5 African Classical Composers You Should Know: a list by Found Sound Nation’s Nyokabi Kariuki

As a Kenyan in the world of composition, my musical journey has involved discovering other African classical composers that came before me

Stella Chiweshe performs at the Melkweg in 1988, Amsterdam, Netherlands. | Photograph by Frans Schellekens/Redferns

1. Ethiopian pianist/violinist, Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou (b. 1923).

Emahoy Guèbrou, Age 23 | Photograph: Kate Molleson

2. Ugandan contemporary composer, Justinian Tamusuza (b. 1951).

3. Egyptian composer and oud player, Riad Al Sunbati (1906–1981).

4. Zimbabwe’s ‘Queen of Mbira’, Stella Rambisai Chiweshe (b. 1946).

5. Cameroonian electronic composer, Francis Bebey (1929–2001).

Special mentions:

Found Sound Nation is a collective that designs collaborative music projects. www.foundsoundnation.org