The Music by Black Composers project was conceived by the award-winning, Billboard chart topping violinist, Rachel Barton Pine (www.rachelbartonpine.com) who performs with the world's leading orchestras and has recorded 37 acclaimed albums. She became the first living composer to be published as part of Carl Fischer’s “Masters Collection” series with the release of The Rachel Barton Pine Collection. Her performances are heard on NPR and stations around the globe and she has appeared on The Today Show four times, A Prairie Home Companion, CBS Sunday Morning, Bloomberg Television, CNN, PBS NewsHour and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post and papers around the world. In addition to the MBC project, her RBP Foundation assists young artists through its Instrument Loan Program, Grants for Education and Career, and Global HeartStrings which supports musicians in developing countries.
Black composers have created masterful classical music for centuries, yet they are underrepresented in concert programming and in classical music education, silencing a rich vein of works from global consciousness. As young musicians seldom have the opportunity to study and perform classical music by Black composers, aspiring Black music students struggle to participate in an art form in which they do not appear to belong, perpetuating a lack of diversity on stage and among audiences.
With that in mind, over the last 15 years, Pine and her RBP Foundation have collected more than 900 works by 350+ Black composers from the 18th-21st centuries, representing Africa, North and South America, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, and Oceania.
Rachel Barton Pine explains, “In the 15 years since we first conceptualized Music by Black Composers we have had the opportunity to speak with many Black musicians about the importance of role models in the arts. Even today, many aspiring Black students live in a community where their particular town’s orchestra may not even have a single player of color in it or leading it. As much as they may love the music, they don’t see a future for themselves. Our goal is to present a variety of Black leaders representing professions in the classical sphere, so that young people may consider the different avenues they may take in music and see someone who looks like them in that role.”
For more information: musicbyblackcomposers.org