Tuesday, December 4, 2018

LaJollaLight.com: La Jolla Symphony in Florence Price's Violin Concerto No. 2

Florence B. Price (1887-1953)

By La Jolla Symphony & Chorus

December 5, 2018

La Jolla Symphony & Chorus (LJS&C) continues a season-long exploration of the theme "Lineage" with its second concert of the 2018-19 series. Steven Schick will conduct orchestra, chorus and soloists in a celebration of the holidays, Dec. 8 and 9, 2018; at Mandeville Auditorium on the UC San Diego campus, with Handel's "Messiah," featuring the rarely performed arrangement by Mozart for large orchestra.

The program will begin with Florence Price's "Violin Concerto No. 2" — a recently re-discovered gem written more than 65 years ago.


Price was a remarkable African-American composer that history nearly forgot. Born in 1887 in Little Rock, she spent most of her career in Chicago, achieving some success when her work was championed by the Chicago Symphony in the 1930s. During her lifetime, she wrote over 300 works, including four symphonies, two violin concertos, a piano concerto, piano music, and a large number of songs and choral compositions.

Yet, most of these remain unpublished. Price's music is only now being discovered by audiences. The "Violin Concerto No. 2," composed in 1952, received its orchestral premiere in February of this year by the Arkansas Philharmonic, with Er-Gene Kahng soloing. The 14-minute concerto is romantic, sweeping and melody-driven, with brilliant passages for the violin soloist, performed in this concert by LJS&C Concertmaster David Buckley.

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