Classical Music from Africa and the African Diaspora

Repertoire for Violin and Orchestra

Repertoire for Violin and Orchestra

Compiled by Rachel Barton Pine and Dr. Megan E. Hill for the RBP Foundation

Notes about this list:
This list is currently limited to works for acoustic violin and traditional symphonic or chamber orchestra. Therefore, we have not included the concerto for electric violin and orchestra by Ed Bland nor the concerto for violin and jazz band by David Baker.

We are in the process of adding works for two acoustic violins with orchestra.

Please let us know of any other works that should be added to this list!

Click here to see a table sortable by piece date, orchestration, and length, and composers’ gender and geographical region(s).

Eleanor Alberga (b. 1949)

Woman; Caribbean, Europe
BIO: Eleanor Alberga was born in Jamaica and has a successful career as a composer and pianist based in London. She was a pianist for many years at the London Contemporary Dance Theatre (LCDT), and later became its Musical Director. In 2001, she was awarded a NESTA Fellowship for composition, and in 2010, she founded the Arcadia music festival with her husband, violinist Thomas Bowes.
More at: https://eleanoralberga.com/?page_id=258

Violin Concerto (2001)
LENGTH: 33’
INSTRUMENTATION: 2222, 2200, timp, perc, pf, str
SHEET MUSIC: For information on availability, hiring, purchasing, and performing, please write to scores@eleanoralberga.com
RECORDING: https://soundcloud.com/eleanoralberga/sets/alberga-violin-concerto-no-1
DESCRIPTION BY RBP: The first movement is gripping and virtuosic, the second movement is passionate with textures that are at times ethereal and eerie, and the last movement is full of vibrant energy that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
See composer’s bio.

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Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745–1799)

Caribbean, Europe
BIO:
The Chevalier de Saint-Georges, born on the island of Guadeloupe in the West Indies, became one of the most important French Classical composers, writing numerous operas, string quartets, and sinfonias concertantes. Saint-Georges was also the greatest French violin virtuoso of his generation. Though known as “The Black Mozart,” it was his music that influenced the younger Wolfgang.
More at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevalier_de_Saint-Georges

Violin Concerto in G Major, Op. 2 No. 1 (1773)
LENGTH: 20’
INSTRUMENTATION: 2(opt)2(opt)00, 2(opt)000, str
SHEET MUSIC: The solo and orchestra parts in their original 18th-century print may be downloaded from IMSLP.
RECORDING: https://youtu.be/MO5PCMz5rgs
See composer’s bio.

Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 2 No. 2 (1773)
LENGTH: 24’
INSTRUMENTATION: 2(opt)2(opt)00, 2(opt)000, str
SHEET MUSIC: The solo and orchestra parts in their original 18th-century print may be downloaded from IMSLP.
RECORDING: movement 1: https://youtu.be/HJCX3t_gq-E, movements 2 and 3: https://youtu.be/2pM3wUccqJM
See composer’s bio.

Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 3 No. 1 (1774)
LENGTH: 21’
INSTRUMENTATION: 2(opt)2(opt)00, 2(opt)000, str
SHEET MUSIC: The solo and orchestra parts in their original 18th-century print may be downloaded from IMSLP.
RECORDING: https://youtu.be/DIQzpTMAfAg
See composer’s bio.

Violin Concerto in C Major, Op. 3 No. 2 (1774)
LENGTH: 16’
INSTRUMENTATION: 2(opt)2(opt)00, 2(opt)000, str
SHEET MUSIC: The solo and orchestra parts in their original 18th-century print may be downloaded from IMSLP.
RECORDING: movement 1: https://youtu.be/5R_6rYOAEms, movement 2: https://youtu.be/1rjr_4fDinc, movement 3: https://youtu.be/cHguOZeqye0
See composer’s bio.

Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 4 No. 1

Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 4 No. 2 (1774)
LENGTH: 20’
INSTRUMENTATION: 2(opt)2(opt)00, 2(opt)000, str
SHEET MUSIC: The solo and orchestra parts in their original 18th-century print may be downloaded from IMSLP.
RECORDING: https://youtu.be/7wmEi7R1ScM
See composer’s bio.

