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 ?
Letters of protest were written to newspapers when Marian Anderson was forbidden to sing in Constitution Hall because she was Black.
We deeply regret that Marian Anderson was not given the opportunity to perform her 1939 Easter concert in Constitution Hall," said Presley Merritt Wagoner, president of the D.
Marian Anderson, My Lord, What A Morning: An Autobiography (New York: Viking Press, 1956), p.
and in 1994 (Indiana University Press, now out of print), Darlene Clark Hine, editor-in-chief, and the contributing editors pull together and acknowledge the significant contributions made by African American women such as Marian Anderson, Charlayne Hunter-Gault Maxine Waters and Ida B.
Suzie, talented as she was, was no Marian Anderson or Mahalia Jackson.
Liebling skewered a number of cracked metaphors, such as an opera curtain, in a piece on Marian Anderson, opening like a mouth (as if curtains opened down, instead of up).
Postal Service is honoring the great opera singer Marian Anderson this month with a new commemorative postage stamp, on sale Jan.
Some profiles are literally about twentieth-century women--those born at the close of the nineteenth century and living into their nineties or beyond, including Marian Anderson, Marlene Dietrich, and Marjory Douglas.
Succeeding at that, she decided not to attend the concert because she knew her presence would draw attention away from Marian Anderson.
At the historic 1939 Marian Anderson Easter Sunday concert at the Lincoln Memorial, an African American woman, a promising Philadelphia gospel singer, chances to fall in love with a European immigrant--a lapsed Jew, a mathematician, and theoretician--whose family had disappeared into Hitler's concentration-camp archipelago and whose work will come to figure in the Manhattan Project.
Perhaps recognizing that the poems would be judged according to the standards of what Nancy Larrick called "the all-white world of children's books," Brooks implies race only in the title of the volume and in the dramatic monologue by Gertrude, which begins "When I hear Marian Anderson sing, / I am a STUFFless kind of thing" (Bronzeville Boys and Girls 31).