Opera singer Marian Anderson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Anderson was entered in the New York Philharmonic Competition at age 17 by her music teacher, and placed first over 299 other singers. Awarded a Rosenwald Fellowship in 1930, Anderson went to Europe for a year of study.

She returned briefly to the United States but went back to Europe in 1933 to debut in Berlin and again, in 1935, in Austria. In 1933, Anderson performed 142 concerts in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. On Easter Sunday in 1939, Anderson performed an open air recital at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The performance was scheduled for the concert hall controlled by the Daughters of the American Revolution but was cancelled when the DAR refeused to allow Anderson to sing there. In 1955, Anderson signed with New York’s Metropolitan Opera Company.


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