Violin Concerto in C Major, Op. 5 No. 1 (c. 1775)
LENGTH: 25’
INSTRUMENTATION: 2(opt)2(opt)00, 2(opt)000, str
SHEET MUSIC: The solo and orchestra parts in their original 18th-century print may be downloaded from IMSLP.
RECORDING: movement 1: https://youtu.be/LnAXGfJjf58, movement 2: https://youtu.be/yHxPP-iuWkA, movement 3: https://youtu.be/AWqOPsKh9fs
See composer’s bio.

Violin Concerto in A Major, Op. 5 No. 2 (c. 1775)
LENGTH: 23’
INSTRUMENTATION: str
SHEET MUSIC: The solo and orchestra parts in their original 18th-century print may be downloaded from IMSLP. The score and parts may be borrowed from the RBP Foundation.
RECORDING: movement 1: https://youtu.be/7_AdwxSsONY, movements 2 and 3: https://youtu.be/_2eX3Fu4z5w
See composer’s bio.

Violin Concerto in A Major, Op. 7 No. 1 (1777)
LENGTH: 16’
INSTRUMENTATION: str
SHEET MUSIC: The solo and orchestra parts in their original 18th-century print may be downloaded from IMSLP.
RECORDING: movement 1: https://youtu.be/Bu971t3lMkg, movement 2: https://youtu.be/MnM3HuAr8ik, movement 3: https://youtu.be/E6YZlRlMRDM
See composer’s bio.

Violin Concerto in B-flat Major, Op. 7 No. 2 (1777)
LENGTH: 25’
INSTRUMENTATION: 0000, 2(opt)000, str
SHEET MUSIC: The solo and orchestra parts in their original 18th-century print may be downloaded from IMSLP.
RECORDING: movement 1: https://youtu.be/O2ajAOln0NA, movements 2 and 3: https://youtu.be/85TsINLjItQ
See composer’s bio.

Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 8 No. 1 (n.d.)

Violin Concerto in G Major, Op. 8 No. 2 (n.d.)
LENGTH: 22’
INSTRUMENTATION: 2(opt)2(opt)00, 2(opt)000, str
SHEET MUSIC: The solo part, score, and orchestra parts may be borrowed from the RBP Foundation
RECORDING: Upload physical CD for conversion to YouTube movement 3: https://youtu.be/NGS4ZrZcCsI
See composer’s bio.

Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 12 No. 1 (n.d.)

Violin Concerto in G Major, Op. 12 No. 2 (n.d.)

DESCRIPTION BY RBP: Saint-Georges concertos are built along typical Classical lines, with first and second movements in sonata-allegro form with double expositions, and last movements in rondo form. His concertos are more virtuosic than those of Mozart and full of charming melodies. Saint-Georges concertos make a popular pairing with or substitution for Mozart concertos. Depending on the orchestration, these concertos work well for symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras, and string orchestras, with or without conductor. For example, Rachel Barton Pine added the Saint-Georges Op. 5 No. 2 to her performance of the Vivaldi Four Seasons with the Vancouver Symphony. Pine also performed it with the New Century Chamber Orchestra as guest leader, as part of a set of pieces for string orchestra by Black composers including George Walker’s Lyric and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson’s Sinfonietta No. 2.

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Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875–1912)

Europe
BIO:
Coleridge-Taylor is one of the greatest English Romantic composers. During his lifetime, he was often referred to as “The Black Dvorak” or “The African Mahler.” He wrote a great variety of music, from solo piano pieces to songs, pieces for small ensembles, orchestra, and choir, as well as music for theater. His major triumph was 1895’s Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast for chorus and orchestra. It became one of the most popular pieces of music in England and gained Coleridge-Taylor worldwide fame.
More at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Coleridge-Taylor

