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date: 25 February 2020

Diton, Carl Rossinilocked

  • Rachel Samet

Extract

(b Philadelphia, PA, Oct 30, 1886; d New York, NY, Jan 25, 1962).

American pianist, composer, singer, and teacher. His early musical studies were with his father, Samuel James Diton, a professional musician. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1909 and became the first African American pianist to make a cross-country tour of the United States. A protégé of E(mma) Azalia Hackley, he received a scholarship to study in Munich, Germany from 1910–11. After returning to the United States, he taught at Paine College, Georgia (1911–14), Wiley University, Texas (1914–15) and Talladega College, Alabama (1915–18). Seeking a more active musical community, he returned to the Northeast, where he continued to perform as a pianist. He accompanied singers such as Marian Anderson and Jules Bledsoe, and taught privately in Philadelphia and New York City. Also an active composer, he gained acclaim for his solo and choral transcriptions of Negro spirituals and won many prizes for his compositions, including a Harmon award for composition in ...

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