Edna Phillips http://wrti.org en The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Perform The Pines of Rome: Sunday, October 13, 1 PM http://wrti.org/post/philadelphia-orchestra-and-yannick-perform-pines-rome-sunday-october-13-1-pm <p>We look forward to your company this Sunday at 1 pm for an archival broadcast concert from November of 2011, when then-Music Director Designate Yannick Nézet-Séguin stepped forward to increase his time with The Philadelphia Orchestra and its audiences, and directed an impressive Italian-themed program, featuring Tchaikovsky&#39;s Francesca da Rimini, Mendelssohn&#39;s 4th Symphony, Verdi&#39;s Overture to <em>La Forza del Destino</em> and Respighi&#39;s <em>Pines of Rome</em>!</p> Fri, 11 Oct 2013 10:55:16 +0000 Gregg Whiteside 6545 at http://wrti.org The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Perform The Pines of Rome: Sunday, October 13, 1 PM Harpist Edna Phillips And The Philadelphia Orchestra: One Woman In A Hundred http://wrti.org/post/harpist-edna-phillips-and-philadelphia-orchestra-one-woman-hundred <p></p><p>A recently published biography reveals what it was like to be the first woman to enter the all-male sanctum of The Philadelphia Orchestra in the 1930s. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston discovered the powerful combination of talent and fear.&nbsp;</p><p>On September 14, 1930, the headline of <em>The Philadelphia Public Ledger </em>read: "Solo Harpist to Be First Girl in Philadelphia Orchestra." A young Edna Phillips entered the single-sex fortress of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1930 - a year after pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff called it "the finest orchestra the world has ever heard." She’d played the harp for only five years when she was hired as the first female member and principal harpist.&nbsp; Her "musicalité" may have been obvious to the pioneering Leopold Stokowski, but was she ready? What was it like to be the only woman among men at a time when gender equality and workplace mores were far different from what they are today?</p><p>Author Mary Sue Welsh worked with the observant, warm, and funny Phillips on her story during Phillips’ lifetime, completing it after the first harpist’s death in 2003.&nbsp; True to Phillips’ desire, it’s as much about the challenges and triumphs of her own life, as about how the Orchestra grew and responded to its conductors - particularly Leopold Stokowski.</p><p><strong>Carolyn Nicosia studied with Edna Phillips in the early 1950s. </strong>[After hearing our feature on Edna Philips, Carolyn contacted Meridee and shared a personal remembrance and an inscribed photo.&nbsp; Thank you, Carolyn Nicosia!]</p><p><em><strong>How I became a student of Edna Phillips</strong>:</em><br><br>My mother’s mother (Maria Quintile Riccardi) migrated to the U.S. from a village in Italy that had produced many harpists.&nbsp; Her brothers also came to the U.S. and took up their musical careers.&nbsp; Joseph Quintile was harpist for the St. Louis Symphony and later for film studios in Hollywood.&nbsp; Anthony Quintile was a bass player who played at various venues and also taught bass and solfeggio (he taught me when I was a child of 8 or 9).<br><br>My mother’s brothers almost all made their living as musicians, mostly bass players.&nbsp; Rex Riccardi worked with Petrillo to found the Musicians’ Union. &nbsp;<br><br>Of my cousins, several of the boys also became musicians, either piano or bass.&nbsp; One, Frank Caster, was a student at Curtis, who became a member of the Washington Symphony and then the San Francisco Symphony.&nbsp; Another became a restorer of violins in addition to playing bass.<br><br>When I was a child I started harp lessons at age 6 or 7.&nbsp; My teacher at that time was Joseph Leonardo.&nbsp; It was he who found a small-sized Lyon and Healy harp for me and made arrangements of music so that no key changes were required during playing because my feet could not reach the pedals.<br><br>Over the years I was on and off again with practicing.&nbsp; Then, during one of his family visits East, Uncle Joe Quintile told my mother that I should try again to take up the harp seriously, and it was he who contacted Edna Phillips and asked her to take me as a pupil.&nbsp; I was about 14 or 15 years old.<br><br><em><strong>As a student of Edna Phillips</strong></em>:<br><br>Edna Phillips came to our house to see my harp and meet my family.&nbsp; She agreed to take me as a student.&nbsp; Since we had little money and even her “professional courtesy” charge per hour was beyond our means, Miss Phillips agreed to take me for a half hour at her house on Sundays.