Pianist Presents 'Forgotten Works' by Black Composers Sept. 24

Sept. 12, 1996

by Richard Veit

Virtuoso pianist Dr. Raymond Jackson, a leading authority on piano music by composers of African descent, will present a guest recital at Baylor University at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, in Roxy Grove Hall.

In addition to the set devoted to black composers, Jackson also will play recognized masterworks by Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Liszt.

Jackson is professor of music at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He has performed in concert halls throughout the United States, Europe, and South America and was a prizewinner in the prestigious Marguerite Long International Piano Competition in Paris. His doctoral dissertation at the Juilliard School-"The Piano Music of 20th-Century Black Americans"-has become an important resource in the field of African-American music.

Canadian-born composer Robert Nathaniel Dett wrote his piano suite "In the Bottoms" in 1913. It is noted particularly for its rhythmic "Jubal Dance." Like Jackson, Dett had a close connection to Howard University, having earned his doctoral degree there in 1924.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was a British composer whose father was a native of Sierra Leone. His collection of "24 Negro Melodies Transcribed for Piano" includes a setting of the spiritual "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child," which Raymond Jackson will perform.

The program also will include two other pieces by black composers-"The Cuckoo" by Howard Swanson and a "Toccata" from 1953 by Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson.

The recital's first half will feature four late piano works by Brahms (two intermezzos, a rhapsodie, and a capriccio), Beethoven's First Piano Sonata. It will conclude with Liszt's "Ballade in B Minor."

The recital is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Baylor School of Music at 755-3991.

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