In 2005, pianist Peter Collins collaborated with The Historic New Orleans Collection and Centaur Records to record a CD featuring the music of Basile Barès (1845–1902), who rose from slavery to become a highly successful pianist and composer. Music of Basile Barès was released in 2006.
Nineteenth-century New Orleans boasted several opera companies, numerous theatres and concert halls, over a dozen music-publishing firms, and scores of composers—some local, others drawn to the city from across the United States and Europe. Basile Barès was unique among his contemporaries in that he was born a slave. Barès was raised in the household of Adolphe Périer, the proprietor of a piano and music emporium; he maintained a professional relationship with Périer’s widow after the Civil War. He traveled to Paris several times on business and in 1867 performed, as a pianist, at the Paris World Exposition. Barès would become one of the most popular musicians in Reconstruction-era New Orleans, his career exemplifying the attempt of Creoles of color to promote racial integration.
Peter Collins, a native of New Orleans, is professor of piano at Missouri State University. He has won awards in the University of Maryland International Piano Competition, the American Chopin Competition, and the Washington International Piano Competition.

Item #000795

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