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One Woman in a HundredEdna Phillips and the Philadelphia Orchestra$
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Mary Sue Welsh

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037368

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037368.001.0001

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Honor among Women

Honor among Women

(p.131) Chapter 10 Honor among Women
One Woman in a Hundred

Mary Sue Welsh

University of Illinois Press

This chapter details events following the start of the 1935–36 season. During the season, Stokowski took another important step in eliminating the gender barrier that still stood firm in the orchestral world: he hired Elsa Hilger, a young woman from Austria, on the fourth desk of the cello section. The Philadelphia Orchestra now had two women on its roster in addition to Marjorie Tyre, the second harpist who played often with the orchestra but was not listed as a full-time player. One might have thought that Hilger and Phillips would bond as happy companions in the struggle for female acceptance in the orchestral world, but they did not, especially after Hilger began describing herself as the first woman, “other than an occasional harpist,” to join a major orchestra. That made Phillips furious.

Keywords:   Edna Phillips, female musicians, harpists, Philadelphia Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski, Elsa Hilge, Marjorie Tyre

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