Composer Florence Price was a trailblazer: the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer, and the first to have a composition played by a major orchestra. She studied at the New England Conservatory, but passed herself off as Mexican to avoid the prejudices of the time. Ultimately, she would end up in Chicago, where the Chicago Symphony Orchestra premiered one of her works. Her music, which had fallen into obscurity, has recently seen a revival.
This post is part WXXI Classical 91.5’s celebration of Women’s History Month. For more of these stories and other resources, check out Celebrating the Contributions of Women to Classical Music.