MBC Coloring Book of Black Composers
The first of its kind, this book honors 40 remarkable international Black classical composers from the 1700s to the present day. Each vivid illustration is accompanied by a biography that puts his or her life and music into historical perspective. Produced by the Rachel Barton Pine Foundation.
Black composers have created masterful classical music for centuries, yet they are underrepresented in concert programming and in classical music education, silencing a rich vein of works from global consciousness. As young musicians seldom have the opportunity to study and perform classical music by Black composers, aspiring Black music students struggle to participate in an art form in which they do not appear to belong, perpetuating a lack of diversity on stage and among audiences.
With that in mind, over the last 15 years, Pine and her RBP Foundation have collected more than 900 works by 350+ Black composers from the 18th-21st centuries, representing Africa, North and South America, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, and Oceania.
Rachel Barton Pine explains, “In the 15 years since we first conceptualized Music by Black Composers we have had the opportunity to speak with many Black musicians about the importance of role models in the arts. Even today, many aspiring Black students live in a community where their particular town’s orchestra may not even have a single player of color in it or leading it. As much as they may love the music, they don’t see a future for themselves. Our goal is to present a variety of Black leaders representing professions in the classical sphere, so that young people may consider the different avenues they may take in music and see someone who looks like them in that role.”