WQXR Radio, New York City
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Florence Beatrice Price wrote more than 300 musical compositions. Some of her works R have been lost, others are unpublished, and some of piano and vocal music is still being heard in concert halls. When contralto Marian Anderson gave that historic concert at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, she concluded her recital with Price’s “My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord.” And since the 1930s, Price’s art songs and spiritual settings have been favorites of artists who specialize in African American concert music.
At 9 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24, join Terrance McKnight, WQXR host and former Morehouse professor of music, for "The Price of Admission," a one-hour program that brings to light the music and legacy of one of America’s pioneering but nearly forgotten composers and takes a biographical look at Price’s symphonic music, songs, and works for piano and organ. The radio documentary includes archival interview tape of composer Margaret Bonds talking about her friendship with Price and Marian Anderson’s performances of Price’s music recorded during “The Bell Telephone Hour,” a popular musical showcase in the 1940-'60s.
Price was born in Little Rock, Ark., but spent her professional career in Chicago. Due to her musical talent and her family’s affluence, Price enrolled at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where she majored in organ and piano. After graduating with two degrees, Price worked as a college professor, a church organist and a theater accompanist. However, she is best remembered as the first woman of African descent to have a symphony performed by a major American orchestra. In 1933, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra played her Symphony in E minor. That orchestra also premiered her Piano Concerto the following year.
Video: Florence B. Price "To My Little Son" Erin Flannery, Soprano and Terrance McKnight, Piano