<br><br>I traveled by trolley and 2 buses to her home near what was formerly The Textile Institute.&nbsp; It seemed to me to be a very large and impressive house, but she was very kind to me when I went for lessons.<br><br>I remember Miss Phillips telling me stories about Carlos Salzedo of Curtis - his method of playing harp and his design of a new harp made by Lyon and Healy.&nbsp; Miss Phillips later had one of the Salzedo harps.<br><br>One aspect of the Salzedo method was the way the arms were to be held, to give more strength.&nbsp; Miss Phillips said that she was once playing for a great conductor (probably Stokowski) who felt that the new method wasn’t allowing her tone to be loud enough.&nbsp; So she fooled him, playing exactly the same way in two instances, but in one of them she threw up her hands after the passage, to the great approval of the conductor who said she had given him just what he wanted. &nbsp;<br><br>Once I was invited to stay for lunch and I met Mr. Rosenbaum and their two children.&nbsp; It was all new and grand to me.&nbsp; I remember the setting very well.<br><br>Another time the weather had become cold so Miss Phillips lent me a sweater to wear on my long journey back home.&nbsp; I had never felt anything so soft!&nbsp; I learned later that it was cashmere.<br><br>It wasn’t long before Miss Phillips realized that I wasn’t really a musician.&nbsp; Knowing our limited finances, she suggested to my mother that I transfer to one of the students of harp at Curtis, Nanette Norton.&nbsp; She told me wonderful stories about what they were learning from Salzedo.<br><br>However, as I mentioned above, I really didn’t have the talent.&nbsp; It seems that the musical ability in our family has passed from generation to generation only to the males.&nbsp; We females can sing well enough to join choirs or take music lessons on various instruments, but none of us are professional musicians.&nbsp; So I gave up my studies.&nbsp; I kept the harp for many years until finally I sold it.<br><br><strong>-Carolyn Nicosia</strong><br>&nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 26 Aug 2013 10:32:54 +0000 Meridee Duddleston 6320 at http://wrti.org Harpist Edna Phillips And The Philadelphia Orchestra: One Woman In A Hundred The Reluctant Trailblazer: Philadelphia Orchestra Harpist Edna Phillips http://wrti.org/post/reluctant-trailblazer-philadelphia-orchestra-harpist-edna-phillips <p>Harpist Edna Phillips was only 23 when she joined The Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski in 1930. The story goes that the orchestra was looking for a second chair harpist, and Phillips' teacher at Curtis, Carlos Salzedo, insisted that she audition.<br><br>She was somewhat reluctant. &nbsp;After all, she'd only been playing the harp for five years, coming to the instrument late in life after spending time with the piano. &nbsp;But sometimes all it takes is being in the right place at the right time.</p><p>After her audition, Stokowski revealed that the orchestra's principal harpist had been badly injured and would not be returning. &nbsp;He wanted Phillips to fill the chair. &nbsp;This would make her not only the first woman in The Philadelphia Orchestra, but the first woman to be a principal player in ANY American orchestra.</p><p>In Phillips' later years, she was chair of the Bach Festival of Philadelphia where she hired Mary Sue Welsh, a retired editor of children's books. The two would become close friends. &nbsp;At one point, Phillips suggested to Welsh that they work together on a memoir of her life as a harpist. But, when Phillips passed on in 2003, Welsh tossed it aside. &nbsp;</p><p>Eventually, Welsh returned to the idea, and started working on a Phillips biography, talking to the harpist's family, friends, and co-workers, and using archival material.&nbsp; Recently published, the book is called, <a href="http://www.onewomaninahundred.com/" target="_blank"><strong><em>One Woman in a Hundred</em></strong></a>, and is part of the University of Illinois Press' "Music in American Life" series.