Dr Samantha Ege releases third album celebrating historical women composers

Faculty of Music

University of Oxford

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.


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