Poster Portrait of composer William Grant Still, 1936
Studio portrait of composer and conductor William Grant Still (1895 - 1978), the first African-American conductor of a major orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, 1936.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Learning to Listen: William Grant Still

Learning to Listen: William Grant Still

The month of February is Black History Month, and we've been marking that in various ways with our classical music programming. This week on Learning to Listen, we are looking at the life and music of one of the most important African-American composers of classical music, William Grant Still.

Often referred to as "the Dean of African-American Composers," William Grant Still wrote symphonies, opera, chamber music, film scores and ballet. On this week's show, we'll be listening to examples of his works.

Program Playlist

William Grant Still
'The Country Dance' from Miss Sally's Party
Orchestra of the Plymouth Music Series
Philip Brunelle, conductor

William Grant Still
Folk Suite No. 4 (1962)
Sierra Winds

William Grant Still
3rd movement from Symphony No 1: Animato

William Grant Still
Lyric Quartet

William Grant Still
from Highway One, Scene 2
St Olaf Orchestra
Philip Brunelle, conductor
Louise Toppin as Mary; Robert Honeysucker as Bob

William Grant Still
Symphony No. 2 "Song of a New Race"

William Grant Still
La Guiablesse
Berliner Symphoniker
Isaiah Jackson, conductor

Related story

A chat with Celeste Headlee, granddaughter of William Grant Still

Love the music?

Donate by phone

Show your support by making a gift to YourClassical.

Each day, we’re here for you with thoughtful streams that set the tone for your day – not to mention the stories and programs that inspire you to new discovery and help you explore the music you love.

YourClassical is available for free, because we are listener-supported public media. Take a moment to make your gift today.

More Ways to Give

Your Donation