Friday, December 28, 2007
BURLEIGH, HARRY T.
BURLEIGH, HARRY T. Harry Thacker Burleigh (1866-1949) was an internationally known Afro-American singer and composer during the early twentieth century. An accomplished baritone and church soloist, Burleigh was a native of Erie, Pennsylvania. Fond of music from his childhood, he was awarded a scholarship in 1892 to the National Conservatory of Music in New York, where he studied under and was befriended by the noted composer Antonin Dvorak. Dvorak's fifth symphony, "From the New World," contains sections which were inspired by Burleigh's spirituals. Long-time baritone soloist at New York's St. George's Episcopal Church and at Temple Emanuel, one of America's largest Jewish synagogues, Burleigh's concert tours included appearances before American presidents and European royalty, twice giving command performances for King Edward VII of Great Britain. During his lifetime, Harry T. Burleigh composed over two hundred original songs.