Romance in G Major, Op. 39 (1899)
LENGTH: 12’
INSTRUMENTATION: 2222, 4231(opt), timp, str
SHEET MUSIC: A PDF of the score may be obtained from the RBP Foundation. The score and parts may be rented from the Fleischer Collection of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
RECORDING: https://youtu.be/wcZYqaTB37k
DESCRIPTION BY RBP: A lush Elgar-era work, full of touching melodies, dramatic contrast, and idiomatic double-stop writing for the violin. This beautiful piece would make a nice substitution for the usual romances by Dvorak or Beethoven, perhaps paired with a popular virtuoso piece or combined with the William Grant Still Suite. For example, Rachel Barton Pine performed it with the Richmond Symphony paired with the Sarasate Carmen Fantasy.
See composer’s bio.

Violin Concerto in G Minor Op. 80 (1911)
LENGTH: 33’
INSTRUMENTATION: 2222, 4230, timp, str
SHEET MUSIC: Full orchestral score and parts available for performance hire from Cramer Music. Violin and piano edition will be available for sale from Cramer Music in late 2019. Contact Cramer Music at trade@cramermusic.co.uk.
RECORDING: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7dq4U6Ujx8
DESCRIPTION BY RBP: Coleridge-Taylor’s powerful violin concerto is establishing itself in the repertoire with ever more performances as well as recordings by the London Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, and BBC Scottish Symphony among others. Grand and noble, lyrical and virtuosic, and full of rich harmonies, this vivacious and captivating concerto would make a worthy substitute for any standard Romantic violin concerto such as those by Bruch or Dvorak.
See composer’s bio.

Keep Me from Sinkin’ Down (1911)
LENGTH: 6’
INSTRUMENTATION: 2222, 2000, timp, str
SHEET MUSIC: Contact Charles Kaufmann at the Longfellow Chorus: director@longfellowchorus.com
RECORDING: https://soundcloud.com/minacciosa/samuel-coleridge-taylor-keep-me-from-sinking-down-negro-spiritual-arranged-for-violin-orchestra
DESCRIPTION BY RBP: An arrangement of the traditional spiritual, written for Maud Powell to be an encore for her first performance of Coleridge-Taylor’s Violin Concerto. Both works were premiered on the same program in 1912. Since this piece is written for a Brahms-size orchestra, this piece could be played by a chamber orchestra as well as by a symphony orchestra.
See composer’s bio.

Legend from the Concertstück, Op. 14 (1897)
LENGTH: 7’
INSTRUMENTATION:
SHEET MUSIC: have nicely printed violin part and piano reduction, need to know where to get score and parts. Please ask the London Phil who recorded it. communicating with Peter Maxwell at Cramer Music (peter.maxwell@cramermusic.co.uk), his contact info provided by Chi-chi 11/20/2019.
RECORDING: https://youtu.be/rA8yJgGHjbU
DESCRIPTION BY RBP: Gentle lyricism pervades this brief tone poem.
See composer’s bio.

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Roque Cordero (1917–2008)

Central America, USA
BIO:
Roque Cordero is the most important classical composer from Panama. As a young man, Cordero won a scholarship to study at the University of Minnesota. He graduated from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota with a degree in composition. In 1950, he returned to Panama where he created Panama’s first degree programs in music education and music composition. He returned to the U.S. in 1966 and joined the faculty of Indiana University, Bloomington, and later Illinois State University. His early compositions were mostly tonal and combined Panamanian folk dances with modern techniques. Most of his later pieces are based on the twelve-tone technique and also often had a Panamanian flavor.
More at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roque_Cordero

Violin Concerto (1962)
SHEET MUSIC: The solo part and piano reduction may be purchased here: http://www.performersmusicchicago.com/cordero-concerto-for-violin-hl-227235/. The score and parts may be obtained from Peermusic Classical.
LENGTH: 29’
INSTRUMENTATION: 3232, 3231, timp, perc, str
RECORDING: movements 1 and 2: https://youtu.be/dzILEsPGPFU, movement 3: https://youtu.be/GEnXkGiUtSc
DESCRIPTION BY RBP: Cordero’s 3-movement violin concerto is an exciting and sophisticated work, indebted to the 12-tone school but infused with infectious Panamanian rhythms that make it accessible to audiences. After performing it with the Chicago Sinfonietta and Dayton Philharmonic, Rachel Barton Pine gave its Panamanian premier in 2010 at the Alfredo de Saint Malo Music Festival in Panama City. This concerto would make an interesting substitution for a major 20th-century concerto such as Prokofiev or Berg.
See composer’s bio.

