Marian Anderson

About Marian Anderson

A legendary African-American interpreter of operatic and concert repertoire, Marian Anderson possessed one of the finest contralto voices in living memory. Her career was notable not only for her artistic achievements but also for her dignified tenacity in the face of discrimination. She opened doors for subsequent generations of Black American singers. Anderson first rose to prominence when she appeared with the New York Philharmonic in 1925. Eleanor Roosevelt scheduled an appearance for Anderson at the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday in 1939 after a scheduled performance was denied owing to Anderson being Black. The resulting concert forever established her as an ambassador for racial progress -- a role she embraced with great pride and success for the remainder of her career. Anderson's 1955 appearance at the Metropolitan Opera marked the first by an African-American singer, preparing the way for such future stars as Leontyne Price and Shirley Verrett.

  • HOMETOWN
    Philadelphia, PA
  • BORN
    February 27, 1897

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