestry in what is commonly known as classical music remains a mystery to most people including many of those who count themselves among the most dedicated admirers of those arts.  This year in observance of Black History Month the volunteers of have gathered on one page most of the leading composers, conductors, and performers from the world of ballet, opera, and symphony music.  Beginning with the 18th Century Afro-Brazilian and Afro-French composers, the 68 individual profiled below span four centuries and four continents.  Each profile is a brief introduction to the individuals who have and continue to enrich our lives with their talent.  While there are a number of resources that have additional information on the people profiled below, we recommend one website,, as a good starting point for those interested in assessing the global influence of these individuals. Finally, the link immediately below will take you to our page which has samplings of the performances of these artists on YouTube.


Edmund Dede (1827-1903)

Will Marion Cook (1869-1944)
H. Lawrence Freeman (1875-1954) 
William Grant Still (1891-1978)
William Levi Dawson (1898-1990)
Fela Sowande (1905-1987)
Howard Swanson (1907-1978)
Ulysses Kay (1917-1995)
George Walker (1922--  )
Julia Amanda Perry (1924-1979)
Hale Smith (1925-2009) 

Comment by email:
Hi Bill: This is great promotion for’s focus on Blacks in Classical Music.   As you well know, this could not have been done without your wonderful website and its biographies which most of our contributors cited and used.  Quintard [Dr. Quintard Taylor]

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