Margaret Rosezarian Harris (1943–2000) was the first black woman to conduct the orchestras of Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and 12 other U.S. cities.
Harris played solo piano recitals in the U.S. and abroad, and served as musical director for the Broadway production of Hair. She was a composer of ballets, concertos, and an opera, and served as an American cultural specialist for a production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in Uzbekistan in 1995.
This according to “Margaret Rosezarian Harris, musician and educator, 56” by Anthony Tommasini, an obituary published by the New York times on 22 March 2000. The full text is here.
Today is Harris’s 70th birthday! Below, her second piano concerto.