One Woman in a Hundred, Edna Phillips and the Philadelphia Orchestra, a book by Mary Sue Welsh that chronicles the life of the iconic harpist, has finally been released after many years in the making. The book has been published by the University of Illinois Press as part of their Music in American Lifeseries.
Edna Phillips gained the distinction of being the first woman to hold a principal position in a major American Orchestra when she joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1930 at the age of 23. “*One Woman in a Hundred* chronicles the training, aspirations, setbacks, and successes of this pioneering woman musician,” according to the book’s website onewomaninahundred.com. The site also includes excerpts from the book describing Phillips’ interactions with the legendary conductors Leopold Stokowski and Arturo Toscanini.
“Hers was a life in music like no other, and Mary Sue Welsh takes us backstage for the start of a social and musical revolution,” says Daniel Webster, former music critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Mary Sue Welsh is a former executive director of the Bach Festival of Philadelphia, where she worked with Edna Phillips. A reading and books signing is scheduled for March 5, and a launch party featuring current Philadelphia Orchestra principal harpist Elizabeth Hainen is scheduled for March 10. Visit the website for details.