</p><p>Listen for Jill Pasternak's conversation with author Mary Sue Welsh on the life and times of Edna Phillips, and hear excerpts from the author's taped conversations with the harpist, along with music performed by her, on <strong><em>Crossover</em>, Saturday, June 22nd at 11:30 am on WRTI-FM&nbsp;and the All-Classical stream at wrti.org,</strong> with an encore the following Friday evening at 7 pm on HD-2 and the All-Classical stream. Sat, 22 Jun 2013 01:07:15 +0000 Joe Patti & Jill Pasternak 6106 at http://wrti.org The Reluctant Trailblazer: Philadelphia Orchestra Harpist Edna Phillips The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert: Yannick and Italian-Themed Music, March 24 at 2 PM http://wrti.org/post/philadelphia-orchestra-concert-yannick-and-italian-themed-music-march-24-2-pm <p>This week's broadcast, on <strong>Sunday, March 24, 2 to 4 pm</strong>, takes us back to November, 2011, when then-Music Director Designate Yannick Nezet-Seguin&nbsp;was appearing with greater frequency in Philadelphia, winning over the hearts of the Orchestra as well as Verizon Hall audiences.&nbsp;</p><p>One of the most memorable of these early concerts was the Italian-themed program scheduled for rebroadcast this Sunday - Tchaikovsky's <em>Francesca da Rimini, </em>followed by the ever-popular fourth symphony of Mendelssohn, and -&nbsp; following Intermission - Verdi's overture to his opera <em>La Forza del Destino, </em>one of his finest overtures, and Respighi's&nbsp;exciting orchestral showpiece <em>The Pines of Rome, </em>a long-time favorite of Philadelphia audiences.</p><p></p><p><strong>Intermission Features: </strong>As part of Women's History Month, Meridee Duddleston will take a closer look at The Philadelphia Orchestra's first female player, harpist Edna Phillips,&nbsp;the first woman to be appointed a principal player of any American orchestra.&nbsp; And afterward, Susan Lewis will speak with today's principal harpist, Elizabeth Hainen - one of the world's great ambassadors for the instrument.</p><p>**<strong>Audio for Intermission features will be added to this post on Monday morning.</strong></p><p>The performances that you'll hear in this broadcast were widely admired, receiving high praise from critics and concert-goers alike. So don't miss this opportunity to re-live them, this Sunday, March 24th, from 2 to 4 pm.</p><p><a href="http://www.philorch.org/concert/yannick-conducts-pines-rome" target="_blank"><strong>More information, including Program Notes, at The Philadelphia Orchestra's website.</strong></a></p><p><strong>Program:</strong></p><p>Tchaikovsky - <em>Francesca da Rimini</em><br>Mendelssohn - Symphony No. 4 ("Italian")<br>Verdi - Overture to <em>La forza del destino</em><br>Respighi - <em>The Pines of Rome</em><br>Yannick Nézet-Séguin - Conductor</p><p> Wed, 20 Mar 2013 16:01:23 +0000 Gregg Whiteside 5290 at http://wrti.org The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert: Yannick and Italian-Themed Music, March 24 at 2 PM One Woman In A Hundred: Harpist Edna Phillips And The Philadelphia Orchestra http://wrti.org/post/one-woman-hundred-harpist-edna-phillips-and-philadelphia-orchestra <P><FONT color=#333333>A new biography reveals what it was like to be the first woman to enter the all-male sanctum of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1930. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston discovered the powerful combination of talent and fear.</FONT></P> <P><FONT color=#333333><FONT color=#333333>On September 14, 1930, the</FONT></FONT><FONT color=#333333><FONT color=#333333> headline of the <EM>Philadelphia Public Ledger</EM> read: "Solo Harpist to Be First Girl in Philadelphia Orchestra</FONT></FONT>." <FONT color=#333333><FONT color=#333333>A young Edna Phillips entered the single-sex fortress of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1930 - a year after pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff called it "the finest orchestra the world has ever heard." She’d played the harp for only five years when she was hired as the first female member and principal harpist.&nbsp; Her "</FONT></FONT><SPAN class=st>musicalité"</SPAN><FONT color=#333333><FONT color=#333333> may have been obvious to the pioneering Leopold Stokowski, but was she ready? What was it like to be the only woman among men at a time when gender equality and workplace mores were far different from what they are today?</FONT></FONT></P> <P><FONT color=#333333><FONT color=#333333>Author Mary Sue Welsh worked with the observant, warm, and funny Phillips on her story during Phillips’ lifetime, completing it after the first harpist’s death in 2003.&nbsp; True to Phillips’ desire, it’s as much about the challenges and triumphs of her own life, as&nbsp;about how the Orchestra grew and responded to its conductors - particularly Leopold Stokowski.&nbsp;</FONT></FONT></P> <P></P> <P>http://youtu.be/Zq_Ab9fd0CU</P> <P> Fri, 08 Mar 2013 11:38:13 +0000 Meridee Duddleston 5197 at http://wrti.org One Woman In A Hundred: Harpist Edna Phillips And The Philadelphia Orchestra