One Woman in a Hundred : Edna Phillips and the Philadelphia Orchestra
LJ Reviews 2013 March #1
Welsh's (former executive director, Bach Festival of Philadelphia) biography of the Philadelphia Orchestra's first female musician, harpist Edna Phillips, focuses largely on Phillips's years with that august institution under the leadership of conductor Leopold Stokowski. The work offers insight into the hurdles Phillips had to overcome not only as a woman, but as a young and inexperienced member of a world-class orchestra. (In 1930, an audition for what she thought was a second-chair position turned into a principal appointment.) After a somewhat slow start (Welsh needlessly dramatizes Phillips and Stokowski's first meeting), the book transforms into a riveting tale that spans the period from Phillips's audition to the second World War. VERDICT While not a comprehensive review of Phillips's life and work, this book brings the glamour, hardship, and artistic aspirations of this period in her life into sharp relief. Recommended for musicians, music researchers, and fans of Phillips, Stowkowski, and American orchestral music.—Genevieve Williams, Pacific Lutheran Univ. Lib., Tacoma, WA[Page 77]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.