Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was a German composer and pianist. Beethoven remains one of the most admired composers in the history of Western music; his works rank amongst the most performed of the classical music repertoire. His works span the transition from the classical period to the romantic era in classical music. His career has conventionally been divided into early, middle, and late periods. The "early" period, during which he forged his craft, is typically considered to have lasted until 1802. From 1802 to around 1812, his "middle" period showed an individual development from the "classical" styles of Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and is sometimes characterized as "heroic". During this time he began to suffer increasingly from deafness. In his "late" period from 1812 to his death in 1827, he extended his innovations in musical form and expression.
Daniel Bernard Roumain (born 1970) is a prolific and endlessly collaborative composer, performer, educator, and social entrepreneur. “About as omnivorous as a contemporary artist gets” (New York Times), DBR has worked with artists from Philip Glass to Bill T. Jones to Lady Gaga; appeared on NPR, American Idol, and ESPN; and has collaborated with the Sydney Opera House and the City of Burlington, Vermont. Acclaimed as a violinist and activist, DBR’s career spans more than two decades, earning commissions by venerable artists and institutions worldwide. Known by his initials, DBR is a classically trained composer, performer, violinist, and band-leader noted for blending funk, rock, hip-hop and classical music into an energetic and experiential sonic form. DBR is of Haitian-American heritage and he attended Dillard Center for the Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He received a doctorate in musical composition from the University of Michigan. He combines his classical music roots with a multicolored spectrum of contemporary black popular music. “A Civil Rights Reader” collects five of DBR’s string quartets celebrating five iconic figures from the American civil rights movement: Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Maya Angelou and Rosa Parks.
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