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Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)

soprano Michele Kennedy

mezzo-soprano Thea Lobo

pianist Eunmi Ko

tenor Omar Najmi

pianist Brendon Shapiro

pianist Nicholas Phillips

organist Stephan Griffin

violinist Sini Virtanen

organist Sam Nelson

bass-baritone Dashon Burton

pianist Lindsay Garritson

musicologist Charles "Eddie" Charlton

narrator Jamal Sarikoki

This week we celebrate the life and legacy of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor on the occasion of his birthday! Hear new recordings, some of which are premieres, and check out our first mini-documentary!



















Updated: Jul 22, 2020

Emilie Zumsteeg (1796-1857)

soprano Dana Varga

pianist Eunmi Ko

Emilie Zumsteeg manages to demonstrate a lot of originality and finesse in this short and sweet song of well-wishes. She hailed from Stuttgart and grew up in her mother's music shop following the early death of her father (composer Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg). Emilie Zumsteeg made a name for herself as a music educator, singer, pianist, and conductor as well as composer. She surrounded herself with a circle of talented musicians and poets that influenced her song-centric compositional output. Her compositions were ahead of their time, and may have influenced the likes of Franz Schubert.


Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)

organist Sam Nelson

originally released June 18th, 2020

Afro-English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's 'Melody' shows his earnest love for tunefulness and tonality. Enjoyable and accessible Victorian music such as this won him wide acclaim, both in the US and his native England. He was raised by his white mother (his Creole biological father from Sierra Leone was unaware of her pregnancy) and her large, supportive, working-class family in Surrey. Inspired by his obvious talent and passion, they saved and pooled money in order to send him to The Royal College of Music at age 15. He endeavored to bring African and Indigenous influences into his classical compositions wherever possible, and became most famous for his ‘Song of Hiawatha’ settings. He was one of the only Black persons to ever be received by president Theodore Roosevelt at the White House. Coleridge-Taylor enjoyed a happy marriage, and both of his children became musicians themselves, though he struggled financially at the end of his short life.