This week I was introduced to Florence and her music. It has been produced and performed by her admirers for all to appreciate. This has led to her music being nominated for a Grammy this year and why I am featuring her this month for Black History. I included a link to her symphony below. This is just another way black voices were shuttered by ignoring their accomplishments in whatever field they excelled. Stay tuned. History is being rewritten with the actual facts!
Five Things You Should Know About Florence Price
Florence Price was the first African American woman composer to have her symphony performed by a major orchestra.
- Symphony No. 3 in C. Minor is the symphony Rae Linda Brown first heard, sparking her interest in writing about Price in 1979.
Florence Price grew up a part of the Black elite in Little Rock, Arkansas in the Reconstruction Era of the late-nineteenth century.
- She moved to Chicago after the Jim Crow laws were put into place.
- Her maternal grandparents were part of the small percentage of free blacks in the antebellum south, and they could read and write.
- Her mother was a pianist, singer and businesswoman while her father was a dentist.
Florence Price was the first African American composer to be represented through the Illinois Federation of Music Clubs and the first black member of both the Chicago Club of Women Organists and the Musicians Club of Women.
- Colorism was a factor in Price’s success. She was let into these places on account of her lighter skin color. Race and sex discrimination in the world of composition hindered her opportunities as well.
- These clubs supported women as they struggled to gain recognition in professional fields, such as composers, that were exclusive to men.
- The Heart of a Woman by Rae Linda Brown is the first biography of Florence Price.
- Radio 3, a BBC classical station, did a broadcast of her works for International Women’s Day on March 8, 2018.
- Florence Price was a private person but was open about sharing her music.
- Florence Price wrote over 300 works for a variety of instruments but some are missing because of poor historical preservation. Symphony No.4 was just recovered recently. There is no official count of all of her works.
Florence Price was a music teacher before becoming a composer.
- Florence Price started writing Symphony in E minor while she was in college at The New England Conservatory of Music.
- She went back to Little Rock, Arkansas after college to teach music from 1906-1912 because of a strong sense to serve her community.
- Florence Price did not get back to writing her symphony until 20 years later, and by then she had moved to Chicago.
Here is a great link to view about her finding success by reinventing her path.
- Here is a link to listen to her nominated compositions
Florence Price – 36Keys