Florence Beatrice Price was a classical composer, pianist, organist, and music teacher. In 1933, Price became the first black woman in history to have her music performed by a major symphony orchestra when The Chicago Symphony Orchestra premiered Price’s ‘Symphony No 1. in E minor’. A music critic from The Chicago Daily News declared Price’s work “a faultless work, a work that speaks its own message with restraint and yet with passion… worthy of a place in the regular symphonic repertoire.”
In her lifetime, Florence Price composed four symphonies, four concertos, along with numerous choral works, art songs, music for chamber and solo instruments, works for violin, organ anthems, piano pieces, spiritual arrangements, three piano concertos, and two violin concertos. Some of her more popular works were “Three Little Negro Dances,” “Songs to the Dark Virgin,” “My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord,” and “Moon Bridge.”
In 1940, Price was inducted into the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers in recognition for her work as a composer.
In 2009, a substantial collection of Price’s works and unreleased scores were found in Price’s abandoned summer home outside of St Anne, Illinois.
To hear Florence’s Symphony No. 1, called “faultless” by The Chicago Daily News, you can find it on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s4yY_A2A2k