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Seattle Opera Podcast

Nov 8, 2022

Join us for a conversation with Kira Thurman, author of Singing Like Germans: Black Musicians in the Land of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms, and Seattle Opera scholar-in-residence Dr. Naomi André. Drawing on her experience as a classically trained pianist who grew up in Vienna, Austria, Thurman traces the sweeping story of Black musicians performing in Germany and Austria over more than a century.

As musicians like Marian Anderson and Grace Bumbry broke barriers on stage and in concert halls, they found opportunities in German-speaking Europe that were denied to them in the Jim Crow-era U.S. In doing so, they also challenged categories of Blackness and Germanness and complicated the public's understanding of how music is tied to racial and national identity.