Marian Anderson – wonderful singer
Marian Anderson was a great singer, who had a pure, rich voice and could sing a great range of parts. She was one who broke down barriers between blacks and whites in the United States.
Marian Anderson was born on February 27, 1897, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She began singing in her church choir when she was 6 years old. A teacher was so impressed by her talent that gave her free lessons.
At the age of 23 Anderson entered a competition and won first place over 300 other singers.
In 1925 Anderson gave a recital with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. But because of her skin color, many opportunities were closed to her in the United States.
In the 1930s she made successful singing tours throughout Western Europe, Eastern Europe (including the Soviet Union), Scandinavia, and Central Europe.
On December 30, 1935, she opened her American tour at New York’s Town Hall.
In 1939 Anderson was prevented from arranging a concert in Washington, D.C. At that time blacks were not allowed in the concert hall. Many people of all races and religions, headed by Mrs. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, were outraged. So, the singer performed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and 75,000 people came to hear her.
She performed at the inaugurations of Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy and at the White House during their presidencies, as well as before Lyndon B. Johnson.
In 1942 she established the Marian Anderson Award for talented young singers.
In 1943 Anderson married Orpheus H. Fisher, a New York architect.
In 1955 Anderson became the first African American to perform with the renowned Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
In 1957 she published the story of her life entitled My Lord, What a Morning.
In 1958 President Eisenhower appointed her a delegate to the 13th General Assembly of the United Nations.
In 1972 United Nations awarded her the Peace Prize. In 1991 Anderson won a Grammy Award.
Anderson died on April 8, 1993, in Portland, Oregon.
Jean Sibelius dedicated his play Solitude to her, and Arturo Toscanini said that such a voice you could hear once in a century.
She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.