UCI celebrates influential jazz and classical composers in honor of Black History Month
The famed Czech composer Antonín Dvořák believed that the African American tradition was central to all American compositions, calling it “all that is needed for a great and noble school of music.”
UCI music professor and conductor Stephen Tucker, who was raised in Jamaica , said he noticed when he came to America as a young man that the contributions of African American musicians were “everywhere” and “so powerful,” although sometimes overlooked in the classical genre.
“These influences are not just felt in pop music; there are benefits to be gained from observing, embracing and adopting the African American tradition in concert hall music,” he says.
Here, Tucker lists his favorite pieces of music by African-American composers:
- William Grant Still — Symphony №1 (Afro-American)
2. Florence Price — Symphony №3 (Played by The Women’s Philharmonic — Apo Hsu, conductor)
3. George Walker — Lyric for Strings
4. H. Leslie Adams — Five Millay Songs
5. Robert Owens — Fields of Wonder
6. Hale Smith — Rituals and Incantations