The Symphony in E minor is the first symphony written by the American composer Florence Price. The work was completed in 1932 and was first performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the conductor Frederick Stock in June 1933. The piece was Price’s first full-scale orchestral composition and was the first symphony by a black woman to be performed by a major American orchestra.
The opening movement has melodies and rhythms typically found in Afro-American folk music, and recalls Dvorák’s New World Symphony, while the following slow movement features a moving hymn tune of Price’s design. Both concluding movements are fast and return to the juba dance concept. They contain hints of fiddles and banjos, antic slide whistle effects, and a recurring three-against-two melody which end this loveable work on a whimsical note.