Florence Price

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Presented by the Grand Canyon Music Festival


Florence Price was a perfect combination of talent, hard work, and ambition.  But nothing would be handed to her.  Both her sex and race marked her from the start.  On this program, we will hear how she chose, with her soaring, intricate compositions, to rise above the obstacles that society imposed on her.  We dedicate this evening to composer and musician Florence Price.

Florence Price’s work has finally achieved some recognition these past two decades.  But in her time, 1943, as she fought to weave her work into the canon of classical music, she soon came to understand that she was at a disadvantage being neither male, white, nor dead. 

On this Arizona Encore, we will hear some of Florence Price’s compositions for string quartet, all performed by an ensemble that knows her music well.  The Catalyst Quartet, annual visitors to the Grand Canyon Music Festival, have recorded all the works on this evening’s program, but tonight you will hear their live performance from the 2021 Grand Canyon Music Festival at the Shrine of the Ages. The musicians of the Catalyst Quartet are Karla Donehew Perez, violin; Abi Fayette, violin; Paul Laraia, viola; and Karlos Rodriguez, cello.

Our program begins with the two movement String Quartet in G Major. We follow this work with Price’s Negro Folksongs in Counterpoint — a beautiful setting of African American spirituals and folksongs. After the break, our host Bill Baker shares a home renovation story that restored Florence Price into our musical consciousness. This week’s program closes with Price’s Quartet in A Minor.

Featuring performances by the Catalyst String Quartet.

Price - Quartet in G Major
I. Allegro
II. Allegretto
Price - Negro Folksongs in Counterpoint
I. “Go Down Moses”
II. “Somebody’s Knockin’ at Yo’ Do’”
III. “Little David Play on Yo’ Harp”
IV. “Joshua Fit de Battle of Jericho”
Price - Quartet in A Minor
I. Moderato
II. Andante cantabile
III. Juba
IV. Allegro

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