Faculty Book: Maurice Peress
Dvorak to Duke Ellington: A Conductor Explores America's Music and Its African American Roots
(Oxford University Press, 2004; 264 pp.)
Dvorak to Duke Ellington offers an elegant portrait of composer Antonin Dvorak's legacy, America's music, and the inestimable African American influence upon it. Peress begins his history by recounting Dvorak's three-year residency as director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York, and his work with Will Marion Cook and Rubin Goldmark, who would in turn become teachers of Ellington, Gershwin, and Copland. We follow Dvorak to the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, where the author brings to light the little-known African American presence there: piano professors about to become ragtimers, gifted young artists such as Paul Dunbar and Harry T. Burleigh. Peress concludes with an astounding look at Ellington and his music. Peress is a professor of music at The Graduate Center and Queens College.
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Submitted on: MAR 25, 2004