The Music of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 12, 2024, 8:00 pm

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Then Vice President-elect Hubert H. Humphrey (left), alongside Coretta Scott King (center), and Civil Rights Leader and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (right), at a rally at Harlem's 369th Regiment Armory on December 17, 1964. (United States Library of Congress)

In this episode of Sounds Classical, Kristina and LaRob honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by exploring some of the incredible music he has inspired.

Celebrate MLK day by engaging with his philosophy and message through music: including works by Duke Ellington, Stevie Wonder, and Adolphus Hailstork!


Adolphus Hailstork: Epitaph for A Man Who Dreamed
Chicago Sinfonietta/Paul Freeman

Adolphus Hailstork: Songs of Love and Justice
1. Justice
2. Difficulties
3. Decisions
4. Love
Louise Toppin, s; Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra/Julius Williams

Shawn Okpebholo: Two Black Churches
1. Ballad of Birminham
Will Liverman, br; Paul Sanchez, p

U2: MLK (arr. Bob Chilcott)

Duke Ellington: Three Black Kings
3rd/Final Movement
Buffalo Philharmonic/JoAnn Falletta

Margaret Bonds: Montgomery Variations (clip)
Minnesota Orchestra

Leonardo Balada: Sinfonia en Negro: Homage to Martin Luther King
Emanuel Abbuhl, ob; Joan Enric Lluna, cl; Malaga Philharmonic Orch/Edmon Colomer

Nicholas Flagello: Passion of Martin Luther King
10. I Have a Dream
4. In the Struggle for the Freedom
London Philharmonic Orch/Nicholas Flagello

“We Shall Overcome” (arr. Marty Paich) (clip)
Mahalia Jackson

Thomas A Dorsey: Take My Hand, Precious Lord (clip)
Mahalia Jackson