Sunday, February 23, 2014 'Exploring the Works of Black Classical Musicians' 13 Audio Samples, 3 Minutes Each

George Walker has a website at
and is featured at

NPR Digital Network

Daniel Gilliam

Classical music can be easily generalized as a white, European art form. But the last 150 years proves that it's an art that is more diverse and nuanced.

For example, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799), the son of a planter and his slave, was a virtuoso violinist and conductor of orchestras in Paris.  And Beethoven wrote for the famous violinist named George Bridgetower, who was of African and Polish ancestry.

In the 20th century, classical music became an art form for anyone who wanted it. Our series, African-American Voices, highlights the contributions of some of the most influential classical musicians of the U.S., who also happen to be black and in most cases overcame tremendous discrimination and hostility just to perform music.

[George Bridgetower, William Levi Dawson, James DePreist, Florence B. Price, Francis Johnson, Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges and George Walker are profiled at, which features Works Lists for Bridgetower, Dawson and Price by Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma,]

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