Classical 91.5

Classical Musicians of African Descent: U-Z

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Artists listed in alphabetical order by last name.

Titus Underwood, oboe

Adán Vásquez, harp

Adrian Walker, violin

Alfred Walker, bass-baritone

George Walker, pianist and composer

William Warwick, French horn

Teryle Watson, cello

Robert Lee Watt, author and french horn

Patricia Silva Weitzel, cello

Luke Welch, piano

LeTriel White, clarinet

Richard White, tuba

Roger Whitworth, french horn

Tahirah Whittington, cello

Joseph Williams, piano

Julius P. Williams, conductor, composer and educator

Larry Williams, french horn

Mary Elizabeth Williams, soprano

Olly Wilson, composer

Terrence Wilson, piano

Ayanna Witter-Johnson, cello

Anyango Yarbo-Davenport, violin

Pretty Yende, soprano

Life as a Black Classical Pianist

Aug 12, 2020
Provided

Editor’s note:  Canadian pianist Luke Welch says he feels like a unicorn in the world of classical music.  Luke was born and grew up in Mississauga, Ontario. He played his first public performance at age seven.  He’s passionate, talented, and sometimes bewildered by how he’s been treated.  I hope his account of his experiences will move you as much as it moves me.  ~ Brenda Tremblay

Luke Welch, pianist

Jul 8, 2020
https://harryjeromeawards.com/

Award-winning Canadian pianist Luke Welch was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and grew up nearby in Mississauga. He graduated from Western University in Canada with Bachelor and Master of Music degrees, and completed additional graduate studies in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Ayanna Witter-Johnson, cello

Feb 26, 2020

  Singer, songwriter, cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson is a rare exception to the rule that classical and alternative r&b music cannot successfully coexist.

Tahirah Whittington, cello

Feb 19, 2020
Fionn O'lochlainn

Tahirah Whittington, originally from Houston, TX, has performed for audiences in the United States, Chile, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, Bermuda, St. Kitts, and Japan. Solo engagements include a performance with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC, as a result of winning 1st prize at the 1999 Sphinx Competition.

Pretty Yende, soprano

Feb 11, 2020
Photo: Gregor Hohenberg/Sony Music Entertainment

A modern fairy-tale.

Mary Elizabeth Williams, soprano

Feb 11, 2020

  Mary Elizabeth Williams is a native of Philadelphia. Her career has taken her all over the globe in a careening zig-zag pattern—and she is grateful for every moment. Not long after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Luther College in Iowa, she began her first professional singing engagement with the national Broadway tour of SHOWBOAT, which toured 9 U.S. cities in 12 months. While performing in Milwaukee, she met Dr. Constance Haas, the voice teacher with whom she studies to this day.

Alfred Walker, bass-baritone

Jan 29, 2020

The bass-baritone recently triumphed as the title role in Der fliegende Holländer at Theater Basel and returned to the company for his first performances of both Amfortas in Parsifal and Amonasro in Aida. Other recent performances include Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde at Angers Nantes Opera and Opéra de Dijon; his first performances of Wotan in Das Rheingold with North Carolina Opera; Méphistophélès in Berlioz’s La damnation du Faust at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago; the title role of Der fliegende Holländer with Oper Köln, Seattle Opera, Théâtre de Caen, Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg Boston Lyric Opera, and the Wagner Geneva Festival; the title role of Josh Gibson in the world premiere of Sonenberg’s The Player King with Pittsburgh Opera; Pizarro in Fidelio with Caramoor International Music Festival; Bluebeard in Bluebeard’s Castle with the New Japan Philharmonic; Amonasro in Aida with Utah Opera; Creonte in Medea with the Opéra national de Lorraine; Four Villains in Les contes d’Hoffmann with Komische Oper Berlin and Den Norske Opera; and Il Prologo in Gnecchi’s Cassandra with the Deutsche Oper Berlin. 

Larry Williams, french horn

Jan 29, 2020

Larry Williams has distinguished himself as a multi-faceted performing artist, teacher and administrator. He is currently Principal Horn of American Studio Orchestra, Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, and a member of the Lyric Brass Quintet, and Ritz Chamber Players. Mr. Williams formerly served as Principal Horn of the New World Symphony Orchestra and has performed with the Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, among others.

LeTriel White, clarinet

Jan 29, 2020

LeTriel Monique White is known for her virtuosic ability to perform fluently on the clarinet within the worlds of orchestral and chamber music, while at the same time working as a saxophonist and flutist in the varied genres of jazz, rock, and modern music. She has become a fixture in the music and education scenes of Houston, Texas. Ms. White has served as a D'Addario Reserve Method Clinician and adjunct Professor of Woodwinds at Texas Southern University.  Ms. White aspires to continue to contribute to the advancement of other young artists.

Robert Lee Watt, author and french horn

Jan 29, 2020

Born in Neptune Township, New Jersey, Robert Lee Watt was hired by Zubin Mehta and the Los Angeles Philharmonic to play assistant principal horn in 1970 and remained there for 37 years before retiring in 2008.  He was the first African-American French hornist hired by a major symphony orchestra in the United States.  After high school Watt was accepted to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where he studied French horn with Harry Shapiro of the Boston Symphony.

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