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Florence Price | photo: G. Nelidoff / Florence Price Papers, University or Arkansas Libraries
1932 was a turning point for American composer Florence Price. Born in 1887 and graduated (with highest honors) from the New England Conservatory at age 19, she had been composing for quite awhile before she entered a number of her compositions into the Rodman Wanamaker Music Contest of 1932 and won. Many times over. Among additional wins, her Symphony in E-minor won the contest’s symphonic category and her Piano Sonata, also in E-minor, won first prize in the piano category. Her symphony was soon performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, making Price the first African American woman to have a symphony performed by a major orchestra.
Price’s other blue ribbon winner from that year, her Piano Sonata in E-minor, is today’s Midday Masterpiece at 2:00 pm.