In celebration of the American composer Florence Price, who passed away 70 years ago, Magna Sinfonia (UK) and Ondřej Soukup perform her award-winning Symphony No. 1. Alongside, they play Dvořák’s American Suite and Slavonic Dances op. 46, Nos. 1, 4 & 8.
The Symphony was first performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1933. To cite the website dedicated to the composer: ‘born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1887, Price, won first prize in the Wanamaker Competition with her Symphony in E minor and as a result, became the first female composer of African descent to have a symphonic work performed by a major national symphony orchestra.’
Notable influences on the Symphony were the styles of Dvořák, who was invited to establish the American school of composition; and Coleridge-Taylor, a British-Sierra Leonean composer who became very successful in the UK at the outset of the 20th century. While Dvořák’s music appears alongside Price’s on this programme, Coleridge-Taylor and Ondřej also share a link. Both being graduates of London’s Royal College of Music, the Czech conductor recently performed Coleridge-Taylor’s The Bamboula with the King’s College London Symphony Orchestra.
The concert of Price’s Symphony No. 1 takes place in Bournemouth on 14th October 2023, see details below:
Ondřej Soukup is an exciting young conductor specialising in Czech & Eastern European music. His repertoire counts 250+ works by men and women. Recently, he made music with BBC SSO, Czech Chamber Philharmonic, Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic and others. In the 2023/2024 season, Ondřej conducts the Copenhagen Phil, The Danish Sinfonietta, Helsingborg Symphony, Ålborg Symphony, and Magna Sinfonia among others.