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Anthony Davis (b. 1951)

USA
BIO:
Anthony Davis is an American pianist and composer. His compositional style incorporates sounds from jazz, R&B, gospel, African, European classical, Indonesian gamelan, and experimental music. He has been celebrated as a free-jazz pianist, and as a sideman with various ensembles. He is a professor of music at the University of California, San Diego. Davis is perhaps best known for his operas, many of which have explored people and events from American history, and African-American history in particular. Some of his well-known titles are his X, The Life and Times of Malcom X (1986), Amistad (1997), Wakonda’s Dream (2007), and The Central Park Five (2019).
More at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Davis_(composer)

Violin Concerto “Maps” (1988)
LENGTH: 25’
INSTRUMENTATION: perc, hp, str
SHEET MUSIC: The solo part, score and parts may be rented from Schirmer.
RECORDING: https://youtu.be/bKKRN7VIGgk
DESCRIPTION BY TIME MAGAZINE: “Imagine Ellington’s lush, massed sonorities propelled by Bartók’s vigorous whiplash rhythms and overlaid with the seductive percussive haze of the Balinese gamelan orchestra, and you will have an idea of what [the Violin Concerto] sounds like.”
See composer’s bio.

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Wynton Marsalis (b. 1961)

USA
BIO:
Wynton Marsalis is an American composer, trumpeter, and teacher, and is the artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. Born to a musical family in New Orleans, Louisiana, he has recorded more than 60 jazz and classical music recordings which have won nine GRAMMY Awards. In 1983, he became the first and only artist to win both classical and jazz GRAMMYs in the same year, a feat he repeated in 1984. He has composed a violin concerto and four symphonies, a string quartet, music for diverse dancers, and music for various choirs and jazz ensembles. In 1997, his jazz oratorio Blood on the Fields became the first jazz composition to win the Pulitzer Prize in music.
More at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wynton_Marsalis

The Fiddler and the Dancin’ Witch (1998)
LENGTH: 20’
INSTRUMENTATION: str, narrator
SHEET MUSIC: how can we get solo and orchestra parts so it can be performed? How can we get text of narration from recording which isn’t in score? Try contacting him through Jane’s info
RECORDING: movement 1: https://youtu.be/18Y-PkrID5U, movement 2: https://youtu.be/AIgyTpPhwH8, movement 3: https://youtu.be/ZrRFDH9Xjh4, movement 4: https://youtu.be/4Xx7cpn12OY, movement 5: https://youtu.be/fcwB6UIFCzM, movement 6: https://youtu.be/tNE0kHe8g-w, movement 7: https://youtu.be/6nNPU8KfFlU
DESCRIPTION BY RBP: Full of infectious music, The Fiddler and the Dancin’ Witch tells the story of a hard-headed boy so in love with music that he must battle a dancing witch for possession of a magic fiddle. A fun addition to any performance, it would also be well suited to a children’s concert or to a musical banquet of storytelling with such works as Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat. To read the tale, an original narrative spun from Afro-Caribbean traditions, visit https://wyntonmarsalis.org/discography/title/listen-to-the-storytellers and click on Liner Notes.
See composer’s bio.

