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William Grant Still
     

William Grant Still

by Catherine Parsons Smith, Willard B. Gatewood (Other), D. G. Murchison (Other)
 

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During the 1930s and 1940s William Grant Still (1895-1978) was known as the "Dean of Afro-American Composers." He worked as an arranger for early radio, on Broadway, and in Hollywood; major symphony orchestras performed his concert works; and an opera, written in collaboration with Langston Hughes, was produced by the New York City Opera. Despite these successes

Overview


During the 1930s and 1940s William Grant Still (1895-1978) was known as the "Dean of Afro-American Composers." He worked as an arranger for early radio, on Broadway, and in Hollywood; major symphony orchestras performed his concert works; and an opera, written in collaboration with Langston Hughes, was produced by the New York City Opera. Despite these successes the composer's name gradually faded into obscurity. This book brings William Grant Still out of the archives and examines his place in America's musical heritage. It also provides a revealing window into our recent cultural past.

Until now Still's profound musical creativity and cultural awareness have been obscured by the controversies that dogged much of his personal and professional life. New topics explored by Catherine Parsons Smith and her contributors include the genesis of the Afro American Symphony, Still's best-known work; his troubled years in film and opera; and his outspoken anticommunism.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book will be the standard work on William Grant Still for at least twenty years. Smith provides a brilliant narrative of Still's active career, his cooperation with Carl Van Vechten, and his prestige as an American composer. A useful introduction to Still's life, career, music, and sociological importance."—Wayne D. Shirley, emeritus senior music specialist, Library of Congress

"A superb general reference to the life and career of William Grant Still. Smith does an excellent job of placing the composer within the context of African American life of his day. She is at her best in narrating Still's professional career in New York, Boston, and Los Angeles."—Josephine Wright, editor of New Perspectives on Music: Essays in Honor of Eileen Southern

"This exemplary introduction to African American musician William Grant Still will appeal to both students and laypersons. . . . Recommended."—Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520215436
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
03/01/2000
Series:
Music of the African Diaspora Series
Pages:
388
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author


Catherine Parsons Smith is Professor of Music at the University of Nevada, Reno, and coauthor, with C. S. Richardson, of Mary Carr Moore, American Composer (1987).

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