“The music of one black composer, Florence B. Price, has experienced an extraordinary surge of public interest over the past year, [following the] world premiere recording of her two violin concertos,” writes Douglas Shadle in Wednesday’s (2/20) NewMusicBox. “Prominent U.S. orchestras, including the New Jersey Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, and Minnesota Orchestra, programmed Price’s music during their 2018–19 seasons. The Fort Smith Symphony Orchestra recently released the world premiere recording of her Fourth Symphony…. The Apollo Chamber Players, The Dream Unfinished, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the BBC Orchestra [drew] substantial new attention to Price’s life and music…. Publisher G. Schirmer announced last November that it had acquired worldwide rights to Price’s compositional catalog…. Institutional neglect of her music during her lifetime explains why so many manuscripts were awaiting ‘discovery’ after her death in the first place…. Why did no one offer to work with Price or her daughter to secure a legacy? … In the heady environment of an exciting renaissance, white organizations run the risk of refusing to acknowledge black voices…. We must all play a role in creating a just musical community. Or we will keep repeating the same patterns of oppression.”

Posted February 26, 2019