Price: Symphony No. 4, Dawson: Negro Folk Symphony – Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin

September 25, 2023, 9:00 am

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The Philadelphia Orchestra and its Music and Artistic Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin continue their project to revive neglected music by Black American composers. Their latest recording captures Florence Price’s Symphony No. 4 and William Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony. As part of his desire both to honor the orchestra’s rich tradition of championing contemporary composers and shine new light on unjustly forgotten masterpieces, Nézet-Séguin programmed what he calls the “mind-blowingly well orchestrated” Negro Folk Symphony for only the third time in the orchestra’s history. Dawson’s close contemporary Florence Price, whose Symphony No. 1 was the first by a woman of color to be played by a major American orchestra, composed her Fourth Symphony in 1945. It remained unperformed during her lifetime and vanished until its chance rediscovery in 2009 in a dusty pile of manuscripts.