The composer is believed to have been as famous in his day as John Lennon and Paul McCartney with his Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast work making him a global star.
Kwaku, the editor of British Black Music Magazine, Coleridge-Taylor’s biographer, Jeffrey Green and representatives from the Royal Choral Society, the Royal College of Music and the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Network were present at the unveiling.
When the composer died in 1912, there was great furore in the media after the poor finances of his estate were revealed. He sold outright the publishing rights to his biggest hit Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast for £15.75.
The Performing Right Society (PRS) was founded in 1914 partly as a consequence of the deliberations over Coleridge-Taylor’s finances.
Guy Fletcher, Chairman of PRS, said: ‘Samuel’s contribution to the musical world at a time when his colour could have held him back is nothing short of incredible. It is right his life and work is celebrated and we are honoured to have his picture centre stage in our office.’
The unveiled image was donated by the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor 100 PM Collective.
The organisation BTWSC commissioned the piece for its NARM (Naming And Role Model) Highlighting African British Male Role Models 1907-2007 (BTWSC 2010) initiative, in which Coleridge-Taylor was recognised.