Throughout this Black History Month, we look forward to telling the stories of Black artists from the past and present, and showcasing their contributions and impact to the world of classical music. Today, we enjoy masterpieces by composers such as Joseph Bologne, Florence Price, William Grant Still, and more. We are hopeful that the future holds space for more composers and masterpieces to come into the limelight as the classical music canons continue to shift and we uncover what history and prejudice have hidden away. Through the various blogs linked below and upcoming on-air features, we are excited to share a small glimpse into the exceptional stories and artistry of Black musicians.

Classical Sunrise Celebrates Black History Month

During the week of February 5, we honor Black History Month by greeting the rising sun with invigorating works by Black composers on Classical Sunrise.

  • February 5 at 7:11AM - William Grant Still: Vignette No. 6
  • February 6 at 7:10AM - José White Lafitte: Violin Concerto in F-sharp Minor: III. Allegro moderato
  • February 7 at 7:09AM - Florence Price: Piano Quintet in E Minor: III. Allegretto
  • February 8 at 7:08AM - Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Valse Rustique
  • February 9 at 7:07AM - Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges: Violin Concerto in D Major: III. Rondo

Hear Rachel Barton Pine's Violin Concertos By Black Composers Throughout the Centuries on WETA Classical

2023 celebrated the 25th anniversary of Rachel Barton Pine's recording of violin concertos by Black composers of the 18th and 19th centuries. The special occasion was commemorated with a special-edition reissue which updated and expanded the original program into the 20th century.

"When I released this record, I was just thinking, this is gorgeous violin music that should have been part of our canon all along."
-Rachel Barton Pine

Join us throughout the day on February 6 to enjoy selections from her album Violin Concertos By Black Composers Throughout the Centuries.

Black History Month Blogs

Classical Breakdown Podcast Episodes

Filed under: Black History Month

WETA Passport

Stream tens of thousands of hours of your PBS and local favorites with WETA Passport whenever and wherever you want. Catch up on a single episode or binge-watch full seasons before they air on TV.