Saturday, December 8, 2007

Dorothy Rudd Moore (b. 1940), African American Composer of “Frederick Douglass”

Maria Corley is an African American pianist and professor of music who was the subject of a post on AfriClassical on Nov. 1, 2007. Her latest CD is Soulscapes: Piano Music by African American Women, Troy 857 (2006). The program includes A Little Whimsy (2:16) by Dorothy Rudd Moore, an African American composer born in New Castle, Delaware on June 4, 1940. She studied composition with Mark Fax at Howard University. In 1963 she graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in music theory and composition. Dorothy Rudd Moore received a Lucy Moten Fellowship for study with Nadia Boulanger in France. She also studied with Chou Wen Chung in New York City in 1965.

Dorothy Rudd Moore is married to Kermit Moore, a cellist and conductor for whom she has composed works. Together they were among the earliest teachers at the Harlem School of the Arts. Moore also taught at New York University and Bronx Community College. She helped found the Society of Black Composers in 1968. The liner notes of Soulscapes tell us:

“Her best-known works
include From the Dark Tower (1970) and Weary Blues (1972), both written for voice, cello and piano to texts by African American poets. In 1985, her opera Frederick Douglass, for which she was the librettist, was completed. The work was premiered in the same year at City College of New York. 'A Little Whimsy' was composed in response to comments that her music is 'too serious'.”

Three Pieces for Violin and Piano (5:55) is a 1967 composition found on Kaleidoscope: Music by African-American Women; Helen Walker-Hill, piano; Gregory Walker, violin; Leonarda LE 339 (1995).

Dorothy+Moore" rel="tag">Dorothy Moore
Frederick+Douglass" rel="tag">Frederick Douglass
classical+music" rel="tag">classical music
Black+Composer" rel="tag">Black Composer
African+American" rel="tag">African American
Black+History" rel="tag">Black History

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