On Friday, March 1st, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra will premiere a program dedicated to African-American music at Kolarac Concert Hall, starting from 8 p.m. Together with pianist Jenny Kane-Mason and under the baton of Maestro Howard Griffiths, the orchestra will perform, for the first time in Serbia, the piano concerto by composer Florence Price, as well as a piece by the young contemporary African-American composer Carlos Simon.

Music knows no boundaries; it flows and connects different cultures and styles. This is a mission that the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra has manifested so many times before with its concepts, combined with exceptional performance that pushes all limits. The Belgrade Philharmonic is a wonderful orchestra that definitely deserves better. It sheds light that should be celebrated and nurtured, which of course requires not only financial support but also a new concert hall worthy of this extraordinary ensemble, a frequent guest of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, Maestro Howard Griffiths said.

This extraordinary philharmonic evening with the Orchestra will be filled with first performances on home turf: the Serbian audience will have the opportunity and honour to hear for the first time the work of the young contemporary Grammy Award nominated African-American composer Carlos Simon, as well as Concerto for Piano and Orchestra by the first-ever recognized African-American composer Florence Price, featuring the young British star Jeneba Kanneh-Mason.

Carlos Simon, one of the most sought-after young American composers, writes compositions ranging from concert music for large and small ensembles to film scores, influenced by jazz, gospel, and neo-romanticism. As the son of an Afro-American pastor, raised in a household where only gospel music was played, Simon has developed a distinct artistic expression deeply rooted in the pursuit of social justice and racial equality. The Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra will perform his piece titled Fate Now Conquers.

It will be a very special opportunity for the audience of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra to enjoy the virtuosity of the pianist Jeneba Kanneh-Mason, who captivates audiences with her impressive performances. She will perform a composition by American composer, pianist, organist, and music professor Florence Price, who is remembered as the first African-American woman in history whose work was included in the repertoire of a major professional orchestra, namely the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which performed her Symphony No. 1 in 1933.

The concert on Friday will be completed with glorious Symphony No. 2 by Jean Sibelius, a piece of particular significance for the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, as it was the highlight of the orchestra’s first American tour in 2014 and one of the Belgrade Philharmonic’s greatest international successes in its centenary.