The Violin Channel recently caught up with Ethiopian-Hungarian violinist Samuel Nebyu.
In a VC-exclusive blog, the Temple University Boyer College of Music and Dance student talks us through the inspiration and idea behind his new cross-cultural, groundbreaking debut album: ‘Music by Composers of African Descent’.
“The idea for this CD was initiated by my teacher, Dr. Eduard Schmieder. He knew of my diverse ethnic and cultural background and asked if I have heard of composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor who had the nickname “Black Mahler.” I actually had already performed his version of “Deep River,” arranged for violin and piano by Maud Powell. Later we found out that there is a composer with the nickname “Black Mozart.” That composer was Chevalier Saint-Georges. Then, I discovered Clarence Cameron White through a recording I found of Fritz Kreisler. Kreisler had this recording of many encores with orchestra, and one of them was this beautiful piece, the arrangement of “Nobody Knows de Trouble I’ve Seen.” One discovery after the other led to this unique selection of pieces. Once everything was settled with the repertoire, I had to see with whom should I record these amazing pieces for violin and piano. I am very fortunate to have a terrific pianist friend Bethany Brooks who was student of Lambert Orkis here at Temple.
I was born into two different cultures, and because of that I always considered myself as a multicultural person and musician. So, these selected composers, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Chevalier Saint-Georges, who are also mixed race brings another personal connection for me. After looking at the music of these pieces it just felt very natural, which made the recording sessions even more enjoyable.
This is my very first commercially released CD, and I really wanted to make an impact and send a message with it. In many ways Dr. Schmieder and I share similar beliefs. I believe that classical music brings peace between people. In order for peace to happen, people of different cultures have to understand each other.
I also believe that everyone who is gifted should have an opportunity to shine, therefore I have chosen these composer’s works because they are beautiful and carry a strong meaningful message, a historical and humanistic one as well. I would like for people to share these works with their family members and friends, so that they remember these composers, because they deserve to be remembered.
Music by Composers of African Descent |CD|
Samuel Nebyu, Violin
Bethany Brooks, Piano
Release Date: July 7, 2017