In Search of the Black Mozart

Posted in Arts, Audio, Biography, History, Interviews, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2015-09-03 02:09Z by Steven

In Search of the Black Mozart

BBC Radio 4
2015-07-19 and 2015-07-26

Sarah Taylor, Producer


Historian Steve Martin and Double Bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku

Chi-chi Nwanoku has spent her career travelling and performing in concert halls the world over as the principal double bassist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. More recently, she’s been on a personal journey seeking out the lives and careers of black classical musicians from the eighteenth century who like her, played and composed music at the highest levels. In some cases, slivers of their lives are on record but you have to be quite determined to find out.

Chi-chi puts the record straight and with the help of some of the finest musical researchers around, she brings to the fore the music and lives of musicians like violinist/composer Joseph Emidy, virtuoso violinist George Bridgetower and composer Joseph Bologne, aka Chevalier de St-George who not only met Mozart in his lifetime, but who was known by all those who heard his music as the ‘Black Mozart’.

In today’s programme she visits the British Library to find our more about Ignatius Sancho – someone who was born into slavery and ended up being the first person of colour in Britain to have the vote. Also of interest to Chi-chi are his musical compositions which are held at the British Library. Together with music curator, Nicolas Bell and Sancho expert Professor Brychhan Carey the three of them assess Sancho’s musical ability and life.

In a more sinister turn of events, Chi-chi talks to Handel scholar, Dr. David Hunter who shares his research which reveals that Handel, whilst composing some of the most beautiful music around was an investor in slavery.

She also hears about the violinist and composer Joseph Emidy who became a musical star of Cornwall’s music scene and meets up with one of his musical ancestors.

Also features commentary from:

Listen to episode 1 here. Listen to episode 2 here.

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Researching ethnicity, identity and ‘mixed-race’

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2013-04-24 01:33Z by Steven

Researching ethnicity, identity and ‘mixed-race’

Social Science Research: Discussing Methods and Resources
The British Library
2012-11-19

This post discusses our latest Myths and Realities event on ethnicity, identity and ‘mixed-race’ and points readers in the direction of some relevant British Library collections.

On the evening of 13 November we hosted our latest Myths and Realities event (in partnership with the Academy of Social Science) on ‘Our ethnicity and identity – what does it all mean?’ Speakers Professor Miri Song and Professor Ann Phoenix spoke about how we think about our ethnic identity, and how the meanings we attach to this identity can change across time, space and social context. The event was chaired by Rania Hafez of Muslim Women in Education.

Ann Phoenix’s talk entitled ‘Why are ‘race’ and ethnicity crucial to identities and social lives, but not central?’ explored how debates about multiculturalism have produced contradictory ways of thinking about ‘race’, ethnicity and identities. Miri Song’s title was ‘Does the growth of ‘mixed race’ people signal the declining significance of ‘race’?’. Here she examined what is signalled by the growth in interracial partnerships and of ‘mixed’ people…

Read the entire article here.

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