african-american - The Life of Charlie Burrell - Breaking the Color Barrier in Classical Music
If you read stories of overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles, tragedy and triumph, then you'll love Charlie's incredible journey!
- In 1949, he was the first black person under contract with the Denver Symphony Orchestra.
- In 1959, he became the first black person to play in the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Opera.
- In addition to being a classical music pioneer, he was a jazz musician as well, playing alongside many world-renowned jazz artists.
He has great stories to tell about critical times in his life. How many people can tell stories about Lionel Hampton, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday--at the same time telling about Arthur Fiedler, Pierre Monteux, and Isaac Stern? Only Charlie Burrell!
The Life of Charlie Burrell is no simple story of the triumph of will over oppression, or of an angel who always did the right thing in the face of unending adversity and evil. Burrell's stories weave a more complex tale of inner strength borne in the crucible of an amazing family, fired by intense ambition and hard work, and catalyzed by a series of mentors--both black and white--from whom Charlie learns important lessons, both intended and unintended.
Charlie Burrell's life story provides insight into the character of a man who spent almost 30 years pursuing his dream but sought neither fame nor fortune.