Guest Artist Recital: Josh Cullen performing the Music of Florence Price and James Lee III

Wednesday, February 2, 2022
7:30 p.m.
Alumni, Community, Faculty, Staff, Students

Josh Cullen

Josh Cullen, piano, performs pieces by Florence Price (1887-1953) and a world premiere by James Lee III. 

From the performer:
American composer Florence Price (1887-1953) enjoyed limited recognition during her lifetime, having been the first Black woman to have her music played by a major symphony orchestra. But she was quickly forgotten about after her death; the classical music world has traditionally only been interested in the universally accepted canon of white male European composers from 1685 through the early 1900’s. She enjoyed a tiny bit of a renaissance when a trove of her manuscripts was discovered in a suburban home 60 miles south of Chicago in 2009, heralded by articles in the New York Times and the New Yorker. But little to no attention was paid to the various solo piano works that were also discovered at that time. This is too bad because after all, Florence Price was a pianist, a superb one at that. My hope is to bring some of these newly discovered manuscripts to life, and this recital is part of that endeavor.

The program is almost entirely by Florence Price. The only exception is a new piece written by a former classmate of mine, James Lee III, a living Black American composer with music degrees from the University of Michigan, whose 2018 work “Recuerdos Diaspóricos” has yet to receive its premiere. So I am excited to present its world premiere on this recital. But aside from this new work, the remainder of the program consists of solo piano works all by Florence Price, and all of them were made possible with the manuscripts discovered in 2009.

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Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance
(616) 331-3484


arts concert music performance

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This event was added to the calendar by Bridgett Vanderhoof ( on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 and was last updated on Friday, January 28, 2022 at 3:57 p.m.