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Er-Gene Kahng, Arkansas Philharmonic

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Florence Price is getting a lot more attention than she did during her lifetime. Born in 1887 to a middle-class family in Little Rock, Price attended New England Conservatory, one of the few conservatories that admitted African-Americans at the time. But it wasn’t until 1931, after she’d moved her family to Chicago and divorced her abusive husband, that Price began to write music for the orchestral world. She faced two challenges, she said in a 1943 letter to conductor Serge Koussevitzky, a story in this month’s New Yorker reports: “My dear Dr. Koussevitzky, 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.”

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