Marian Anderson

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Anderson, Marian,

1897–1993, American contralto, b. Philadelphia. She was the first African American to be named a permanent member of the Metropolitan Opera Company, as well as the first to perform at the White House. Anderson first sang in Philadelphia church choirs, then studied with Giuseppe Boghetti. She began her concert career in 1924 and achieved her first great successes in Europe. Her rich, wide-ranged voice was superbly suited to opera, lieder, and the spirituals that she included in her concerts and recordings. In 1939, when the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused to allow her to perform at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., Eleanor RooseveltRoosevelt, Eleanor
(Anna Eleanor Roosevelt) , 1884–1962, American humanitarian, b. New York City. The daughter of Elliott Roosevelt and niece of Theodore Roosevelt, she was an active worker in social causes before she married (1905) Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a distant
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 publicly resigned her DAR membership in protest against the racist snub and sponsored Anderson's landmark concert at the Lincoln Memorial. In 1955 Anderson made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera. She was appointed an alternate delegate to the United Nations in 1958 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963.


See her autobiography, My Lord, What a Morning (1956); biography by A. Keiler (2000); R. Arsenault, The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Concert That Awakened America (2009).

Anderson, Marian


Born Feb. 17, 1902, in Philadelphia. American operatic and concert singer (contralto). Negro by origin.

Marian Anderson studied singing with M. Patterson and G. Boghetti. She began her concert career after receiving first prize in a competition for vocalists in New York (1925). She performed on tour in many countries, including the USSR in 1934–35. Endowed with a lovely, powerful voice of unusually large range and a distinguished musical talent, she performs works of diverse character and style. Her repertoire includes works by J. S. Bach, L. Beethoven, J. Brahms, G. Mahler, G.Gershwin, F. Schubert, R. Schumann, and other composers, as well as Negro folk songs. She made her debut on the operatic stage in 1955 (Ulrica in Verdi’s The Masked Ball). She was the first Negro singer to appear at the Metropolitan Opera (New York).


My Lord, What a Morning. New York, 1956.


Vehanen, K. Marian Anderson. . . . New York, 1941.

Anderson, Marian

(1902–93) contralto; born in Philadelphia. Anderson grew up singing in a church choir, and at age 19 she began formal study. In 1925 she won a major vocal competition in New York City that gained her a career as a recitalist, but was always constricted by the limitations placed on African-American artists. In the 1930s she traveled across Europe and America, finding acclaim as perhaps the greatest living contralto. Her most electrifying moment came in 1939, when she was refused permission to sing in Washington's Constitution Hall because of her race; instead, she sang at the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday, for an audience of 75,000. In 1955 she became the first African-American singer to appear at the Metropolitan Opera. Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963, Anderson spent the next two years in a worldwide farewell tour.
References in periodicals archive ?
GUIDING LIGHT Marion Anderson has been a city guide for 40 years
Goodhue of Yonkers, NY; her sister, Marion Anderson of Lawrence; four grandchildren, William Goodhue and his wife Susan, Erin (Goodhue) Meyer and her husband Jason, Brian Goodhue and Tara Goodhue; her great grandson, Elijah Goodhue; her brother-in-law, Roy Goodhue and his wife Leah of Melbourne, FL, nieces, cousins and many friends.
That's not the only clanger Marion Anderson has heard during her time as a city guide.
Children's Hospital Los Angeles Board of Trustee Co-Chair Marion Anderson received the "Living Proof Visionary" Award, which was presented by campaign co-chair, Jack Pettker, and Walter Rose.
The story has now been re-written with a contemporary setting by Marion Anderson, from Newcastle's City Guides.
It was recorded in an old Newcastle history book and city guide Marion Anderson has turned it into modern English and introduced aspects of modern life.
Children's Hospital Los Angeles Board of Trustee Co-Chair Marion Anderson will be honored with the "Living Proof Visionary" Award and New Hospital Building Campaign Co-Chairs Trustee Mary Hart and Chris Albrecht will receive the "Building the Dream" Award.
We are immensely grateful for this tremendously generous gift from John and Marion Anderson," said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block.
LOS ANGELES -- Two members of the Children's Hospital Los Angeles Board of Trustees, Cheryl Saban, PhD, and Marion Anderson, along with their husbands Haim Saban and John E.
Long, founding partner and chairman of the center and managing partner of Highridge Partners, who provided an endowed fund for research and teaching; John and Marion Anderson, whose gift established an endowed fund for the Marion Anderson Chair; Arden Realty, Inc.