Violin Concerto (2016)
LENGTH: 43’
INSTRUMENTATION:
SHEET MUSIC: This work is still under exclusivity to Nicola Benedetti.
RECORDING: movement 1: https://open.spotify.com/track/2LnAA0p20ZggkTkfuKXm8i?si=HHSMJ_LyTyeClv5L1f3xZQ,
movement 2: https://open.spotify.com/track/6dkO4imFaJjgjnNCI71vbW?si=bhVYZiLxTxiMTi47Pbp_xA,
movement 3: https://open.spotify.com/track/0fz0Rc3ZBPmXiCt5mW91d9?si=_2VTm46mTM6_NPX2119vSg,
movement 4: https://open.spotify.com/track/40ETuEfDSJpGiKO7wF6gzz?si=jXgMT8TVThOLADnk9ECLfw
DESCRIPTION BY RBP: This new work was written for Nicola Benedetti and premiered by some of the world’s leading orchestras. Its four movements are “Rhapsody,” “Rondo burlesque,” “Blues, and “Hootenanny.” The Chicago Tribune described its “sweeping melodies, brilliant orchestration, ebullient rhythm and many shades of Americana … celebrating American musical vernacular in ultrasophisticated ways.”
See composer’s bio.

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William Foster McDaniel (b. 1940)

USA
BIO:
William Foster McDaniel is an American pianist, conductor, arranger, and composer. He is a graduate of Capital University in Columbus, OH and Boston University; he also studied in Paris as a Fulbright Scholar. McDaniel has written concerti, sonatas, art song collections, and various solo works. He has also worked extensively in musical theater as a pianist and conductor on and off Broadway as well as touring company shows, and he is an active solo and chamber pianist.
More at: https://prabook.com/web/william_foster.mcdaniel/178819

Violin Concerto (2004)
LENGTH: This information is not yet available
INSTRUMENTATION: 2222, 2000, timp, str
SHEET MUSIC: Perusal score is available from the RBP Foundation. Information about solo and orchestral parts is not yet available
RECORDING: This information is not yet available
DESCRIPTION: This information is not yet available
See composer’s bio.

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Julia Perry (1924–1979)

Woman; USA
BIO:
Julia Perry was a prolific composer of neoclassical music. A graduate of Westminster Choir College, and a student at Juilliard and Tanglewood, in her thirties, she received two Guggenheim fellowships to study in Europe with Luigia Dallapiccola and Nadia Boulanger. After nearly a decade in Europe, she returned to the U.S. to compose and teach at Florida A & M College (now University) and Atlanta University. In her relatively short lifetime, she completed twelve symphonies, two concerti, and three operas, in addition to numerous smaller works.
More at: https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/perry-julia-amanda-1924-1979/

Violin Concerto (1963-1968)
LENGTH: This information is not yet available
INSTRUMENTATION: 2222 + 1 T Sax, 3220, timp, perc, hp, pno, str
SHEET MUSIC: Let’s get info about this before this page goes live; emailed Jay Berger again 11-20-19
RECORDING: none yet exist
DESCRIPTION: This information is not yet available.
See composer’s bio.

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Florence Price (1887–1953)

Woman; USA
BIO:
Florence Price was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and became one of the first Black women to attend the New England Conservatory. After a marriage and divorce back in Arkansas, Price moved to Chicago in 1931 where she raised her two children on her own. In 1932, she won four prizes in the famous Wanamaker composition competition. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra played her symphony the next year at the Chicago World’s Fair, making her the first African-American woman to have a composition played by a major American orchestra.
More at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Price

Violin Concerto No. 1 (1939)
LENGTH: 24’
INSTRUMENTATION: 2222, 4200, tmp, perc, str
SHEET MUSIC: Available from G. Shirmer – http://musicsalesclassical.com/composer/work/4938/58910
RECORDING: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAw16T8BPQg
DESCRIPTION BY RBP: A thoroughly Romantic 3-movement work in the vein of Tchaikovsky, this concerto would be a worthy substitute for any standard Romantic violin concerto.
See composer’s bio.

