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On February 17, 2021, The Philadelphia Orchestra hosted a digital Salon on Florence Price, the pioneering Black female composer and pianist who faced the challenges of racism and gender bias her entire life.
Please join us as we explore the remarkable life and re-discovered works of Florence Price with Tamara Acosta and Stephen Spinelli, co-founders of ONEcomposer, and Michelle Cann.
Recently, the Orchestra partnered with ONEcomposer, an initiative housed at Cornell University that highlights historically marginalized musicians, to raise awareness of Price’s work. This collaboration begins with Michelle Cann, in her Philadelphia Orchestra debut, playing the Piano Concerto in One Movement on our Digital Stage. This performance marks the first time the piece has been played in North America in its original orchestration since the composer’s death in 1953, and possibly since the mid-1930s.
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Florence Price was a prolific composer of symphonic works, art songs, spiritual arrangements, chamber music, and choral and piano pieces. Price and her more than 300 compositions rarely got the attention they deserved, during her life or after her death. But there has been renewed, well-deserved attention around reviving her music in concert halls, buoyed by a 2009 discovery of a trove of scores and papers in her former summer home.
Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin has taken strong interest in her music and is committed to championing her orchestral works and complete symphonies in the years ahead.
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