Akron Symphony's Julia Perry project seeks to shine a light on the talented Akron-born composer's music and legacy.
Julia Perry was born in Lexington, KY in 1924, into a talented family of musicians, teachers, doctors, and horse trainers. She received an exceptional musical education in Akron, OH, at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, and with prestigious teachers from New York to Paris to Florence, Italy. In the late 40s and throughout the 1950s she enjoyed great success as a composer, vocal soloist, and conductor—principally in Italy. Returning to New York and Akron in the 1960s, she found that doors were not open to her as they had been in Europe. Beginning in 1970, she suffered a series of debilitating strokes that left her paralyzed on the right side, and unable to speak. She continued composing by learning to write with her left hand. Julia Perry died of cardiac arrest in 1979 and is buried in Glendale Cemetery in Akron.