Metropolitan Youth Symphony’s Florence Price-inspired premiere—by one of its violinists

Posted on: May 16, 2019

“Florence Price’s music is coming back to life, with presentations including a May 21 performance of one of her symphonies by Portland’s Metropolitan Youth Symphony,” writes Brett Campbell in Tuesday’s (5/14) Oregonian (Portland). “What’s more, Price’s resurrection is inspiring today’s young composers to create new music…. Last spring, Katie Palka, a Metropolitan Youth Symphony violinist and budding composer [was so captivated by Price’s first symphony] that she brought it to the youth symphony’s artistic director, Raul Gomez, who encourages students to suggest pieces for the orchestra…. Palka [is] one of three composers chosen to write original works this year as part of the youth symphony’s new Authentic Voices Project…. Palka said her ‘Letter to Florence Price’ sonically expresses … gratitude for [Price’s] example and for the progress made toward greater inclusivity since then, but also recognition of the need for more.’ …  The youth symphony will play the West Coast premieres of two short works inspired by the Harlem Renaissance, written by 11-year-old African-American girls who are participants in the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers Initiative: Jordan Millar’s brassy, bluesy ‘Boogie Down Uptown’ and Camryn Cowan’s ‘Harlem Shake,’ evocative of emerging from the subway onto the neighborhood’s streets.”

Posted May 16, 2019

In photo: Katie Palka (left) and Florence Price. Price’s Symphony No. 1 and Palka’s “Letter for Florence Price” will be performed on the Metropolitan Youth Symphony’s May 21 concert.