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Kira Thurman on TCO's 'The American Dream'

University of Michigan

Kira Thurman is Associate Professor of History, German Studies, and Musicology at the University of Michigan. New Yorker music critic Alex Ross called her book Singing Like Germans: Black Musicians in the Land of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms "one of the most original and revelatory books to have been written about classical-music history in many years...An instant classic that deserves the widest possible audience."

She is a classically-trained pianist who grew up in Vienna, Austria, and graduated from Baldwin Wallace University, and earned her PhD in history from the University of Rochester with a minor in musicology from the Eastman School of Music.

She is also cofounder of Black Central Europe (dot) com, a website that helps people understand the long history of the Black Diaspora in that part of Europe.

WCLV's Bill O'Connell spoke with Kira Thurman about The Cleveland Orchestra's concert Musical Reflections: Dreams Deferred, Dreams Transmogrified on May 19, concentrating on the these selections: Joplin's Treemonisha Overture, Julia Perry's Short Piece for Orchestra, Darker America by William Grant Still and Bernard Herrmann's Suite from Vertigo.