Dr Samantha Ege releases third album celebrating historical women composers
15 Jun 2022
Dr Samantha Ege has released an album of piano music by five trailblazing early twentieth-century African American female composers. The album is called Black Renaissance Woman: Piano Music by Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, Nora Holt, Betty Jackson King, and Helen Hagan (LORELT). As an album that brings more women composers of African descent to light and contextualises them in the historical era of the Black Chicago Renaissance, this project has been recognised as a significant contribution to scholarship and performance. It received the prestigious 2021 Noah Greenberg Award of the American Musicological Society in recognition of its outstanding contribution to historical performing practices. The sleeve notes additionally feature the scholarly and creative insights of Dr Artina McCain (University of Memphis), Dr Lucy Caplan (Harvard University), and A. Kori Hill (UNC Chapel Hill).
Black Renaissance Woman launched on 28 February 2022, with the support of Lincoln College’s Michael Zilkha Fund. Then, on 8 March 2022 - International Women’s Day - Dr Ege presented and performed aspects of the recording in an event called 'Florence Price, Black Renaissance Women', supported by Lincoln College, TORCH, and the Music Faculty.
Since its release, Black Renaissance Woman has been widely praised. In a 5-star review in BBC Music Magazine, critic Michael Church wrote, 'Lorelt (Lontano Records) is a musical salon des refusés set up in 1992 with the aim of promoting important repertoire neglected by major labels. And this is its second recording from pianist and musicologist Samantha Ege, who wears her mission on her sleeve: her discovery of Florence Price set her on the path she is now successfully pursuing, as a champion of forgotten women composers from the early and mid-20th century.' Colin Clarke of International Piano Magazine wrote, 'Samantha’s work on the music of Florence Price has already been revelatory.' Clarke also praised her 'faultless' playing on this new recording.
Black Renaissance Woman is available now on CD and all digital and streaming platforms.