Price's Symphonic Works: A Field Guide

This post originally appeared in Jordan Randall Smith’s personal blog, The Composer’s Notebook.

When an important composer's papers, including dozens of her best works, are lost and then later found, an entire cottage industry must necessarily grow up around bringing these works to life. Thankfully, the University of Arkansas has begun to create exactly that, and many of Price's works are seeing their very first performances and recordings. For instance, her fourth symphony received its world premiere just two weeks ago.  

Last month, I posted a general resource roundup of the music of Florence Price. This month, I'll narrow the focus down to just a listing of her symphonic works with notes on each as to their current status. I have listed the symphonies, concertos and other works, and have endeavored to provide information about composition date, premiere, awards, movements, and duration, as available.

I suspect that a large amount of additional information will become available over the coming months and years and I will continue to update this guide to reflect new insights as they become available, not to mention recordings, published scores, and other research. If you are reading this and have additional information you think I should add, please contact me.


Symphony No. 1 in E Minor

Florence Price: Concerto/Symphony in E Minor

Albany Records

Composed: 1931-1933

Premiered: 1933, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Frederick Stock

Awards: 1932, First Prize, Rodman Wanamaker Competition

I. Allegro [ma] non troppo
II. Largo, maestoso
III. Juba Dance
IV. Finale

Recordings: Albany TROY1295

Sources: 1234

Symphony No. 2 in G Minor

Florence Price's second symphony is incomplete and/or lost. However, there are some signs that the Fort Smith Symphony, the University of Arkansas Libraries Special Collections, and Naxos International are working together to restore, perform, and record this Symphony.

Sources: 1 2 • 3


Symphony No. 3 in C Minor

Florence Price: The Oak, Mississippi River; Symphony No. 3

One Music International Classics

Composed: 1938-1940

Premiered: 1940, Detroit Civic Orchestra, Valter Poole.

I. Andante; Allegro
II. Andante ma non troppo
III. Juba: Allegro
IV. Scherzo. Finale

Sources: 1 2 3

Symphony No. 4 in D Minor

Composed: 1945

Premiered: May 2018, Fort Smith Symphony, John Jeter

Engraving and Editing by Miho Sasaki.

Sources: 1 2 3



Violin Concerto No. 1 in D M

Florence Price: Violin ConcertosBy Er-Gene Kahng

Composed: 1939

Premiered: 2018, Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra, Er-Gene Kahng (violin), Ryan Cockerham (conductor).

Recordings: See Albany TROY1706, right.

I. Tempo moderato
II. Andante
III. Allegro

Sources: 12

Violin Concerto No. 2 in d mi

Original violin 2 part for Price's Violin Concerto No. 2.

Composed: 1952

Premiered: Minnie Cedargreen Jemberg (Piano-only, posthumous). 2018, Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra, Er-Gene Kahng (violin), Ryan Cockerham (conductor).

Recordings: See Albany TROY1706, right.

Sources: 12 • 3


Piano Concerto in One Movement

Composed: 1932-34

Premiered: 1934, Chicago; 2011; Chicago (Reconstructed Score. Source.), Florence Price (Piano).

Awards: 1932, Honorable Mention, Rodman Wanamaker Competition

Recordings: See above, under Symphony No. 1. Karen Walwyn (Piano), New Black Music Repertory Ensemble of Columbia College, Chicago, Leslie B. Dunner (Conductor)

Sources: 123 •  4