Phillips, Edna, 1907-2003

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Principal harpist, Philadelphia Orchestra, 1930-1946; married to Samuel Rosenbaum, member of Philadelphia Orchestra board of trustees.

From the description of Oral history conducted by Sharon Eisenhour, November 5, 1990. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 155892237

Edna Phillips (January 7, 1907 - December 2, 2003) was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, and became first woman to occupy a principal position with a major American symphony when she joined the Philadelphia Orchestra as first harp in 1930. At the age of seventeen she began studying harp with Florence Wightman in 1924, and three years later enrolled as a piano and harp student at the Curtis Institute of Music in the fall of 1927.�?  The following year she began her private studies with Carlos Salzedo who taught harp at Curtis and was one of Wightman's teachers.�?  In 1929 Phillips joined the Philadelphia Orchestra shortly after graduation from Curtis at the age of 22.

Phillips began teaching harp at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music in 1933 and remain with that instituion until 1972 when she retired.�?  Concerned with the meagerness of solo music repertoire for harp, she commissioned numerious�?  works for harp from such composers as Harl McDonald, Paul White, Alberto Ginastera, Nicolai Berezowsky, Ernst Krenek, and Erno von Dohnanyi.�?  Her most famous commission was Ginastera's Concerto for Harp which was premiered by Nicanor Zabaleta and the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1965.

Phillips married Samuel Rosenbaum, a prominent attorney and board member of the Philadelphia Orchestra, in 1933.�?  However she never changed her professional name and was always referred to as "Miss Phillips" throughout the remainder of her career.

From the guide to the Edna Phillips Papers, 1930-1970, (The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Phillips, Edna, 1907-2003. Correspondence from Leopold Stokowski, 1931-1942. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Papers, 1887-1935 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
creatorOf Phillips, Edna, 1907-2003,. Oral history conducted by Sharon Eisenhour, November 5, 1990. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf White, Paul, 1895-1973. Sea chanty : harp quintet for harp, string quartet (brass optional) / by Paul White. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
referencedIn Hindin, Lilette,. Interview conducted by Oliver Daniel, Oct. 7, 1976 [sound recording]. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Edna Phillips Papers, 1930-1970 The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music
creatorOf Phillips, Edna, 1907-2003,. Interview conducted by Oliver Daniel, Sept. 3, 1976 [sound recording]. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Putnam, William Lowell, Mrs., 1892-1935. Papers, 1887-1935 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn The Nation, records, 1879-1974 (inclusive), 1920-1955 (bulk). Houghton Library.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith All-American Youth Orchestra. corporateBody
associatedWith Berezowsky, Nicolai, 1900-1953. person
associatedWith Daniel, Oliver, person
associatedWith ELIZABETH (LOWELL) PUTNAM, 1862-1935 person
associatedWith Hindin, Lilette, person
correspondedWith Nation (New York, N.Y. : 1865). corporateBody
associatedWith Putnam, William Lowell, Mrs., 1892-1935. person
associatedWith Rachmaninoff, Sergei, 1873-1943. person
associatedWith Rosenbaum, Samuel R. person
associatedWith School District of Philadelphia, Pa. corporateBody
associatedWith Toscanini, Arturo, 1867-1957. person
associatedWith Wallenstein, Alfred. person
associatedWith Walter, Bruno, 1876-1962. person
associatedWith White, Paul, 1895-1973. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Harp
Composition (Music)
Occupation
Collector
Function

Person

Birth 1907-01-07

Death 2003-12-02

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