Violin Concerto No. 2 (1952)
LENGTH: 14’
INSTRUMENTATION: 2322, 4222, tmp, perc, str
SHEET MUSIC: Available from G. Shirmer: http://musicsalesclassical.com/composer/work/4938/59062
RECORDING: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUp3hICG3Og
DESCRIPTION BY RBP: A single-movement work. Alex Ross of the New Yorker writes, “This terse, beguiling piece has an autumnal quality reminiscent of the final works of Richard Strauss. It deserves to be widely heard.” NPR describes it as “reminiscent of the sweeping, melody-driven American violin concertos of the 1930s by Samuel Barber and Erich Korngold,” and the New York Times says that it is “highly lyrical but more concentrated and harmonically adventurous than her first concerto … reflects the richly chromatic language of composers like William Schuman and Roy Harris.” This concerto would be a worthy substitute for any standard Romantic violin concerto. Because of its short length, it could be paired with a more well-known work for violin and orchestra from the standard repertoire. Or it could be paired with another shorter work by a Black composer such as the Still Suite, J. White Concerto, Coleridge-Taylor Romance, or a Saint-Georges Concerto. An additional option would be to pair it with another work for violin and orchestra by a woman composer, such as one of the many fine contemporary options, or the 20-minute Romantic-era Amanda Meier violin concerto.
See composer’s bio.

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Daniel Bernard Roumain (1970–)

USA
BIO:
Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) is an American composer, violinist, and bandleader. As a composer, he has collaborated with many orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the United States, and he has been commissioned by important artists and institutions around the world. His music is known for combining violin sounds with electronic music, funk, rock, and hip hop. He has been nominated for an Emmy Award for his work writing music for ESPN, and he has been featured as a performer at technology conferences.
More at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Bernard_Roumain

Voodoo Violin Concerto (2002)
LENGTH: 24’
INSTRUMENTATION: 2222, 2221, timp, perc, hp, pno, str
SHEET MUSIC: The solo part, score and parts may be obtained from Subito Music.
RECORDING: movement 1 and the beginning of movement 2: https://youtu.be/dltQoPRCbOs, the rest of movement 2 and the beginning of movement 3: https://youtu.be/tfj-xanJqdA
DESCRIPTION BY RBP: Though DBR performs this concerto on electric violin, it can also be played on acoustic violin with some of the sound effects created through the use of extended techniques. The first movement alternates between evoking the sound of a psychedelic blues guitar and the rhythmic drive and complexity of hip-hop. The touching and profound second movement is entitled “Prayer.” After reprising the concerto’s opening theme, the last movement includes a wild improvised cadenza in dialogue with the orchestra. The first and second movements can each function as effective stand-alone works; DBR, Rachel Barton Pine and others have performed them in their non-orchestral guises as part of mixed programs.
See composer’s bio.

Woodbox Violin Concerto (2010)
LENGTH: 23’
INSTRUMENTATION: 3333; 4331; timp, perc, traps, hp, synth, str (full) or 2222, 4221, timp, traps, str (reduced)
SHEET MUSIC: The solo part, score and parts may be obtained from Subito Music.
RECORDING: https://soundcloud.com/danielroumain/woodbox-violin-concerto
DESCRIPTION BY RBP: DBR describes his concerto as “percussive, lyrical, and at times, soulful. The influences are from Haitian and Hip-Hop music.” While this concerto was written for an extended-range instrument with effects pedals, it can also be played on a normal violin.
See composer’s bio.

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Saint-Georges

See “Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges” above.

 

William Grant Still (1895–1978)

USA
BIO:
One of the most important 20th-century American composers, William Grant Still also holds an important place in Black history. He is the classical composer most strongly associated with the Harlem Renaissance, and he embraced the blues as a source of musical material in his compositions. This can be heard in his most well-known piece, Symphony No. 1 “Afro-American,” which was the most widely performed symphony composed by an American until the 1950s. In 1949, Still became the first American composer to have an opera produced by the New York City Opera. He was also the first African American to have a symphony performed by a major American orchestra, to have an opera performed by a major American opera company, to conduct a white American orchestra (the radio program Deep River Hour in 1932), to conduct a major American orchestra (the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1936), and to earn numerous commissions and performances from major American orchestras.
More at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Grant_Still

