"Classically Black" Composers of African Descent


Pianist Richard AlstonPianist Richard Alston

NJIT Jim Wise Theater
February 3, 2010, 3:00 - 4:30 pm


Download the flyer (PDF, 834 KB)

Richard Alston is deeply committed to sharing music as a distinguished pianist and educator, and classical works by composers of African descent are a specialty in his extensive repertoire. On February 3 at NJIT, he will perform and offer commentary on selections from the music of artists such as Joseph Boulogne - Chevalier de Saint Georges, Scott Joplin, R. Nathaniel Dett, Florence Price, Margaret Bonds and George Walker.

After earning his bachelor’s at The Juilliard School, Alston was awarded the prestigious Maria Guerra Judelson Scholarship in piano to return to Juilliard for his master’s. He then embarked on a career in both classical piano performance and performing arts education. His performance credits range from live opera and recitals to radio and television broadcasts as well as recordings.

Under Alston’s direction as assistant professor of music at Essex County College, the school’s associate’s degree program in music has flourished to become a full-fledged performing arts department of music, dance and drama. Highlights of his contributions to the department consist of a program that allows high school students to audition for opportunities to study at the college level, and the development of courses in musical computer technology marked by the construction of a new technical music lab.

Alston is also a former member of the faculty at Rutgers-Newark, a member of the Board of Music Advisors for Westminster Choir College’s Educational Opportunity Program and a former member of the Music Advancement Program faculty of The Juilliard School. In addition to balancing his educational and performance commitments, Alston makes time for a variety of volunteer community programs through his role as Minister of Music at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Montclair, New Jersey. He is also the founder of the Crossroads Music Academy in East Orange.


Co-sponsors: NJIT Technology and Society Forum Committee, Albert Dorman Honors College, Sigma Xi. NJIT welcomes attendees from Essex County College, Rutgers-Newark, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.