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William Grant StillA Study in Contradictions$
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Catherine Parsons Smith

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780520215429

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520215429.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 24 May 2022

Finding His Voice

Finding His Voice

William Grant Still in Los Angeles

(p.69) Finding His Voice
William Grant Still

Catherine Parsons Smith

University of California Press

This chapter takes a look at Still's stay in Los Angeles, a city that had a relatively relaxed racial climate, and a place where Still found enough support for him to pursue his career as a composer. It shows that his decision to remain in Los Angeles and stay away from the center of all things musical represents a departure from the norm for composers of opera and symphony. His choice to refuse the position as “university composer” at Howard University only confirms his decision to turn away from both the modernists and the Harlem Renaissance. This chapter also considers some of his successes and failures during his stay in Los Angeles.

Keywords:   Los Angeles, opera composers, symphony composers, successes and failures, modernists, Harlem Renaissance

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