In May 2017, violinist Er-Gene Kahng recorded Florence Price’s (1887-1953) two violin concertos, which, at the time of this writing, will be a world premiere recording.
Price was a prolific composer, having written over 300 compositions, though many were lost or never performed. Recently, additional manuscripts were found in the attic by a family who came to purchase her former home in Chicago. The new acquisition was cause for celebration for Price admirers and scholars worldwide, as these papers could have easily been overlooked. The value of this discovery cannot be emphasized enough. It provides 21st century classical music scholars and performers a chance to give the public a unique gift of hearing a true American voice in contemporary classical music.
Read more about Florence Price here.
One of the exciting discoveries was a previously unknown violin concerto. All previous history books had noted that Price wrote one violin concerto. Within the new acquisition emerged a second violin concerto.
This project holds the musical benefit of bringing to light a wonderful contribution to the American classical concerto literature, from an underrepresented yet highly regarded composer. The example of a world-class accomplishment by an African-American woman will be of great benefit in inspiring younger “outsider” musical talent to achieve and to become the next generation of musicians and composers, despite barriers to success.
Here is a clip from the recording session in Ostrava, Czech Republic, May 2-4, 2017.