Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Election 2020: Live Results | Tracking COVID-19 | Racial Justice

La Jolla Symphony To Perform ‘Found’ Concerto By African American Composer, Florence Price

We're sorry. This audio clip is no longer available. A transcript has been made available.

Photo credit: University of Arkansas libraries

Florence Price in an undated photo.

Who decides what compositions get called classical music and who picks what orchestras play and what they don’t? Those questions have swirled around the rediscovery of several concertos and symphonies by 20th-century composer Florence Price. She is known as one of the first African-American composers to win national attention back in the 1930s, but it turns out that some of her most sophisticated works were never performed and almost lost.

The New Yorker music critic Alex Ross wrote about the rediscovery of dozens of Price's musical scores in a dilapidated house in Illinois in 2009 by new owners Vicki and Darrell Gatwood.

"The couple got in touch with librarians at the University of Arkansas, which already had some of Price’s papers. Archivists realized, with excitement, that the collection contained dozens of Price scores that had been thought lost," Ross wrote.

Ross' article and another in The New York Times reignited interest in Price’s work, which has since been included in orchestral programs across the country including here in La Jolla. Her Violin Concerto No. 2 will be performed this Saturday by the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus.


San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Your curated weekly guide to local arts and culture in San Diego, from Arts Calendar Editor Julia Dixon Evans, delivered to your inbox every Thursday afternoon.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Midday Edition banner

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.