Florence Comes Home An Opera Celebrating the Great 20th Century African American Composer, Florence Beatrice Price
How many African American women composers can most classical music lovers name?
Florence Beatrice Price (1887-1953) was a brilliant, prize-winning, New England Conservatory trained composer of more than 300 works, including orchestral, chamber, piano and organ music, and choral and solo vocal compositions, and the first African American woman to have a symphony performed by a major American orchestra. Happily, musicians and audiences are now rediscovering her amazing work, long left languishing. What more might have been her successes, and how much more celebrated might she have been if she wasn’t an African American woman facing the Jim Crow eraand her own deep hardships as a single mother?
To begin with I have two handicaps— those of sex and race. I am a woman; and I have some Negro blood in my veins. -Florence Price to Serge Koussevitzky, 1943
Shelter Music Boston has commissioned the composition of a new chamber opera to tell Florence Price's amazing story. That opera, Florence Comes Home, by Francine Trester, will have its world premiere this fall.
But only if you help us.
Like so many of our audience members, Florence Price faced overwhelming obstacles - poverty, homelessness, racism, sexism, single motherhood, and more. Her music was wonderful, and we know our audiences will be especially moved by this story and the music that conveys it.
This opera is a historic undertaking, but we need your help to make a difference in music history and in the lives of the most vulnerable members of our community by bringing it to life.
Shelter Music Boston has a unique mission, distinctly appropriate for helping to restore Florence Price to her rightful place in music repertoires. SMB performs 80 to 90 classical music concerts annually in Greater Boston homeless shelters,recovery centers, and in an after-school program for children affected by homelessness. We are driven by the belief thateveryone deserves access to the power of music, and among our homeless populationthere are other Florence Prices with so much to offer.
Please help. To learn more, please contact Carrie Eldridge-Dickson, Managing Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-605-3415. Thank you.