Google is celebrating the life and career of Black British composer, teacher and opera singer Amanda Aldridge with its latest doodle.
Aldridge is best known as a composer who released dozens of instrumental tracks, parlour music, and over 30 songs under the pseudonym Montague Ring, according to tech giant which often changes its classic logo to highlight a historical figure or special occasion relating to a specific date
On this day in 1911, Aldridge performed a piano recital at Queens Small Hall, London’s pre-war principal concert venue and the original home of the BBC Symphony and London Philharmonic Orchestras.
Born in London on March 10, 1866, Aldridge was the daughter of African American Shakespearian actor Ira Aldridge and a Swedish opera singer. According to Google, she “showed her musical prowess at a young age” and studied at London’s Royal Conservatory of Music. Unfortunately, a throat injury reportedly cut her singing career cut. However, the influential musician used her talents to build a successful career as a vocal teacher, pianist, and composer.
Aldridge reportedly explored her mixed ethnic heritage through music. She combined various rhythmic influences and genres with poetry by Black American authors to create what’s known as parlour music.
Parlour music is “a popular genre performed in the living rooms of middle-class homes.”
Her most famous piece was one of her piano compositions, “Three African Dances,” inspired by West African drumming. In addition to her compositions, she taught civil rights activist Paul Robeson and one of America’s first great opera singers, Marian Anderson.
Aldridge wrote love songs, sambas, and orchestral pieces into her old age and gained international attention for the way she fused musical styles.