The Caged Bird: The Life and Music of Florence B. Price

In 1933, Florence Price was the first African-American woman to have her Symphony in E minor performed by a major symphony orchestra at the Chicago World's Fair. Her story is the triumph of talent over prejudice and preconceptions. [TRAILER]

A film by James Greeson (USA/2015/57:36)

About James Greeson

Filmmaker James Greeson is a professor of music at the University of Arkansas and composer of more than 15 documentary film scores, including the regional Emmy award-winning score for the film “The Buffalo Flows.” Greeson also wrote and produced “Conlon Nancarrow: Virtuoso of the Player Piano,” his first documentary film, which was also broadcast on AETN, in 2011, as a centennial tribute to the Arkansas native.

Director Statement

In 1933, when the Chicago Symphony played her Symphony in E minor at the Chicago World's Fair, Arkansas native Florence Price made music history as the first African-American woman to have her music performed by a major symphony orchestra. In her legendary 1939 concert at the Lincoln Memorial, a watershed moment in the civil rights movement, the famous vocalist Marian Anderson concluded her program with a Florence Price song. During Price's life she interacted with a surprising number of important African-American leaders, including WEB DuBois, Langston Hughes, Kathryn Dunham, as well as Marian Anderson. This film tells the inspirational story of this gifted woman who triumphed over prejudice and preconceptions.

This 58-minute long film features eminent musicians from across the United States performing Price’s music, and was completed in September 2015. The film was funded by grants from the Arkansas Humanities Council, the Department of Arkansas Heritage, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the University of Arkansas.

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