Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Africa Matters: African Music to My Ears!

[Girma Yifrashewa: The Shepherd with the flute (2001)]

Sarah Pollak of writes today in her blog Africa Matters:

African Music to My Ears!

October 31, 2007

As I write this post, I am listening to a new classical composer favorite of mine. His name is Joseph Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges. He is the son of George de Bologne and Anne, a slave. Joseph's African heritage made him ineligible for nobility and titles under French law. But he rose above the social stigma to become a world renown composer of beautiful music.

I wouldn't have known any of this had I not come upon a special web site.

It's not often that I pass along recommendations for other web sites, but I've just got to pass this one on! The name of the web site is AfriClassical. It is GREAT! I've discovered some truly remarkable classical music that I didn't even know existed before. (And I consider myself a bit of a music buff!)

The gentleman who runs the site, Bill Zick, recently e-mailed me a link. He said...

For 7 years I have operated a website on African Heritage in Classical Music, with profiles of 52 composers and musicians of African descent, and over 100 audio samples.

In July I started a companion blog, I wish large numbers of Africans could learn of the classical music talent of Africans and people from Africa. The growing success of talented young musicians in particular proves the African potential in this music genre, and demonstrates the career possibilities for Africans in classical music.

One of his recent posts is about the Ugandan musician Ivan Kiwuwa , a virtuoso on both the piano and violin. He went on to write...

A handful of used pianos collected by Pianos for Uganda provided the instruments on which he learned to play. He was discovered in a master class by Maxim Vengerov, and found himself accompanying Vengerov on violin in Germany just 14 months after his first violin lesson.

The previous post covered the Nigerian pianist Glen Inanga, partner for 13 years in the Micallef/Inanga Piano Duo, with three successful recordings and endless appearances and concerts.

Other posts have focused on Ethiopian composer and pianist Girma Yifrashewa, Nigerian pianist and French cultural ambassador Sodi Braide, South African choral director Mokale Koapeng and the Soweto Nation Building Massed Choir Festival.

You've got to check out this site!

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