Classical new release: 'Florence Price: Violin Concertos'

May 4, 2018

Florence Price (1887-1953) was the first African American woman to have a symphony performed by a major United States orchestra. She also composed two violin concertos, which were thought to be lost until they were discovered in an abandoned house in 2009. The world premiere recordings of these two concertos appear on a new release from Albany Records.

Price was born and raised in Arkansas and spent much of her adult life in Chicago. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Frederick Stock, performed her Symphony in E minor in 1933. 

Price completed the Violin Concerto no. 1 in 1939, and there do not appear to have been any public performances of the piece prior to this new recording. The Violin Concerto no. 2, completed in 1952, was performed only once: at the dedication of the Florence B. Price School in Chicago over a decade after Price's death.

Violinist Er-Gene Kahng performs as the soloist in both concertos. Ryan Cockerham conducts the Janaceck Philharmonic Orchestra. Cockerham's "Before, It Was Golden" also receives its world premiere recording on this album. Detailed liner notes are provided by musicologist Douglas Shadle.