Barton Pine’s Music by Black Composers project shines a spotlight on 350 composers—and counting

Posted on: February 13, 2019

“Art is color blind, or should be, according to violinist Rachel Barton Pine, whose ambitious Music by Black Composers project brings to light a treasure trove of classical works by creators of African descent,” writes Paula Parisi in last Wednesday’s (2/6) “Pine has rescued from obscurity some 900 manuscripts … that she hopes will make household names of Ignatius Sancho, William Grant Still, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, as well as a number of contemporary composers…. MBC encompasses a broad range of projects…. ‘I wasn’t aware of any composers who weren’t dead European guys until middle school,’ says participating composer Michael Abels, who [scored] the blockbuster film Get Out. ‘It’s absolutely crucial for children to see people who look like them working in fulfilling careers because that is what causes a child to connect the dots to that possible future for themselves.’ … Pine recently released Blues Dialogues … through Cedille Records, [which] includes a powerful new piece Pine commissioned from [Billy] Childs, which explores the 2016 police shooting of 32-year-old Philando Castile…. Childs is among the many high-profile artists on RBP Foundation’s honorary committee, which also includes trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, violinist Joshua Bell, actor Leslie Odom, Jr. … and pianist André Watts.”

Posted February 13, 2019

In photo: Among the composers featured on the Music by Black Composers site are, from left, Joseph Bologne le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, J. H. Kwabena Nketia, Florence Price, Roque Cordero, and Jessie Montgomery