Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Historic Visits to D.C. (1904-1910)

Saturday, April 21 at 3 pm
Pre-concert talk at 2:15
Gaston Hall | Georgetown University

A PCE production in collaboration with the Georgetown University Department of Music

Steven Mayer, piano
Marty Lamar, baritone
Members of PostClassical Ensemble
Chorus of the Metropolitan AME Church
Georgetown University Orchestra conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez

Scripted and produced by Joseph Horowitz
Commentary by Anthony Cook and Maurice Jackson

Coleridge-Taylor: Deep River, Danse negre, Bamboula, Onaway from Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast, Keep Me from Sinking Down

Dvorak: Two Humoresques, American Suite

Dvorak/Fisher: Goin’ Home

Dvorak/Horowitz/Beckerman: Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast

Burleigh: Deep River

Gottschalk: The Banjo

Art Tatum: Humoresque, St. Louis Bues

Readings from W. E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) was a black British composer who catapulted to fame with his 1898 oratorio Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast. W. E. B. DuBois (who celebrated Coleridge-Taylor in his musical pageant “The Star of Ethiopia”) wrote:

Fortunate was Coleridge-Taylor to be born in Europe and to speak a universal tongue. In America he could hardly have had his career. He was one with that great company of mixed-blooded men: Pushkin and Dumas . . . and Douglass.

In DC, where he conducted at the Metropolitan AME Church, Coleridge-Taylor was the toast of the African-American community – and avidly absorbed the music of black America. In collaboration with Harry Burleigh and others once associated with Dvorak, he played a dynamic role adapting spirituals for the concert hall.

Steven Mayer
Credit: Christian Steiner

“Piano playing at its most awesome” – The New York Times