In Episode 14 of Unorchestrated, Christopher and Tom conclude their conversation with Rita Dove, discussing her research into the life of George Bridgetower and the poetry she wrote about him. As in every episode, Rita reads from her book, Sonata Mulattica. We also welcome special guest, violinist Dr. Nicole Cherry, to discuss her Forge with George project, a commissioning project bringing long-overdue attention to historically significant Black artists.
This is the final episode in our 14-part series, Sonata Mulattica with Rita Dove.
The episode closes with Jubilee, composed in 1809 by George Bridgetower in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the reign of King George III, performed by six of the Akron Symphony’s principal musicians.
Rita Dove is a Pulitzer Prize winner, former U.S. Poet Laureate, and the only poet ever honored with both the National Humanities Medal and the National Medal of Arts. An Akron native, she is currently Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia.
Dr. Nicole Cherry is 2nd violinist of the Marian Anderson String Quartet, and Assistant Professor of Violin at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Performance materials of Jubilee were made available through the kindness and generosity of Dr. Nicole Cherry. For information on her Forge with George project, dedicated to restoring the legacy of great artists of color like George Bridgetower who have been dismissed from our history books, please visit: https://nicolecherryviolin.com/.
George Bridgetower Photo © The British Museum