Taking a Look at Marian Anderson

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Successful classical soprano performer Leontyne Price was one of the first artists to benefit from Marian Anderson’s hard work and dedication. The day after Marian Anderson’s death, April 8th, 1993 Price discussed the ways in which Anderson was able to overcome obstacles while remaining consistently professional and keeping the high standards she set on her performances. Marian Anderson was born on February 27, 1897. She was considered one of the most celebrated African-American artists of the twentieth century. Anderson identified herself as a contralto, which is the lowest frequency female voice with in a choir. Although Anderson is classified as a classical vocalist her repertoire included many genres such as opera, traditional American songs, concert literature and spirituals. Her live performances spanned the years of 1925 to 1965. The majority of her performances were recitals or concerts, some of which took place within major venues. Through Anderson’s successful career she paved a path for many other African-American vocal artists to follow. This paper explores the ways in which Marian Anderson’s career, from her early beginnings, struggle for recognition, and worldwide acclaim shaped her identity as a representation for African-American vocalists after her to follow. Marian Anderson was born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania and spent the majority of her childhood years in Philadelphia. Her parents were John Berkley Anderson, an entrepreneur who sold liquor, ice and

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