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Jessie Montgomery aims to change classical music through her talents – and her identity. the world famous composer and violinist having a good timeas well as other black and brown musicians.
Ms. Montgomery knows that classical music can improve in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion. The best-known composers are old white men, most of whom died decades or even centuries ago.
His works, on the other hand, are contemporary and fresh. In fact, his music will be performed this year on many well-known stages, including the the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Unsurprisingly, Ms. Montgomery has won accolades for her music and her vision. She is currently Composer-in-Residence of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, having been selected by Musical director Riccardo Muti.
She is also part of the Sphinx organization, a music collective that focuses on the contributions of black and brown musicians. Ms. Montgomery knows that although audiences are used to Bach and Beethoven, times are changing, and so is classical music.
In an interview with NPR, Ms. Montgomery said, “With any new kind of programming and effort, you take a leap of faith that audiences are going to be in on it. I find that audiences show up because they want to experience live music, live theater, something that sparks their imagination and soothes their pain.
Jessie Montgomery: an American composer
She continued, “I think this moment is really awesome. It’s exciting to see more different genres of music being embraced and showcased.
His own music received rave reviews. His piece “Starburst” has been performed more than 100 times in 2021.
Ms. Montgomery began composing piano tunes when she was 11 years old. She then took music lessons, while continuing to write tracks throughout high school.
Now Ms. Montgomery is the face of a new brand of classical musicians. She knows audiences can be skeptical, but she’s not afraid to branch out.
“They know programming 54 white male composers works, so why reinvent the wheel? And it’s the same with black composers and other minority composers. This is the realm of classical music itself, and its history. He showed his face, quite openly, and we’re trying to adjust to a new world.
This new world includes her role as teacher to students, the men and women who will become the next generation of composers and musicians. She encourages her students to break away from the classical musical “canon” and write more personal and sincere pieces.
Ms. Montgomery is also aware of her place in history, as a black composer and violinist. “I feel a responsibility, but also a joy. I’m excited for this opportunity and hope this moment becomes more of a model for how we move forward, who we celebrate, and how we celebrate music in general.