One of the core values held by All Classical Portland is a deep commitment to integrating the music of minority composers and performers into its beautiful tapestry of year-round offerings. Excellence in programming wouldn’t be possible without it!
Black History Month offers an opportunity to showcase and highlight that commitment by reinvigorating the playlist with even more variety. Our Music Director regularly looks far and wide to find the best new recordings to add to the mix, and has just incorporated over 60 new tracks featuring African American musicians. While there is a special focus on Black History during February, all of these recordings are pulled from our regular playlist. Among them are:
– Overtures and ballets by the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, who will be the subject of the Portland Baroque Orchestra’s February concert, “Black Mozart“
– Chamber and orchestral works of William Grant Still, regarded as America’s preeminent African American composer: Summerland, Dances of Panama, and Lenox Avenue Blues are some favorites
– Charming orchestral suites by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, a black British composer contemporary with Gilbert & Sullivan
– The florid and rhythmic piano works of Florence Price
– Ragtime piano works by Scott Joplin
– Collaborations between contemporary African composers, including Portland’s Obo Addy, with Kronos Quartet
– Additional music by Edmund Dédé, Margaret Bonds, Adolphus Hailstork, Joseph White, William Levi Dawson, and Henry Thacker Burleigh among others
– As well as great performances by such luminaries as Kathleen Battle, Jessye Norman, Marian Anderson, Leontyne Price, and James DePriest
This month, revel in the diversity that makes our country so strong and this art form so rich.