WPR Celebrates The Music Of Florence Price

Price Was The First Black Woman To Have A Work Performed By A Major American Orchestra.

Portrait of Florence Price
University of Arkansas Libraries

Florence Price was an American composer, pianist and teacher, active in the first half of the 20th century, and was the first Black woman to have a work performed by a major American orchestra.

We’ll be featuring a wide range of her music during our music programs the week of Feb. 22, including our weekday classical shows between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., and on the weekend.

Price was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1887 and showed early promise as a performer. She studied piano and organ at the New England Conservatory of Music, then headed the music department at Clark Atlanta University. After a number of racial incidents, however, she decided to move to Chicago, where her career as a composer began to blossom.

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The story of Florence Price is complex and inspiring, and Stephanie Elkins will be talking more about it in a free Badger Talk on March 2. This will include more about the obstacles Price overcame, and that fact that much of her music was nearly lost — a significant amount was discovered in a derelict house in 2009.

Upcoming selections include:

Monday, Feb. 22: Dances in the Canebrakes; Fantasie Negre

Tuesday, Feb. 23: Mississippi River Suite; Symphony No. 1

Wednesday, Feb. 24: Symphony No. 3; The Oak

Thursday, Feb. 25: Violin Concerto No. 2; Symphony No. 4

Friday, Feb. 26: Piano Concerto; Piano Sonata

Saturday, Feb. 27: Fantasie Negre

Sunday, Feb. 28: Selected short works

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