Violinist Inspires Young Musicians by Celebrating Black Composers

Violinist Rachel Barton Pine is inspiring young musicians by sharing works by black composers. CBS NEWS

At Brooklyn’s Ryder Elementary School, students in the Harmony Program got a front row seat to world-class violinist Rachel Barton Pine. She plays music you may have never heard, by composers like Ignatius Sancho, a self taught British slave, and Chevalier de Saint-Georges, who was once the envy of Mozart.

“This music, a lot of it hasn’t been published. A lot of it was published but is long out of print due to historic discrimination,” Pine said.

In 1995, Pine suffered severe injuries and lost part of her leg in a Chicago train accident. While she was on the road to recovery, she started researching black composers whose works were not widely known. Now, the classical music of more than 350 black composers spanning four centuries has resurfaced thanks to her determined research.

“Our primary motivation behind doing this work is to inspire young African American students that classical music is part of their history and that you know they’re an important part of classical music’s future,” Pine said.

It seems to be working. Pine’s initiative, Music by Black Composers, has created a music book and even a coloring book. It’s inspiration composer and violinist Jessie Montgomery would have welcomed when she was younger.

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Source: CBS News