How Curtis tried to make it up to Bach-playing Nina Simone

We have been reminded that, in April 2003, the incoming chairman of the Curtis Board of Trustees awarded an honorary diploma to the singer and pianist, Nina Simone, whom the Institute had rejected at audition in April 1951 .  Nina was too ill to fly over from France for the ceremony and died a few days after.

Why she failed to make the grade in 1951 is still the subject of heated debate. But some of her work betrays traes of her classical training, not least the Bach riffs in this piece.

nina simone - young


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  • Well, Norman, looks like you failed to stir up racial controversy where it may not, in fact, even exist. By the way, do you always ban the expression of opinions with which you disagree? Could that not be construed as a form of racism? I guess that depends not on the opinion, but the skin colour of the individual, correct? What if I am black?

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