1887 - 1953
In 1932 her Sonata in E Minor for piano won First Prize in the Wanamaker music contest, with overall honors awarded to her first symphony. Frederick Stock, music director of the Chicago Symphony, became a supporter of her music and programmed the work. Price became the first African-American woman to have a work performed by a major U.S. orchestra when the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed it in 1933. Though she composed hundreds of pieces, her catalogue did not enter the twentieth-century mainstream canon, and many of her works, including two violin concertos, could have vanished if not uncovered during the renovation of her abandoned home.
Born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1887, Price received early training on the piano from her mother, a music teacher. She went on to attend the New England Conservatory, one of few higher musical institutions accepting African-American students. There, she studied composition and counterpoint with George Chadwick and Frederick Converse, and graduated in 1906 with both an artistic diploma in organ and a teaching certificate. After years teaching music privately and serving as the head of the music department at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia, Price returned to Little Rock, then moved to Chicago, where she advanced her musical studies under Arthur Olaf Andersen, Carl Busch, Wesley LaViolette, and Leo Sowerby.
Price artist-playlist on Spotify
7th June 2020
- Montgomery Philharnmonic
- MS. Sandra Ragusa
- Gaithersburg Presbyterian Church / Gaithersburg, MD / United States
10th June 2020
- Carlos Kalmar
- Pritzker Pavilion / Chicago, IL / United States
12th July 2020
- Performing Fourth Movement Only
- Chicago Symphony Orchestra
- Marin Alsop
- Ravinia Festival, Highland Park, IL, United States
18th August 2020
- Kelly Hall-Tompkins
- Los Angeles Philharmonic
- Marin Alsop
- Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA, United States
4th October 2020
- Boston Conservatory Orchestra
- Bruce Hangen
- Jordan Hall, Boston, MA
- American Tone Poems
- As the season gets underway and plans for future seasons take shape, explore this selection of tone poems by American composers from the catalogues of Wise Music Group.
- Original Manuscripts of Florence Price Discovered and Published by G. Schirmer
- Wise Music Group announces the discovery of three previously unpublished works of composer Florence Price: Songs of the Oak, Colonial Dance, and the original version of Price's Piano Concerto in One Movement, all penned in her own hand.