Arkansas Symphony Orchestra kicking off 21-22 season with free concert

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will perform Celebrate Little Rock, Together, a free concert celebrating the community’s diverse musical traditions and previewing the ASO concert season at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 16 at the Robinson Center in Little Rock.

The performance will include selections from Dvorak’s New World Symphony, music of Aretha Franklin, and the world premiere of Little Rock native and pioneering African American composer Florence Price’s own orchestration of her Piano Concerto.

Tickets to the concert will become available to the public on Sept. 2 starting at 10 a.m. on the steps of the Robinson Center on a first-come basis.

“This concert is designed for us to have fun and recognize our community’s own talent,” ASO CEO Christina Littlejohn said. “The Arkansas Symphony represents our state’s rich talent of symphonic musicians. Local favorite singer Genine LaTrice Perez will join us for ‘Natural Woman.’ We are also excited to feature the incredible contributions of Little Rock’s own composer Florence Price, as well as to give the community a preview of some of the inspiring music in store for ASO patrons this year.”

In 1933, Price made history when her “Symphony in E Minor” had its world premiere with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, making her the first African American woman composer to have her music performed by a major orchestra. Concert pianist Karen Walwyn will join ASO Artistic Director Geoffrey Robson as they make history with the world premiere of Price’s own orchestration of her “Piano Concerto in One Movement.”

“The Dunbar community is pleased to welcome the music of Florence Price back into her hometown,” Angel Burt, executive director of the Dunbar Historic Neighborhood Association, said. “Our goal is to preserve her history and legacy so the world will never forget her again.”

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