Opera Philadelphia

Sounds of America: Price and Bonds

Florence Price and Margaret Bonds played significant roles in the development of classical music and American history as two of the most prominent Black women composers of the twentieth century. Price and Bonds supported each other’s work while simultaneously achieving many historic firsts for Black women. Price was a friend and colleague of Bonds’ mother, Estella, who herself was an accomplished keyboard player and teacher. Estella eventually sent young Margaret to study with Price, and the two quickly established a lasting relationship as colleagues and friends amidst a circle of leading Black creatives of the time. Price and Bonds were prolific composers, and they wrote for a variety of forces in many different styles. From art songs and symphonies to popular music and arrangements of African-American spirituals, there is music in their catalogues for everyone.

Sounds of America: Price and Bonds amplifies and centers Black artists, creatives and scholars through accessible student-focused programming and public events beginning September 2022. This initiative includes several partnerships with organizations, venues, and artists across Philadelphia and nationwide. 

Enjoy a self-guided exploration of Price, Bonds, and contralto Marian Anderson, a prominent Philadelphia-born musical figure and subject for our Opera on the Go performances. Each artist page includes text resources, podcasts, books, videos, and a collection of archival materials.  

Collaborators & Partners

Boyer College of Music and Dance
International Florence Price Festival
Mighty Writers
National Marian Anderson Museum & Historical Society
ONEcomposer
Philly Typewriter
The Mann Center
Singing City Choir
World Cafe Live
Wharton Wesley United Methodist Church
African American Museum in Philadelphia
Global Leadership Academy
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