Music: Opera in Mississippi

He is the grandson of a slave and the composer of seven operas, eight symphonies and close to a hundred other works. At 79, with his name in all the right reference books, William Grant Still could justifiably lay claim to the title "dean of American black composers." Except that he does not choose to. It is not that Still rejects his Negro heritage but that he feels his music has as many roots in Europe as it does in Africa. "If I have an ambition," he says, "it is to be recognized as a...

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