Stories » Rachel Barton Pine celebrates the music of black composers on New Classical Tracks

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Rachel Barton Pine celebrates the music of black composers on New Classical Tracks

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20 years ago, Rachel Barton Pine released a recording of violin concertos from the time of Mozart and Brahms. It featured Afro-European and Afro-Carribean composers.

"After my album came out, I started getting inundated with requests by students, parents and teachers, saying, 'Hey, my kid is in Suzuki Book Six. I really want them to learn a piece by a black composer. Where can I find one?' Finally, I realized, 'Well, I've got a foundation, and there's this project that needs to happen and I love music research and music education anyway, so I might as well go for it!'"

Her foundation has been researching music by black composers for the past 15 years. They've gathered more than 900 pieces from 350 different composers spanning more than four centuries. They've just released their first volume of curriculum for beginning violinists. Rachel says her new recording, Blues Dialogues, fits in beautifully with this entire project.

"Basically, this CD is a lot of pieces that I've known and loved and performed often over many years - just because I love the music, not because of the background of the composer, per se. I have been wanting to make this album. But I timed it this way because I knew that the curriculum volume was about to be released along with our coloring book of black composers and our timeline poster of black composers and everything that my foundation has been working on."

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