This week’s homework is one that I hope you will enjoy. It involves listening to one of my favorite piano trios of all time–Listen to the Piano Trio No. 1, Op. 49 by Felix Mendelssohn. And, if you are in the tri-state area or Greater New York City area please feel free to attend a concert this coming Sunday. Tell them that CMajor sent you. The trio will be performed by the Bravura Chamber Ensemble. For more details, see me off social media or come to the Meet the Teachers event this coming Saturday and I’ll tell you all about it.
Hopefully, you enjoyed the most recent reading homework here at CMajor’s Classroom. For additional reading, please see two pages on piano and piano music in concert performance, pp. 284-285 in The Music of Black Americans text book. An excerpt from the reading is below:
…After leaving Oberlin, Nathaniel Dett performed widely as a concert pianist…The first black woman to make a stir in the musical world as a pianist was Hazel Harrison, who began piano study at an early age…Harrison began her teaching career in 1931…but her primary interest was in concertizing, and she successfully combined performance with teaching, at times taking leaves of absence for as much as a year in order to tour. Like Nathaniel Dett, Helen Hagan was a musical pioneer in that she was the first black pianist to earn a B. Mus. degree from Yale University and the first to win Yale’s Sanford Fellowship…and later she attended Columbia University Teachers College in New York earning a Master of Arts degree. Although Hagan was a gifted pianist, her concert career never got off the ground. Like most black concert artists of the time, she suffered from an inability to obtain good, professional management. The many years these artists spent preparing themselves for concert careers generally were to no avail; established white impresarios simply were not interested, and black artists could not earn a livelihood by performing solely for black audiences. Finally, the most successful artists were those who learned how to manage themselves, using their personal contacts with friends and the community.