In this Book

One Woman in a Hundred
summary
Gifted harpist Edna Phillips (1907-2003) joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1930, becoming not only that ensemble's first female member but also the first woman to hold a principal position in a major American orchestra. Plucked from the Curtis Institute of Music in the midst of her studies, Phillips was only twenty-three years old when Leopold Stokowski, one of the twentieth century's most innovative and controversial conductors, named her principal harpist. This candid, colorful account traces Phillips's journey through the competitive realm of Philadelphia's virtuoso players, where she survived--and thrived--thanks to her undeniable talent, determination, and lively humor._x000B__x000B_Drawing on extensive interviews with Phillips, her family, and colleagues as well as archival sources, One Woman in a Hundred chronicles the training, aspirations, setbacks, and successes of this pioneering woman musician. Mary Sue Welsh recounts numerous insider stories of rehearsal and performance with Stokowski and other renowned conductors of the period such as Arturo Toscanini, Fritz Reiner, Otto Klemperer, Sir Thomas Beecham, and Eugene Ormandy. She also depicts Phillips's interactions with fellow performers, the orchestra management, and her teacher, the wily and brilliant Carlos Salzedo. Blessed with a nimble wit, Phillips navigated a plethora of challenges, ranging from false conductors' cues to the advances of the debonair Stokowski and others. She remained with the orchestra through some of its most exciting years from 1930 to 1946 and was instrumental in fostering harp performance, commissioning many significant contributions to the literature. _x000B_

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-5
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  1. Title Page
  2. pp. 6-6
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  1. Copyright
  2. pp. 7-9
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. xi-13
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  1. Preface and Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xiii-xvii
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  1. 1. In the Lions’ Den
  2. pp. 1-19
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  1. 2. A Formidable Arena
  2. pp. 20-34
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  1. 3. The Little Goat
  2. pp. 35-46
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  1. 4. Keeping Up with the Speed Kings
  2. pp. 47-57
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  1. 5. “One Step Ahead of the Sheriff”
  2. pp. 58-72
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  1. 6. A Season of Firsts
  2. pp. 73-90
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  1. 7. “Answer Yes or No”
  2. pp. 91-107
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  1. 8. “Mortally Wounded”
  2. pp. 108-114
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  1. 9. War on Broad Street
  2. pp. 115-130
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  1. 10. Honor among Women [Contains Image Plates]
  2. pp. 131-140
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  1. 11. A Month Out of School
  2. pp. 141-150
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  1. 12. On to Fantasia
  2. pp. 151-169
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  1. 13. A Silent Exit
  2. pp. 170-182
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  1. 14. Cajoling and Seducing Composers
  2. pp. 183-192
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  1. 15. War Stories
  2. pp. 193-204
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  1. Afterword
  2. pp. 205-210
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  1. Appendix
  2. pp. 211-219
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 221-229
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 231-233
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 235-241
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