STLCOP violin banner.jpg

The Florence Price Project

Florence Price is recognized as the first African-American woman symphonic composer. Her prize-winning Symphony in E minor was premiered in 1933 by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. During her lifetime, she composed more than 300 works for orchestra, chamber ensemble, solo piano and organ, voice and more. Her music was played in concert halls across the United States and Europe, and the legendary singer Marian Anderson performed Price's work regularly, including during her famous outdoor concert at the Lincoln Memorial for more than 75,000 people in 1939.

After her death in 1953, Price's music and legacy faded into history until 2009 when new owners of her long-abandoned summer house outside St. Anne, Illinois discovered a significant body of her papers and manuscripts. Musicians began to edit and print these manuscripts for performance and recording. In 2018, music publisher G. Schirmer purchased all of Price's works and is working to publish them for broad availability. 

The SLSO is among professional orchestras, chamber groups and individual artists across the country working to re-introduce Florence Price, her music and her legacy to the public. In 2018 the SLSO launched its Florence Price Project, bringing her String Quartet in G Major into SLSO IN UNISON partner churches and performing the piece during Sunday worship services. Price's Five Folksongs in Counterpoint is being added to the lineup in 2019/2020 and both pieces will be featured in the SLSO's annual free Equal Play concert at Powell Hall on March 27, 2020.

Performances of the music of Florence Price are supported by The Whitaker Foundation

Composer Florence Beatrice Smith Price