National Philharmonic: Black Classical Music Pioneers

Melissa White, violin
Piotr Gajewski, conductor

Wynton Marsalis     Wild Strumming of Fiddle (from All Rise)
Florence Price          Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major
George Walker         Lyric for Strings
William Grant Still    Symphony No. 1 ("Afro-American")

Wild Strumming of Fiddle, by Wynton Marsalis (born 1961), comes from a remarkable 12-movement work that fuses jazz and symphonic music to create a dizzying array of sounds, rhythms and melodies. The Violin Concerto No. 1 (1939) by Florence Price (1887-1953) is a highly accomplished work in the models of the European classical concerto, by the first African-American woman to be widely recognized as a symphonic composer. The Lyric for Strings (1946) by George Walker (1922-2018), the first African-American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music, is a work of intimate beauty. The Symphony No. 1 (1930) by William Grant Still (1895-1978) is the first symphony written by an African-American composer. Its subtitle (“Afro-American”) points to the unique style of the work, which includes elements of blues and jazz.

Sphinx Competition winner violinist Melissa White is “bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing and intelligent.” – The Cincinnati Enquirer

Kids 7-17 Free

Saturday, February 22 at 8:00pm to 10:00pm

The Music Center at Strathmore 5301 TUCKERMAN LANE NORTH BETHESDA, MD 20852-3385

Event Type

Performance, Orchestra, Live, Concert


Family Friendly

Weekend Event




$29-$79, Kids 7-17 free!, College Students $10

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