December 3, 2003 |
Edna Phillips Rosenbaum, 96, the first woman to occupy a principal position with a major American symphony when she joined the Philadelphia Orchestra as first harp in 1930, died yesterday at Cathedral Village. She was a longtime resident of Germantown. Born in Reading, Mrs. Rosenbaum studied the piano starting at age 7. After seeing a harp in a shop window, however, her mother bought it, and the youngster put all her energy into learning how to play. At 17, she moved to Philadelphia to study at the Curtis Institute of Music with the celebrated harpist Carlos Salzedo.
February 28, 2006 |
Back in the days of telephone party lines, I coexisted with a household that included a teenage harpist, allowing me to eavesdrop as she explained the instrument to her friends before phoning in a recital - literally. Trivial as that sounds, such a chance harp encounter probably put me ahead of many who attended the Astral Artistic Services recital by harpist Bridget Kibbey on Sunday at the Trinity Center for Urban Life. Though derived from civilization's oldest instruments and the source of music's most ethereal sounds, the harp is unfairly perceived in the spirit of after-dinner mints - more a postscript to a musical experience than the real thing.
October 27, 1986 |
Edna Phillips made a bit of history when she was hired by Leopold Stokowski in 1930. As a harpist, she became the first woman to play in the Philadelphia Orchestra and the first female principal player in any American orchestra. After she resigned in 1946, she turned her energies to the Settlement Music School, which honored her yesterday with a concert at its South Philadelphia Branch.
January 7, 1998 |
Marilyn Costello, 72, a harp prodigy who infused Philadelphia Orchestra performances with elegance and virtuosity for more than a generation, died of cancer Monday at her Rittenhouse Square apartment. In 47 years with the orchestra, 46 of them as principal, she appeared frequently as soloist. Audiences could identify her sound without having to look at the stage, for her playing was somehow operatic. Her playing combined urgency, rich and eloquent sound, and the passion of opera, but in French repertoire, sounded through mists of atmospheric subtlety.
May 14, 1994 |
Loreena McKennitt isn't the first to make a pilgrimage. Thousands of souls preceded her. But McKennitt is probably the first to include Glenside's Keswick Theater on her holy quest. McKennitt is a flaxen-haired Canadian harpist who began her career during the mid-'70s as a coffeehouse folkie. And as heard Wednesday at the Keswick, there's still a lingering taste of cappuccino pop in her music. But since taking up Celtic music a decade ago, McKennitt's explorations have led her into richer territory.
March 30, 1990 |
Karin Fuller, a harpist widely known for performances with orchestras and chamber groups in the area, was fatally injured in an auto accident Wednesday night in Delaware County. She was 38 and lived in South Philadelphia with her husband, Robert Capanna, executive director of Settlement Music School. Ms. Fuller was principal harpist of the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Delaware Symphony, the Haddonfield Symphony, the Pottstown Symphony and the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia. She had been a soloist in Mozart on the Square concerts in Philadelphia, had performed in New England and New York and had been a frequent performer in concerts of new music.
January 28, 1992 |
Orchestra 2001's concert Sunday afternoon at the University of the Arts' Laurie Wagman Hall provided a homecoming of sorts for Ann Hobson Pilot, the Philadelphian who has been principal harpist of the Boston Symphony since 1980. A trio from the harp repertory - Ravel's Introduction and Allegro, William Grant Still's Ennanga and Walter Piston's Fantasy for English Horn, Harp and Strings - formed the core of the program, which was nicely balanced with recent music by Thomas Whitman and James Matheson.
November 18, 2006 |
Though she is tagged a fluttering eccentric in "freak folk" circles, singer-harpist Joanna Newsom proved to be something more during Thursday's sold-out show at First Unitarian Church. Newsom is far removed from the confines of any circle, no matter how freaky. The word freak, which has chic currency, seems limiting when applied to her. With her piercing warble, Newsom's vocals displayed hints of Bj?rk at her character-actress best. Newsom, however, while taffy-pulling the nicely metered phrases of "Bridges and Balloons," never came off as histrionic, unlike the Icelandic wonder.
September 16, 2013 |
When Emily Safko plays "Traveling Through Blarney," the sound of her Irish harp caresses my heart. It impresses judges, too: In August, the Medford sixth grader took first place in her age group at the All-Ireland Festival of Music (Fleadh Cheoil) in Derry, Northern Ireland. "I was so happy," Safko, 11, says, grinning. "My legs felt like jelly, like I was going to collapse. " Instead, she brought home the cup named for Turlough O'Carolan, the harpist and esteemed 17th- and 18th-century composer of traditional Irish music.
August 13, 2004
The Aug. 11 letter "Blame orchestra board," concerning contract negotiations with the musicians, should have said Philadelphia Orchestra president Joseph H. Kluger understated the number of concerts the second harpist plays annually.