Suite (1943)
LENGTH: 13”
INSTRUMENTATION: 2132, 4331, tmp, perc, hp, clst, str
SHEET MUSIC: The solo part and piano accompaniment may be purchased here: http://www.performersmusicchicago.com/still-suite-for-violin-and-piano-wgsm-svp/. The score and parts may be obtained from Carl Fischer.
RECORDING: movement 1: https://youtu.be/si5VuXO9d4U, movement 2: https://youtu.be/le98kx2bi64, movement 3: https://youtu.be/lG-8tk9NaFs
DESCRIPTION BY RBP: The violin and piano version of Still’s Suite is a perennial favorite of recitalists who wish to add a first-rate American work to their repertoire. The outer movements are rhythmically complex and jazz-inflected, while the middle movement ranges from intimate to passionate. Each movement was inspired by a sculpture of the Harlem Renaissance: Richmond Barthe’s “African Dancer,” Sargent Johnson’s “Mother & Child,” and Augusta Savage’s “Gamin.” Because it is shorter than a concerto, there are a variety of ways this piece can be presented. It could be paired with another shorter work by a Black composer, such as the Price Concerto No. 2, the Walker Poeme, the J. White Concerto, the Coleridge-Taylor Romance, or a concerto by Saint-Georges. Or it could be combined with a shorter well-known work from the standard repertoire. For example, Rachel Barton Pine performed it with the Sacramento Philharmonic paired with the Prokofiev Concerto No. 1. The fact that each movement is inspired by a work of visual art makes for other interesting possibilities: the images could be shown on a big screen during the performance or pre-concert talk, and the Suite could be combined with other art-inspired staples such as Pictures at an Exhibition.
See composer’s bio.

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George Walker (1922–2018)

USA
BIO:
George Walker was the first African American to have received the Pulitzer Prize in Music, which he won in 1996 for his work “Lilacs for voice and orchestra.” He was a graduate of Oberlin College Conservatory (1941) and the Curtis Institute (1945), and he earned his doctorate from the Eastman School of Music (1956). He wrote more than 90 works for orchestra, chamber orchestra, piano, strings, voice, organ, clarinet, guitar, brass, woodwinds, and chorus.
More at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Walker_(composer)

Poeme (1991)
LENGTH: 19’
INSTRUMENTATION: 2221, 2111, timp, perc, hp, pno, str
SHEET MUSIC: The solo part and piano reduction may be purchased here: http://www.performersmusicchicago.com/poeme-hl-41889/. The score and parts may be obtained from Keiser Southern Music.
RECORDING: movement 1: https://youtu.be/PAHmJR9QfLE, movement 2: https://youtu.be/xsepZDvgoV4, movement 3: https://youtu.be/ClcPDDZD0Nc
DESCRIPTION BY DEDICATEE GREGORY WALKER: A dramatic tour de force, the three-movement Poeme begins with a simple singing line. The first movement features a short abstract cadenza, while the middle movement provides the soloist with a chance to soar over explosive orchestral outbursts, and the last movement ends with a whimsical, Coplandesque dance. A modernistic but poignant musical statement in its own right, this work would also make a perfect companion piece for the Chausson Poeme.
See composer’s bio.

Violin Concerto (2007/2009)
LENGTH: 23’
INSTRUMENTATION: 3332, 4431, timp, perc, hps (amplified), clst, hp, gtr, str
SHEET MUSIC: The solo part and piano reduction may be purchased here: http://www.performersmusicchicago.com/walker-violin-concerto-hl-42310/. The score and parts may be obtained from Keiser Southern Music.
RECORDING: movement 1: https://youtu.be/Gjp84IDB0ic, movement 2: https://youtu.be/EOd9RhfXpaU, movement 3: https://youtu.be/JQfWGKuM-fg
DESCRIPTION BY DEDICATEE GREGORY WALKER: From skittering playful frolic to rare expressive depths, few contemporary classical works showcase the range of emotions encompassed over the course of these three movements. This virtuoso vehicle also explores the soloist’s interpretive insights, with shimmering high passages and rugged double-stops throughout.
See composer’s bio.

