Noel Da Costa

Noel Da Costa pursued an active life as a composer, conductor and violinist. His song compositions set the poetry of many prominent American poets, including Langston Hughes, Carl Sandburg, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and his mentor from a young age, Countee Cullen.

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Born in Nigeria (the son of missionaries), Noel Da Costa moved with his family to the Caribbean Islands when he was three before moving to New York City at the age of 11. He was a student of Countee Cullen at Junior High School 139 in Harlem, which inspired him to pursue a life in the arts.

Da Costa studied at Queens College and Columbia University before earning a Fulbright to study composition with Dallapiccola in Italy.

Da Costa taught at several universities and conducted and played the violin in addition to composing.

–Christie Finn

Sources: New World Records liner notes and Lucius R. Wyatt’s article in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians

Related Information


DaCosta/Boatwright: Chamber Works

(Noel Da Costa)



Sheet Music

Anthology of Art Songs by Black American Composers, Compiled by Willis C. Patterson

Composer(s): H. Leslie Adams, David Baker, Margaret Bonds, Charles Brown, Cecil Cohen, Noel de Costa, Mark Fax, Adolphus C. Hailstork, Eugene Hancock, Thomas Kerr, Jr., Charles Lloyd, Jr., Wendell Logan, Maurice McCall, Dorothy Rudd Moore, Undine Smith Moore, Robert Owens, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Florence Price, Hale Smith, William Grant Still, Howard Swanson, George Walker, Olly Wilson, John Work, Jr.

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