MSO Presents All-American Concert and Collaboration with Museum of Art on April 9

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  MSO Presents All-American Concert and Collaboration with Museum of Art on April 9

The Piano Concerto in One Movement by Florence Price will be the centerpiece of a “Distinctively All-American” concert by the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra at 7:30pm on Saturday, April 9, Thalia Mara Hall, which will also be the final Selby and Richard McRae Foundation Bravo series concert of the 77th Season to Savor.

Born in Little Rock, AR, but eventually forced to leave the South for a better life for herself and her family in Chicago in the late 1920’s, Florence Price is recognized as a major musical artist of the Great Migration. Her Piano Concerto in One Movement is recognized today as one of her three greatest works for orchestra, which includes four symphonies and four concertos. In 1933, her Symphony No 1 in E minor was the first composition by any African American woman in history to be performed by a major symphony, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Her Piano Concerto in One Movement premiered in Chicago one year later.

The program will also include Aaron Copland’s masterpiece Appalachian Spring, along with selections by Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm Variations for solo piano and orchestra. The pairing of Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm Variations on the same program as the Price Concerto in One Movement will be an interesting one:  these two works were written at nearly the same time, and both draw almost exclusively on African American musical rhetoric and styles.

The featured guest artist will be pianist Zhu Wang, a rising star who has already won numerous international competitions, is a graduate and scholarship recipient from the Juilliard School, and has performed all over the world, including China, Italy, Poland, Japan, and the U.S. Mr. Wang’s appearance with the MSO is timely:  he has just collaborated on an album entitled Roots, which celebrates music by Black American composers, and includes music by Florence Price and Mississippi-born composer, William Grant Still. His collaborator for that album was violinist Randall Goosby, who was the featured guest artist at the Bravo III concert in January.

This concert will be the second of two partnerships between the Mississippi Museum of Art and the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, and is an integral part of the Museum’s opening weekend for its A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration exhibition, which will explore through visual arts the profound impact of the Great Migration on the social and cultural life of the United States. Opening to the public on April 9, the exhibit will run through September 11. This collaboration between the Museum and Orchestra follows an earlier partnership on March 5, which celebrated the work of another female artist of the Great Migration, novelist, and poet Margaret Walker. Her poem, “This Is My Century: Black Synthesis of Time” stands at the center of the Museum’s permanent collection.

For tickets and further information about this “Distinctively All-American” concert on April 9 by the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra: .

For more information about the A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration exhibit at the MMA:


This project is supported in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and in part, from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.


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