Performance Today®

with host Fred Child

Rachel Barton Pine: Music By Black Composers

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Violinist Rachel Barton Pine Courtesy of the Artist
19min 8sec : In studio with Rachel Barton Pine: Music by Baker, Childs
19min 13sec : In studio with Rachel Barton Pine: Music by Perkinson, Gonzaga, Still

Rachel Barton Pine is so much more than a violin soloist. This October, she is seeing the start of the next phase of her enormous, 15-year project that adds to her brand publisher, researcher, advocate and educator.

Pine has long been aware that very few of the violin solos performed on stage were written by black composers. That reflects an assumption that black people are not participating in classical music. Not true, Pine says. Over the past 15 years, she created a database of outstanding black composers at first to diversify her own repertoire. Then she hired researchers for her foundation, found more composers and made the database public for all instrumentalists and music fans to explore.

But why stop with adults, Pine thought. This month, the Rachel Barton Pine Foundation is publishing what is believed to be the first violin instruction book in which all of the musical pieces were written by black composers. Plans are underway for the next installment, each book getting progressively more musically difficult, and eventually expanding to other instrument series and books for ensembles.

Listen to her interview with Fred Child to find out more about the inspiration for this huge undertaking. She also performs works by black composers that would qualify for Ph.D-level pieces in the Music By Black Composers series.

Performances with pianist Matthew Hagle include these works:
David Baker: Blues
Billy Childs: Incident on Larpenteur Avenue

Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson: Louisiana Blues Strut
Chiquinha Gonzaga: Balada (with Sylvia Pine, violin)
William Grant Still: Suite for Violin and Piano I. African Dancer

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Rachel Barton Pine Foundation RBP Foundation

Downloadable samples from the Rachel Barton Pine Foundation Coloring Book of Black Composers:

Chiquinha Gonzaga

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges

Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson