Classical Music from Africa and the African Diaspora


“MBC is a groundbreaking effort that is poised to transform the impact and trajectory of violin repertoire. From a pedagogical standpoint, its contributions will utterly shift the viewpoint of teachers and students alike, offering a wide array of music by composers of African descent.”
Aaron P. Dworkin, Professor of Arts, Entrepreneurship and Leadership, University of Michigan – Founder, The Sphinx Organization
“Curtis is proud to pilot this curriculum in one of our partner schools as part of our Community Artist Fellowship. The work Rachel Barton Pine and her foundation have done to bring these important composers to students will help advance the field of classical music, as well as deepen our relationships with the communities we serve.”
Mary Javian, Chair of Career Studies, Curtis Institute of Music
“It’s absolutely crucial for children to see people who look like them working in fulfilling careers because that is what causes a child to connect the dots to that possible future for themselves, and to start making those dreams reality.”
Michael Abels, composer
“[Pine’s] latest project stands to be particularly wide-ranging in its impact.”
Strings Magazine, December 18, 2018
“Rachel Barton Pine’s . . . ambitious Music by Black Composers project brings to light a treasure trove of classical works by creators of African descent.”
Billboard, February 6, 2019
“One day, if Rachel Barton Pine gets her wish, more children of color will see themselves on stage with a symphony, playing the music of Black composers.”
Chicago Parent, March 20, 2019
“There is no comparable collection of contributions by amazing composers of the African diaspora. Our canon has been incomplete for centuries, and for young people and teachers this clearly illustrates the point that lack of material or merit is simply a myth … [MBC’s work] has the potential for being extremely useful and transformative for the field, not just in terms of pedagogy, and for our teaching artists, but also in terms of the development of young people. This would provide exposure to music which I’m pretty sure [students] wouldn’t even know exists.”
Afa Sadykhly Dworkin, President and Artistic Director, The Sphinx Organization
“[This project] is important and timely…[but] I sincerely hope that one day projects such as this, which focus on an underexposed segment of the classical composing world (underexposed, it seems, because of race or ethnicity), will no longer be necessary because every good composer will be regarded with equal seriousness, regardless of race.”
Billy Childs, composer
“I encourage our teaching community to take full advantage of this remarkable resource and fully explore the incredible offering made available through the work of the Rachel Barton Pine Foundation! I look forward to a time when the full MBC collection becomes a part of the standard teaching canon across the board.”
Aaron P. Dworkin, Professor of Arts, Entrepreneurship and Leadership, University of Michigan – Founder, The Sphinx Organization
“Rachel Barton Pine’s landmark project shines light on music by Black composers.”
International Musician, February 15, 2019
“The research of Black composers by the Rachel Barton Pine Foundation is invaluable to both performers and music teachers”
Almita Vamos, Professor of Music, Roosevelt University
““[MBC] places Black classical composers and much of their previously overlooked music into today’s cultural consciousness.”
Black Press USA, December 20, 2018
“Nothing has ever been done like this before … the expanded histories about Black violinists will enable all musicians to reclaim an immensely important and influential aspect of our music history.”
Karen A. Shaffer, President, Maud Powell Society for Music and Education
“This is extremely important work … There have been many occasions in my professional life when I’ve wished that a resource such as the one you’ve started had existed … I am a huge supporter of this project.”
Lee Koonce, President & Artistic Director, Gateways Music Festival, Eastman School of Music
“All I can say is, hurry up, we need this NOW!”
Dr. Tanya L. Carey, Past President, Suzuki Association of the Americas
“As a violin instructor, I would find the anthology especially helpful for motivating my young minority students with the knowledge that there is a history that is relevant to them in relation to classical music.”
Terrance Gray, Associate Conductor, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras
“What a marvelous and worthwhile project for you to develop! Thank you for your original thinking, for providing a valuable teaching resource, and for your wish to inspire students of color to embrace classical music.”
LeAnn Binford, Former Director of Education, Dallas Symphony Orchestra
“The efforts of the RBP Foundation are of historic importance, both from scholastic and social perspectives.”
Aaron P. Dworkin, Professor of Arts, Entrepreneurship and Leadership, University of Michigan – Founder, The Sphinx Organization
“A project such as this will expand the entire musical spectrum of performed music as we know it.”
Brad O’Brien, Orchestra Director, Lane Tech College Prep HS
“Such a compilation will greatly benefit all string music students … I commend the Rachel Barton Pine Foundation for undertaking this innovative work.”
Duffie A. Adelson, Former Executive Director, Merit School of Music
“This series of books and CDs will be a valuable resource for teachers and students alike … I look forward to the day when we may use your new collection with our students.”
Barbara Barber, Violinist and Violist, Artist Teacher
“I applaud Rachel Barton Pine’s efforts to produce teaching materials using the works of Black composers … She should be enthusiastically supported in this project.”
Michael Morgan, Music Director, Oakland Symphony
“[MBC] offers a new and I think particularly effective way to encourage more minority students to study stringed instruments and experience the joy of playing classical music – their music.”
Dr. Terry L. Applebaum, Provost, The University of The Arts
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