April 9, 1887; her father; James H. Smith, was a dentist and her mother; Née Florence Irene Gulliver, was a school teacher.
Little Rock, Arkansas
June 3, 1953 in Chicago
Also Known As:
Her full name was Florence Beatrice Smith Price; the first African-American woman composer of symphonic music. Also, the first African-American woman whose work; "Symphony in E Minor," was played by a U.S. orchestra (Chicago Symphony Orchestra). She was also a piano teacher and an organist.
Type of Compositions:
She wrote Symphonies, chamber music, classical music, spirituals and vocal works. She incorporated Negro spirituals in her music and as such, became an important contributor to the New Negro Arts Movement.
Her mother was one of her musical influences who taught her how to play the piano at a young age. She had her first piano recital when she was 4 and published her first work when she was 11. Another influence was her elementary school teacher; Charlotte Andrews Stephens. When she was at the New England Conservatory in Boston, she studied with George W. Chadwick, Frederick S. Converse and Henry M. Dunham.
She wrote more than 300 musical works, among her most known pieces are: "Fantasie Nègre," "Mississippi River Suite," "Symphony in E Minor," "Sonata in E Minor" and "Symphony No. 3 in C Minor."
In 1932, she won four awards during the Wanamaker Competition. In 1935, Florence Price separated from her husband and became a single mom to her 2 children. She supported her family by doing several projects such as creating music for silent films, selling her piano works and composing pop music using the pseudonym "Veejay."