Today in Music: 4/18/19

TODAY IN MUSIC: On April 18, 1965, the celebrated contralto Marian Anderson gave the final performance of her international farewell tour at Carnegie Hall. Born on February 27, 1897, in Philadelphia, Marian Anderson performed throughout Europe and the United States. Although many European opera companies offered her roles, she declined, as she had no training in acting. She preferred recital and concert performance, but included many opera arias into her repertoire. Anderson became a critical figure in civil rights when, in 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution, refused to allow Anderson to sing in Constitution Hall to an integrated audience. The incident ignited widespread attention. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt denounced the effort to block Anderson and subsequently invited the singer to perform an open air concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial instead. The performance was critically acclaimed with Anderson singing for an integrated crowd of more than 75,000 and millions more on the radio. Marian Anderson continued to dismantle racial barriers in the U.S., becoming the first black artist to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in January 1955. Her appearance as Ulrica in Giuseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera was the only time she sang an opera role on stage. Anderson was a goodwill ambassador for the U.S. State Department and sang at the inaugurations of Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy. Ms. Anderson received numerous awards and recognitions including the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1963), the Congressional Gold Medal (1977), the Kennedy Center Honors (1978), the National Medal of the Arts (1986) and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (1991). #mariananderson #contralto #opera #operasinger #blackoperasingers #carnegiehall #philadelphia #europe #constitutionhall #eleanorroosevelt #lincolnmemorial #metropolitanopera #giuseppeverdi #unballoinmaschera #goodwillambassador #presidentialmedaloffreedom #congressionalgoldmedal #kennedycenterhonors #nationalmedalofthearts #grammylifetimeachievementaward #africanamericanclassicalartists #tonyatlarge #eclectimaniacradioshow #todayinmusic #musichistory

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s