Born in London of Sierra Leonean/British parentage in 1875, Coleridge-Taylor’s fame preceded that of one of his admirers, the esteemed British composer Edward Elgar. One of Coleridge-Taylor’s compositions, ‘Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast’, vied in popularity with long-established chorale pieces such as ‘Messiah’ and ‘Elijah’. The ‘Hiawatha’ sessions were an annual two-week feast of the ‘Hiawatha’ trilogy, which were performed at the Royal Albert Hall from 1924-1939.
Coleridge-Taylor’s fame spread to the US, where there was no comparable African American musician or composer that matched his stature. There were several Samuel Coleridge-Taylor choral societies dotted around the US, where he toured in 1904, 1906 and 1910. He was the first African to conduct all-European orchestras in the US, and President Theodore Roosevelt invited him to the White House, where they talked about music, and social issues, including dealing with racism.
Coleridge-Taylor was a pan-Africanist and part of the African Association, which organised the 1900 Pan-African Conference in London, where he met WEB Du Bois, who was to become a family friend. A confident African, the composer introduced themes and styles into the classical music genre, such a the ’24 Negro Melodies’.
BTWSC (UK) in association with WEB Du Bois Memorial Centre For Pan African Culture (GH), BritishBlackMusic.com/Black Music Congress, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor 100PM Collective
and H.E. Mr KB Asante cordially invite you to Remembering Samuel Coleridge-Taylor – an audio-visual presentation, led by UK-based music industry and history consultant Kwaku, highlighting African British & pan-African history, and music
When: Thursday March 29 2012, 3-5pm
Where: WEB Du Bois Memorial Centre, Off First Circular Road, Cantonment, Accra (near the American Embassy)
To RVSP, book or for more information: Awula Serwah, firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 024 0338, www.btwsc.eventbrite.com