According to CNET, on June 17, 111 years ago, influential musician Amanda Aldridge gave a piano recital in London’s Queen’s Chapel, the original home of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic.The search giant paid tribute to the composer, teacher and opera singer, who goes by the pseudonym Montague Ring, with a Google Doodle on Friday.
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Aldridge, the daughter of an African-American Shakespeare stage actress and a Swedish opera singer, displayed an impressive musical talent at a young age. She later studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and studied with Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind.
Aldridge has taught civil rights activist and artist Paul Robeson, as well as acclaimed opera singer Marian Anderson. African music and Afro-American poetry influenced her own voice. Her most popular work is Three African Dances, a piano piece inspired by West African drumming.
According to the University of Colorado Boulder’s “Hidden Voices” series, Aldridge wrote “Three African Dances” with the intention of getting amateur pianists and middle-class families to play it. At the time of making this piece, romantic living room music was often heard in middle-class homes.