This Day in History: 1924-03-25

Prolific neoclassical music composer Julia Amanda Perry is born in Lexington Kentucky. Her father, Dr. Abe Perry, was a doctor and amateur pianist, who once accompanied the tenor Roland Hayes on tour. Her mother, America Perry, encouraged her children’s musical endeavors; both Julia and her sisters studied violin from a young age, Julia switched to the piano after two years of violin. Perry graduated Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey with a bachelors and masters in music. She continued her musical training at the Julliard School of Music and she also spent summers at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood, Massachusetts. Perry received two Guggenheim fellowships to study in Florence, Italy under the tutelage of Lugia Dallapiccola and in Paris, France with Nadia Boulanger. Her works are performed by major orchestras and she won awards and accolades from the National Association of Negro Musicians, the Boulanger Grand Prix, and the National Institute of Arts and Letters, among others. During her life, Perry completed 12 symphonies, two concertos, and three operas, in addition to numerous smaller pieces. Learn more.