Members of The Cleveland Orchestra will perform music by Black American composers Florence Price, Leslie Adams, and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson in new video recordings filmed at Severance Hall. Starting on January 18, 2021, and presented daily through February 8, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration will include videos released on the Orchestra’s social media channels.
- A composer, pianist, and organist, Florence Price became the first Black American woman to have one of her compositions performed by a major American orchestra. Over the course of her career, she composed more than 300 works and found inspiration in jazz, spirituals, church music, and European art music.
- Leslie Adams was born in Cleveland and received his bachelor of music degree from Oberlin College. His classical works, which incorporate elements of traditional African-American music, have been performed throughout Ohio and across the U.S., including a 1994 commission from The Cleveland Orchestra titled Western Adventure.
- Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson’s music career spanned the genres and mediums of pop, jazz, film, TV, and classical music. In addition to serving as music director for Jerome Robbins’s American Theater Lab and The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Perkinson wrote arrangements for Marvin Gaye, Harry Belafonte, and Max Roach, among others. His innovative compositions feature hints of Baroque counterpoint, American Romanticism, blues, and Black folk music.