Black History Spotlight

Black History Spotlight: William Grant Still

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

Black History Spotlight: William Grant Still


February 15, 2018

William Grant Still was a composer, arranger and conductor. He created over 150 musical works, including five symphonies, four ballets, and nine operas. His opera, "Troubled Island", became the first full-length work written by an African American to be produced by a well-known opera company. In 1981, "A Bayou Legend", became the first opera by a black composer to be performed on national television.