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Gregory T.S. Walker (1961–)

USA
BIO:
Gregory T.S. Walker is an American violinist, guitarist, and composer. He is the recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Charles Ives Fellowship (2000), and he has performed with major orchestras around the world. He is the son of music historian Helen Walker-Hill and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Walker. He studied violin with Yuval Yaron, received a master’s degree in computer music from the University of California, San Diego, and a doctorate in musical composition from the University of Colorado. He currently serves as a professor at the University of Colorado, Denver.
More at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_T.S._Walker

Bad Rap (1994)
LENGTH: 8’
INSTRUMENTATION: perc, str
SHEET MUSIC: : The solo part and piano reduction may be purchased by contacting the composer: http://www.ucdenver.edu/faculty-staff/gwalker/violin/Pages/Concert-Violin.aspx. The score and parts may be obtained from Keiser Southern Music.
RECORDING: movement 1: https://soundcloud.com/gregory-ts-walker/bad-rap-for-acoustic-or-electric-violin-and-chamber-orchestra
DESCRIPTION BY THE COMPOSER: Suspenseful, atmospheric dissonances alternating with fast fiddling riffs, a slow, passionate melody, improvised extended techniques, and, yes, a touch of hip hop funk. For performers and audiences ready to seek out new sounds – whether on an unplugged, acoustic violin or rocking out with an amp cranked up to 11.
See composer’s bio.

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Clarence Cameron White (1880–1960)

USA
BIO:
Clarence Cameron White was an American composer and violinist. His early teachers were the African-American composer Will Marion Cook and violinist Joseph Douglass. Later, he went to England to study with Afro-English conductor and composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. White was considered one of the best violinists of his day. His compositions were often influenced by spirituals and African-American folk music. Famous violinists like Fritz Kreisler and Jascha Heifetz recorded his violin repertoire, but White was best known for his dramatic works. Some of his operas were played in Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. In 1919, White helped found the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM), which remains today as the oldest African-American music organization in the country.
More at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Cameron_White

Violin Concerto in G Minor, Op. 63 (1945)
This concerto only exists in a violin/piano manuscript (which may be obtained from the RBP Foundation) and needs to be orchestrated. A violin/orchestra version would be an exciting new addition to the repertoire by an important early 20th-century American violinist/composer.
See composer’s bio.

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José White (1836–1918)

Caribbean, Europe
BIO:
José White is the most famous violinist from Cuba, and became one of the leading violinists in the world during his lifetime. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire, returning there later in life as professor (Enescu was among his students, making him Menuhin’s grand-teacher). Reviews of his performances in Europe and the U.S. consistently compared him favorably to his colleagues Sarasate, Wieniawski, and Vieuxtemps. White’s compositions are mainly virtuosic works for unaccompanied violin or violin with piano accompaniment, and most of them show a strong influence from Caribbean music blended with European music of the time. His most famous piece is La bella cubana, which is an example of a kind of Cuban national music based on old Haitian and Dominican rhythms. It is very well known in Cuba, where it is celebrated as an unofficial national song.
More at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_White_Lafitte

Violin Concerto in F-sharp Minor (1864)
LENGTH: 22’
INSTRUMENTATION: 2222, 2200, timp, str
SHEET MUSIC: The solo part and piano reduction are out of print but at many libraries, from which you may order via Interlibrary Loan using Accession No: OCLC: 2835045 and 29557201. The score and orchestral parts may be borrowed from the RBP Foundation.
RECORDING: https://youtu.be/FzK1gaamMKs
DESCRIPTION BY RBP: While many of White’s virtuoso showpieces combine the highest Paganini-level technique with a strong Cuban flavor, his violin concerto has no nationalistic influence. This powerful concerto would make a brilliant substitution for a Wieniawski or Vieuxtemps concerto, as it contains the same type of soaring melodies and technical fireworks. Since it’s written for a Brahms-size orchestra, this piece could be played by a chamber orchestra as well as by a symphony orchestra.
See composer’s bio.

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