Three Rivers Music Society

Three Rivers Music Society / News / Wed 20 Sep 2023

From cinema organist to celebrated composer

From cinema organist to celebrated composer

Back in 1931 Florence Price was a single mother who made ends meet by playing cinema and church organs and writing songs for radio commercials.

But today she is celebrated as the first African-American woman to have her music performed by a major symphony orchestra.

Her breakthrough came in 1932 when she won a prestigious music composition award – a success that led to her work being performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra the following year.

How good a composer was she? Very good indeed, as Symphonia Academica, a leading string chamber ensemble, intend to demonstrate at a Three Rivers Music Society concert in Rickmansworth on Monday, October 16.

Their programme will feature an extract from Price’s melodic String Quartet No.2 as well as several works by three of the great male composers: Mozart’s Flute Quartet in D major, and his overture to Don Giovanni, Bach’s Orchestral Suite No.2 in B minor, and Haydn’s final “London” symphony.

The six-member ensemble also performed for the music society last year and proved extremely popular. As their artistic director Peter Bussereau explained: “Our aim is to engage with the audience in a relaxed and informative style, drawing people into the music.”

The concert will be held at the Baptist Church in High Street, Rickmansworth WD3 1EH. 7.30pm start. Tickets £16 at the door (including programme and refreshments). Reduced price for members. Free entry for under-25s.

Further information:

Pictured: Florence Price

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Rickmansworth Baptist Church

High Street, Rickmansworth WD3 1EH


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