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Leontyne Price: 50th Anniversary of Her Recital Debut

On February 28, 1965, legendary soprano Leontyne Price made her Carnegie Hall recital debut before a sold-out house, with a program of opera arias and songs by Samuel Barber, Johannes Brahms, Lee Hoiby, and Francis Poulenc. Proceeds from the event went to the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the United Nations. It was her first New York recital since 1954.


Price made her Carnegie Hall debut on December 8, 1954 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Charles Munch, conductor, in a performance of Barber’s Prayers of Kierkegaard, Op. 30. She went on to perform nearly 50 times at Carnegie Hall, with her final appearance on the September 30, 2001 “A Concert of Remembrance: Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy of September 11,” on which she delivered a powerful, exquisite, and heart-rending version of “America the Beautiful”.

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