Panton, Clifford D.
Dr. Clifford D. Panton, Jr. completed his B.A. at Boston University, M.A. degree, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees at the university of Iowa. He is a violinist and has performed in orchestras, as soloist and in chamber ensembles in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. Dr. Panton is currently Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Minnesota Morris campus where he is orchestra director, teaches violin/viola, music history and string techniques. Most recently he was invited to Beijing, China where he taught violin, performed on viola, and coached chamber music. In the spring of 2005 Dr. Panton will be releasing a recording on the Centaur Label featuring the violin and piano works of William Grant Still.2005 0-7734-6207-4
This study is a chronology of the life of the mulatto violin prodigy George Bridgetower from the late eighteenth century to the nineteenth century. We know of Bridgetower through his association with Beethoven and their first performance of the Kreutzer sonata, originally dedicated to Bridgetower in Vienna, 1803. Bridgetower was born 1778 when slavery was on the rampage. The deteriorating image of people of color is examined through art and philosophy beginning with fifteenth century images. In spite of the very negative images present during Bridgetower’s life, he was able to rise to unusual heights in the music world of his day. This study shows how the reality of people of color during the eighteenth century might have helped propel Bridgetower’s career. From his beginning as the “African Prince” to his patronage by the Regent prince of England (later King George IV) and his decline after the death of George IV. His interaction with noted musicians of his day, programs, performance schedules, reviews, and letters relevant to Bridgetower are presented.