Canton Symphony Concert Features Black Composer and Acclaimed Pianist

CANTON − Sunday Cantonal Symphony Orchestra the concert will feature the acclaimed black pianist michelle cann performing the concerto of a pioneering black composer.

Nathan Maslyk, symphony marketing director, said on 7 p.m. MasterWorks concert at the Zimmermann Symphony Center will celebrate the local orchestra’s commitment to diversity through music.

“This is an example of fulfilling our promise to become a more diverse organization and shine a spotlight on those who were undiscovered or underappreciated in the classical music community,” he said. .

Starting at $10, tickets can be purchased at The symphony box office can be contacted at 330-452-2094. The Zimmermann Symphony Center is located at 2331 17th St. NW in Guangzhou.

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Cann will feature on Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement. Price was the first black woman to see a work performed by an American orchestra.

“I don’t think anything like this has happened in Canton before, like a rising African-American woman performing the work of Florence Price who was such a driving force in the classical music community,” Maslyk said.

The work of the late composer Florence Price will be performed at the Canton Symphony Orchestra's MasterWorks concert on Sunday evening at the Zimmermann Symphony Center.

Price finally receives full recognition as an important composer

Over the past 10 years, Price “has had a resurgence in notoriety, but she was previously ignored,” Maslyk said.

Selections from Price’s 300 compositions have been performed by famous musicians such as soprano Leontyne Price and contralto Marian Anderson, the Canton Symphony Orchestra said.

Born in 1887 in Little Rock, Arkansas, Price won first prize in the Wanamaker Competition with her Symphony in E minor and, as a result, became the first composer of African descent to have a symphonic work performed by a major national symphony orchestra. .

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed the world premiere of its Symphony No. 1 in E minor in 1933 at Chicago’s Century of Progress exposition. Despite the fame the performance gained, further high profile performances and recognition would not follow for Price due to systemic racism.

Price is now remembered as an important composer of the 1930s and 1940s, the Canton Symphony Orchestra said.

At Sunday’s concert, Price’s concerto will be played alongside works by Franck, Strauss and Tchaikovsky.

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The pianist performed the New York premiere of Price’s work

Making his orchestral debut at age 14, Cann has since performed with orchestras in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, New Jersey and Philadelphia. This season she will be featured with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

First performances this year will include the Baltimore, Seattle and Utah symphonies, as well as the New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall.

Cann is a recipient of the 2022 Sphinx Medal of Excellence and the 2022 Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award.

She studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music, where she holds the first Eleanor Sokoloff Professorship in Piano Studies. She also performs regularly in solo and chamber recitals in the United States, China and South Korea.

Cann is an admirer of Price’s music and she performed the New York premiere of the composer’s Piano Concerto in One Movement with The Dream Unfinished Orchestra in July 2016, followed by another premiere with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2021. .

Gerhardt Zimmerman will conduct the Canton Symphony Orchestra on Sunday night for his MasterWorks season debut.

Pre-concert discussion with MJ Albacete and Michelle Cann

This is the second MasterWorks concert of the new season.

MJ Albacete will host a pre-concert discussion with Cann from 6-6:30 p.m. at Umstattd Hall. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to hear the lecture and then enjoy live music in the Canton Youth Symphony student hall from 6:30 p.m. to 6:50 p.m.

Sunday’s concert will be conducted by Gerhardt Zimmerman, who missed the season opener due to illness. The symphony recently announced that Zimmermann will step down in 2026 as maestro. Zimmermann will be replaced by assistant conductor Matthew Jenkins Jaroszewicz.

Contact Ed at 330-580-8315 and [email protected]

On Twitter @ebalintREP

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