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Royal Welsh College Symphony Orchestra: The Rite of Spring
Two pioneering works composed only 17 years apart, reflecting winds of social change from across the Atlantic.
William Grant Still was dubbed the “Dean of African American Composers” and was the first African American to have his 1931 symphony performed by a professional orchestra. Still’s First Symphony blends African American culture and classical form, using quotes from four poems by the African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar as epigraphs for each symphonic movement.
The Rite of Spring premiered in Paris in 1913 and remains a startlingly modern work of beautiful brutality, pulsating rhythms, and gorgeous dissonance. The opening performance was one of the most scandalous premieres in history, with members of the audience arguing so loudly that the dancers were unable to hear their cues from the orchestra.
William Grant Still Symphony No.1 in A flat major ‘Afro-American’
Stravinsky The Rite of Spring
Conductor Karin Hendrickson
ST DAVID’S HALL
Orchestras at RWCMD are supported by the John Lewis Partnership.