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Classical Conversations

Rachel Barton Pine: Celebrating Black Composers

Toledoans may remember superstar violinist Rachel Barton Pine's appearance with the Toledo Symphony a couple of seasons ago. Now, to mark the 25th anniversary of her pioneering album of works by Classical and Romantic composers of African descent, Cedille Records has re-released that album... with a new addition: Florence Price's Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conducted by Jonathon Heyward.

That violin concerto, composed shortly before Price's death in the early 1950's, lay undiscovered until 2009, when a treasure trove of Price works was discovered in her former house near Chicago.

In this Classical Conversation, Rachel gives us the backstory on that discovery, plus all of the music on her album Violin Concertos by Black Composers Through the Centuries.

A long-time proponent of the vast amount of classical music left behind by composers of color, Rachel founded the Music by Black Composers project to not only spread that music, but to inspire young Black performers to embrace it, and ultimately change the landscape of Western classical music by spreading diversity throughout the canon.


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