The word Classical has strong connotations, conjuring up the art and philosophy of Ancient Greece and Rome along with their ideals of balance, proportion and disciplined expression. The composers of the early Classical period changed direction, writing music that was much simpler in texture.
Just like in every other genre, Black people have been able to shine bright in the light of Classical music. Their contributions and influences within the music have allowed the genre to grow and expand in the most unimaginable ways.
Composers such as Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, William Grant Still and George Walker have left a big impact on the genre.
George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower (b. 1778; d. 1860) for example, was a phenomenal violinist.
He is the earliest recorded Black person in classical music and performed as a member of the newly-formed Royal Philharmonic Society.
Another composer would be Margaret Bonds. Growing up with a piano underneath her fingers, she became the first black soloist to appear with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Getting an opportunity to work alongside her very good friend, Langston Huges, Bonds was recognized for offsetting his poetry to music. She is also one of the first Black composers to gain fame America.
Throughout time, Africa American contributions to Classical music have helped shape a beautiful genre.