After years of celebrations of Black History Month, it is still not widely known that Black composers and musicians have been making enduring contributions to classical music for centuries.
More information about Black musicians is available on www.AfriClassical.com, a nonprofit educational Web site with brief biographies of 52 Black composers and musicians, a Black History Quiz and audio samples.
Here are a few who are featured at www.AfriClassical.com:
• Le Chevalier de Saint-George, an Afro-French composer, violinist and conductor as well as Colonel of Black volunteers in the French Revolution. He regularly played music with Queen Marie Antoniette at Versailles.
• George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower, a Black violin virtuoso who was accompanied on piano by Ludwig van Beethoven.
• Ignatius Sancho, an African born on a slave ship near Guinea. He escaped and became a composer and author. He was an abolitionist whose letters on slavery were published as after his death.