Thursday, June 11, 2020 Pianist Michael Lu to host online concert in memory of victims of black oppression. [Will highlight work of Florence Price]

Michael Lu
Main image: © Ken Love / Ken Love Photography

Florence B. Price (1887-1953)

June 11, 2020

By Ellie Palmer

Lu will highlight the work of African-American composer Florence Price while also raising funds for Covid-19-related charities

20-year-old American pianist Michael Lu will give an online concert on Friday 19 June in partnership with the 5pm Series, and will dedicate his first piece to victims of black oppression. Lu will perform the second movement, marked Andante, from the Piano Sonata in E minor by Florence Price, who was one of the first African-American female composers to gain national status.

Lu comments, “I feel that the music of Florence Price and many other great African-American composers – among them George Walker, William Grant Still and Ulysses Kay – are sadly neglected… In reality, the music of these composers constitutes among some of the most beautiful and important achievements of human history.

This Andante of Price that I will play is heartbreakingly beautiful. It reminds one of Chopin, Liszt, Schumann, and Dvorak. Yet there is a huge range of human emotion - sadness, despair, but also an abundance of hopefulness. Despite going through so much discrimination throughout her lifetime, Florence Price was able to craft masterpieces that are unfailingly beautiful and also deeply metaphysical.

The spirit of Florence Price will inspire all of us all to become better human beings and bring about the positive changes we need for our world that are long overdue.”

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