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Year: 1999

Classification: Exempt - Ronin Recommends: G

Runtime: 56 min

Produced In: USA

Directed By: Lucille Carra

Produced By: Brian Cotnoir, Lucille Carra

Language: English

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On 26 September 1892 when the Czech composer, Antonin Dvorak, arrived in New York to direct the National Conservatory of Music of America, he was given the daunting task of creating a school of music for a young nation boundlessly confident in its resources, but still looking to Europe for a sense of identity.

When Dvorak pronounced that America already had a source for national music - 'based on Negro melodies' - he not only sparked controversy but invigorated an already burgeoning community of African-American musicians.

Through a colourful and provocative mix of film, poignant first-person accounts, priceless archival material and a treasure trove of music, DVORAK AND AMERICA takes us on a surprising journey from Harry T. Burleigh's renderings of plantation songs and the creation of 'The New World Symphony' to the twentieth century and the birth of the Broadway musical with Will Marion Cook's 'In Dahomey'.

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