Florence Price Playlist

Discover music by an American composer you might not be familiar with!

Published: April 8, 2019 at 11:00 pm

Florence B Price, née Smith, was a composer, pianist and organist, thought to be the first female symphonist of African-American heritage.

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She composed over 300 works – symphonies, chamber works and songs noted for their lush orchestration and enchanting lyricism – that were performed by leading orchestras and performers, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and contralto Marian Anderson.

So why has such a figure remained on the fringes of 20th-century music? In 1,000 years of classical musicology, there is barely a mention of composers of colour, even though these musicians have contributed significantly to the evolution of the genre.

Florence Price is just one of a plethora of such composers that have been overlooked.

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Original intro text by Shirley Thompson

Authors

Michael BeekReviews Editor, BBC Music Magazine

Michael is the Reviews Editor of BBC Music Magazine. He was previously a freelance film music journalist and spent 15 years at St George's Bristol. Michael specialises in film and television music and was the Editor of MusicfromtheMovies.com. He has written for the BBC Proms, BBC Concert Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall, Hollywood in Vienna and Silva Screen Records.

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