Posts Tagged ‘boston symphony orchestra’
by Geoff Edgers, Boston Globe
One day in high school, Ann Hobson Pilot, an aspiring harpist who happened to be African-American, was at a friend’s house when the girl’s mother pointed to a picture on the wall. It showed a white woman with flowing blond hair.
“Now she looks like a harpist is supposed to,’’ the woman said with an edge.
Hobson Pilot still remembers the sting of the comment, even a half century later. She remembers it as she prepares for the highlight of her four decades with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, tomorrow night’s premiere of a concerto written for her by John Williams.
“It surprises me when I think back to that time,’’ says Hobson Pilot, now 65. “I worked hard, but what was I thinking? The harp was considered to be the instrument of an angel, a white woman with flowing gowns.’’
From the Symphony Hall stage, Hobson Pilot changed that perception.
“No one thinks of Ann Hobson Pilot as an African-American harp player,’’ says Mark Volpe, the BSO’s managing director. “They think of her as the great harp player of her time.’’