The Vanderbilt University Orchestra, conducted by Ernesto Estigarribia Mussi, will pay tribute to groundbreaking musician, composer, and educator Florence Price with its November 14 concert, 8:00 p.m., in Martha Ingram Hall. The program will include a guest performance by pianist Susan Yang.
The event is the culmination of the monthlong Florence Price: A Celebration festival, honoring the life, music, and enduring legacy of a woman who broke barriers of race and gender in classical music. Taking place at venues across Nashville, the series was produced by Douglas Shadle, associate professor of musicology at Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music. Funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the celebration has included previous performances at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Blair School of Music, and Tennessee State University.
Florence Price (1888-1953) was a gifted composer, pianist, and educator. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, she went on to study at the New England Conservatory of Music and is recognized as the first African American woman to have a composition played by a major orchestra. Her body of work includes more than 300 compositions, many of which have now been performed by major ensembles around the world.
The Nashville celebration events are an outgrowth of Shadle’s extensive research and writing on Price’s career, which has helped fuel renewed national interest in her music. “We really want to take the Florence Price revival to the next level,” said Shadle, “bringing communities from all over our city together in a multi-generational series of concerts. We have featured musicians from Nashville, across the country, and around the world as we celebrate the full array of Price’s musical talents.”