NPR

For One Violinist, Elevating Music By Black Composers Is A 20-Year Mission

Composers of color have long had to compete with dead white men for space on the concert stage. A new project, spearheaded by Rachel Barton Pine, seeks to correct that for the next generation.
Rachel Barton Pine's Blues Dialogues album and Music by Black Composers educational project are part of a mission that stretches back more than 20 years. Source: Courtesy of the artist

Growing up in Chicago, Rachel Barton Pine took it for granted that there was a great body of classical music by black composers. She heard it on the radio. She played it in local orchestras as a student. The Center for Black Music Research is in Chicago. So, when the violinist recorded her first concerto album in 1997, she naturally included music by Afro-Caribbean and Afro-European composers.

"I wasn't thinking about any of the social

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