African American Composers and the Black Renaissance


Tuesday, November 9, 2021

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Central Time (US & Canada)


This program is free an open to all, and will be held virtually on Zoom. The registration period has closed for this event.

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NOTE: You can also watch a live stream of the program, without registering in advance, on the Newberry Facebook page or YouTube channel.



In 1932, Katherine Dunham premiered Florence Price's Fantasie Nègre no. 1 in E Minor as a ballet accompanied by Chicago composer Margaret Bonds. The next year, Dunham starred in a leading role in a staging of William Grant Still's La Guiablesse at the Century of Progress Exposition.

With these performances, Dunham embodied the Black folkloric and European classical sound worlds conjured up by two of the most prominent and prolific Black Renaissance composers: Price and Still. This event brings their intersecting artistries to life with an exploration and musical performance of the works that Dunham built into her craft.

Join musicologist Samantha Ege for a discussion Margaret Bonds, Florence Price, and William Grant Still, three African American classical composers whose work is achieving renewed interest and recognition.

This event is sponsored by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation and is being held in conjunction with the Newberry's fall exhibition, Chicago Avant-Garde: Five Women Ahead of Their Time.

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Dr. Samantha Ege is the Lord Crewe Junior Research Fellow at Lincoln College, University of Oxford. She received a Newberry Library Short-Term Residential Fellowship in 2019 for her work on Florence Price’s and Theodora Sturkow Ryder’s contributions to concert life in interwar Chicago. She has been contracted as co-author of Price (Master Musicians Series, Oxford University Press) and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Florence B. Price. Her latest album, Fantasie Nègre: The Piano Music of Florence Price, features the world premiere recording of Price’s complete Fantasie Nègre compositions for solo piano and has received critical acclaim in The Telegraph, New York Times, and Washington Post. 



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