Programmed in the 2019 NEXUS Chamber Music series is a not-to-miss performance of Five Folksongs in Counterpoint for String Quartet by American composer Florence Price (1887-1953), whose work greatly deserves wider attention. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Florence Price rose to the highest echelon of American composers during the first half of the 20th century, a tremendous feat for an African-American woman of her time.
During the Great Migration, Price relocated to Chicago, where her compositions saw premieres by such ensembles as the Chicago Symphony, making her the first African-American woman composer to have her works played by a major American orchestra. After her death, performances of her music declined but fortunately, the past few years have seen a renewed interest in her work. Price’s music reflects a genuine and deeply personal connection to her roots in the deep South, pairing nostalgic American harmonies with a profound respect for traditional European counterpoint and form.