Celebrating African-American Women Composers: A Musical Tribute on Martin Luther King Day

Celebrating African-American Women Composers: A Musical Tribute on Martin Luther King Day

In a blend of cultural tribute and musical excellence, the Austro-American Society for Styria (ÖAG Styria), in collaboration with the Fulbright Austria Alumni Chapter Styria, hosted an evening with the music of African-American women composers. This musical soirée supported by the ÖAG Styria board member Kathryn List was held in Graz on January 15 and coincided with the observance of Martin Luther King Day, marking it as a celebration of cultural heritage and artistic prowess.

The event spotlighted the talents of Fulbright-Botstiber Visiting Professor, Univ. Prof. Dr. Anne-Marie Condacse from Oklahoma State University (vocals), and the eminent em. O. Univ Prof. MMag. Antoinette van Zabner (piano), a member of the Austrian Fulbright Commission and professor of the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. With their renditions of pieces by iconic African-American women composers, including the renowned Florence Price, they inspired the audience.

After an official note of welcome by Prof. Maierhofer, president of the Austro-American Society for Styria, Prof. Condacse introduced the audience to the rich tapestry of lives led by African-American women composers. The venue, Bar Flora at Parkhotel Graz, offered a great backdrop for this event, creating a space for reflection, appreciation, and musical immersion. The gathering also served as a vibrant networking hub, where members of the Austro-American Society of Styria and the Fulbright Alumni chapter mingled, shared insights, and enjoyed refreshments in a spirit of shared mission: to bridge cultures and foster mutual understanding between Austria and the US.

Image Description: Roberta Maierhofer (ÖAG Styria President), Anne-Marie Condacse (Fulbright-Botstiber Visiting Professor), Antoinette van Zabner (Austrian Fulbright Commission), Barbara Zach (ÖAG Styria Secretary), Kathryn List (ÖAG Styria Advisory Board) – from left to right

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