White, Clarence Cameron

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White, Clarence Cameron

White, Clarence Cameron, African American violinist and composer; b. Clarksville, Tenn., Aug. 10, 1880; d. N.Y., June 30, 1960. He studied at the Oberlin (Ohio) Cons. (1896-1901), with Samuel Coleridge-Taylor in London (1906; 1908-10), and with Raoul Laparra in Paris (1930-32). He taught at various institutions while pursuing a concert career and was director of music at the Hampton (Va.) Inst. (1932-35). In 1919 he helped to organize the National Assn. of Negro Musicians. He won the Bispham Medal for his opera Ouanga (1932) and the Benjamin Award for his Elegy for Orch. (1954). His major works were written in a neo-Romantic style with occasional infusions of Negro folk melos.


dramatic: Opera: Ouanga (concert perf., Chicago, Nov. 1932; stage perf., South Bend, Ind., June 10, 1949); Carnival Romance (1952). Ballet: A Night in Sans Souci (1929). Incidental Music To: J. Matheus’s Tambour (1929). ORCH.: Sym.; Kutamba Rhapsody (1942); Elegy (1954); Dance Rhapsody (1955); Poeme (1955). CHAMBER: Bandana Sketches, violin suite (1918); From the Cotton Fields, violin suite (1920); 2 string quartets (1931, 1931); Legende d’Afrique for Cello and Piano (1955); keyboard pieces. VOCAL: Heritage for Soprano, Tenor, Chorus, and Orch. (1959); songs; numerous arrangements of spirituals, including 40 Negro Spirituals (1927) and Traditional Negro Spirituals (1940).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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White, Clarence Cameron

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