I don’t know about you, but for me, classical music is the perfect way to enjoy a really long journey across town, or even across the country. And if you look close enough at the classical repertoire, you’ll even find pieces of music that were written with journeys like those in mind. Hey there – I’m Loki Karuna, and on this edition of Noteworthy you and I are gonna take a trip down the Mississippi River with the help of a composer named Florence Price.
These days, Florence Price is a name that’s more familiar than not when it comes to celebrating women of color in classical music, but it took decades for her legacy to be unearthed. After the discovery of never before seen scores by Price in an abandoned home outside of Chicago, orchestras everywhere have been reengaging her music. Her symphonies get the most play, but this orchestral tone poem that she called The Mississippi River Suite is starting to be what many concert programmers go to as both a means of continuing to highlight her once overlooked catalogue, and to showcase her perspective on the America she lived in, from North to South.
It goes without saying that Florence Price paved the way for countless other Black women in the classical field, with her impact felt to this day. She’s an American icon, one of today’s most celebrated musical figures, and among the most Noteworthy composers to ever live.
Noteworthy is a production of WDAV classical public radio.
Pictured: Florence Price by George Nelidoff.