Coleridge-Taylor, Samuel. (1875–1912)

Cabinet Card Photograph

Cabinet card photograph of the pioneering and highly regarded Afro-British musician, who takes a place among the earliest Black composers to work in a classical idiom.  By Elliott & Fry, London.  6 x 4.25 inches (15 x 10.9 cm).  Traces of earlier mounting to verso, else very fine. Uncommon.

During his short life, Coleridge-Taylor enjoyed considerable success, especially in his native country.  His cantata Hiawatha's Wedding Feast (1898) was especially popular, and he held prominent positions, including Professor of Composition at the Guildhall School of Music and the Trinity College of Music.  "Coleridge-Taylor saw it as his mission in life to help establish the dignity of African Americans.  He was greatly influenced by the poet P.L. Dunbar (some of whose poems he set to music), the Fisk Jubilee Singers, W.E.B. Du Bois, Frederick Douglass, and Booker T. Washington, among others.  After meeting Dunbar in 1897, his awareness of his heritage grew rapidly, leading to such works as African Romances (1897), the operatic romance Dream Lovers (1898), African Suite for the Pianoforte (1898) and Toussaint l’Ouverture (1901), a musical illustration of the 18th-century slave who led the liberation of Haiti."  Stephen Banfield, revised by Jeremy Dibble and Anya Laurence, Grove Music Online (23081)

Classical Music
Unsigned Photograph
Photographs & Portraiture
Composers / Conductors / Instrumentalists