Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dylan Christopher: 'Here in the UK black people do not think they have a place in classical music'

[Dylan Bernard Christopher]

The British composer Dylan Bernard Christopher (b. 1987) has YouTube videos online and left a post in the Guest Book at on April 10, 2009:
Thank you! This site is amazing, because it has opened my eyes, and helped me see that I am not alone. Here in the UK black people do not think they have a place in classical music. It's a shock to them when I try to explain even the Great Beethoven himself wrote a violin sonata for a black musician. I am the only black person on my degree course, it doesn't matter, but it sometimes feels like I am trying to swim against the current. I will be quoting your articles next time, I am approached with negativity."

The Black violinist for whom Beethoven wrote what we know as the Kreutzer Sonata is George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower (1780-1860). Britain was also the home of the escaped slave Ignatius Sancho (1729-1780), who became a prominent writer and an amateur composer. Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) was a hugely successful Afro-British composer and conductor who was born in Britain. Born in Belize in 1958, Errollyn Wallen is a Black composer who now lives in Britain. The composer and pianist Eleanor Alberga (b. 1949)  is from Jamaica and is now a resident of Britain as well. This is only a partial listing of Black composers and musicians in the U.K.

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