- NAME: Florence Beatrice Price
- OCCUPATION: Songwriter, Pianist
- BIRTH DATE: April 09, 1887
- DEATH DATE: June 03, 1953
- EDUCATION: Capitol High School, New England Conservatory of Music
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Little Rock, Arkansas
- PLACE OF DEATH: Chicago, Illinois
- AKA: Florence Beatrice Price
- Maiden Name: Florence Beatrice Smith
- AKA: Florence Price
- Full Name: Florence Beatrice Smith Price
- AKA: Florence B. Smith
- AKA: Florence B. Price
Best Known For
Florence Beatrice Price was an award-winning pianist and composer who became the first African-American woman to have her work performed by a major symphony.
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Price ultimately created more than 300 compositions, and was inducted into the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers in 1940.
In addition to her orchestral pieces, Price wrote shorter pieces sung by vocal luminaries of the day. Marian Anderson sang Price's arrangement of the spiritual "My Soul's Been Anchored in de Lord" during the famous Easter Sunday recital at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939. Price also set Langston Hughes's poem, "Song to the Dark Virgin," to music, which was performed by Anderson to great acclaim. Later, vocalists like Leontyne Price and William Warfield would also cover Price's work.
Price died of a stroke on June 3, 1953, in Chicago, Illinois. It's believed that her musical contributions were soon overshadowed by the emphasis on more modernist composers who fit en vogue tastes. Many of Price's compositions were lost. Yet over time, as the work of African-American and female composers began to receive proper attention, her repertoire received new recognition.
In 2001, The Women's Philharmonic issued an album of Price's work, and a recording of her "Concerto in One Movement" and "Symphony in E Minor" was released in December of 2011, performed by pianist Karen Walwyn and the New Black Repertory Ensemble. In February 2013, classical music figure Terrance McKnight of radio station WQXR, New York produced and hosted a retrospective on Price's career.
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