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Harry T. Burleigh

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Harry T. Burleigh

  • Born Henry Thacker Burleigh on  December 2, 1866 in Erie Pennsylvania
  • Discovered musical talent after learning to sing spirituals from his grandfather  
  • Continued musical career at National Conservatory of Music
  • Met Czech composer Dvořák at National Conservatory of Music
  • Working as a handyman in the conservatory burleigh would sing spirituals. Dvořák was the director of the  conservatory and asked burleigh to sing for him, that created a relationship between them.  
  • Burleigh influenced Dvorak
  • Burleigh performed Spirituals and contributed to making spirituals popular
  • Burleigh performed art songs with flavor because of his background in spirituals
  • Although burleigh was well known for his roots in spirituals his art songs were written first
  • Burleigh focused mainly on solo voice; first african american to arrange spirituals for solo voice
  • Burleigh was known for his baritone solo voice, and also established a platform for african american soloist on which to build their singing career
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