Florence Beatrice Price

Feminale of Music

On display is a portrait of a woman.

Florence Beatrice Price is the first African-American musician to become known in the USA as a female composer of classical music and to have a symphony performed by one of the leading American orchestras.

Florence Beatrice Price is born on April 9, 1887 in Little Rock, Arkansas. She first appeared as a pianist at the age of four and published her first composition at eleven. She graduated from high school at the age of 14 and went on to study piano with Frederick S. Converse, organ with Henry M. Dunham and music theory with George Whitefield Chadwick at the New England Conservatory. There she was one of the few students to earn a bachelor's degree in two subjects, piano and organ. She then taught at various universities and colleges and finally moved to Chicago in 1927 due to racial unrest. It was after this move that Price's works were first edited by publishers, the G. Schirmer Verlag and McKinley Verlag. Through the performance of her Symphony No. 1 in E minor on June 15, 1933 at the Chicago World's Fair by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the musical direction of Frederick Stock, Florence Beatrice Price became the first African-American composer to have a symphony performed by one of the leading American orchestras.

Price left behind a comprehensive oeuvre that includes songs, organ works, piano pieces as well as choral, chamber and orchestral works. A stylistic feature is that Price arranged Sprituals in several of her works.

Piano Concerto in One Movement released by Chamber Orchestra of the Springs and performed together with Dr. Karen Walwyn (piano), recorded at Ent Center for the Arts on 14.04.2019. 

String Quartet in G: slow movement published by and performed by Er-Gene Kahng (violin) together with Ryan Cockerham (violin), Tazonio Anderson (viola) and Patrick Bellah (cello), premiered at the University of Arkansas in January 2015. 

Concert Overture No. 2 released by Female Conductors: Jane Glover conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra recorded live on 08.03.2018.

Ethiopia's Shadow in America released by Elizabeth M: Daniel Blendulf conducts the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in 2015.

Excerpt from the film: The Caged Bird: The Life and Music of Florence B. Price.

Pianist Samantha Ege talks about Florence Price.

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