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November 10, 2023

Philadelphia Orchestra picks up Grammy Award nomination

The ensemble's recording of symphonies by Black composers Florence Price and William Dawson have it up for best orchestral performance

Olivia Rodrigo and SZA weren't the only ones to notch Grammy Award nominations Friday. The Philadelphia Orchestra also earned a nod for its recording of symphonies by a pair of pioneering Black composers.

That recording, "Florence Price: Symphony No. 4 – William Dawson: Negro Folk Symphony," was released in September through the German classical music label Deutsche Grammophon. It features symphonies from Florence Price and William Dawson, composers who worked primarily in the 1930s and 1940s.

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The album will compete for best orchestral performance at the 2024 Grammys on Feb. 4. If it wins, the orchestra and its music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, would take home the prize. The album's producer, Dmitriy Lipay, also was nominated in the classical category for producer of the year.

The recording is part of an ongoing project by the orchestra and Nézet-Séguin to highlight neglected works from Black American composers. The orchestra previously recorded two of Price's earlier symphonies in 2021, winning a Grammy for best orchestral performance. It was the ensemble's first Grammy win in its 123-year history.

Nézet-Séguin has led the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2012, but it's hardly his only job — or his only source of Grammy accolades. The conductor is also the music director of the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal and Metropolitan Opera in New York. The latter's production of "Champion," a boxing-themed opera, was nominated for best opera recording Friday.

The Philadelphia region was represented elsewhere in the 2024 Grammy nods. Black Thought was nominated for best rap performance for "Love Letter," and Berks County's most famous native, Taylor Swift, scored six nominations.

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