Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ann Hobson Pilot Performs with Westchester Philharmonic after Documentary is Shown, Nov. 12 & 13

[Ann Hobson Pilot]

Lenore Eggleston sends this news on behalf of the Westchester Philharmonic:

Philharmonic Highlights Changing Face of Classical Music with
Performances by Young Japanese Conductor and
Groundbreaking African-American Harpist

Preconcert film celebrates illustrious career of Hobson Pilot as first
African-American woman to hold a principal chair with a major orchestra

Concert to Feature Work by Famed Film Composer John Williams

(Purchase, New York) —On Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 8 pm and Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 3 pm audiences will have a rare opportunity to experience the exquisite technique and electrifying podium presence of 41-year-old Japanese maestra Tomomi Nishimoto. The Philharmonic also welcomes Ann Hobson Pilot, who recently concluded her 40-year tenure as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s principal harpist, was the first African-American woman to win a principal chair with a major orchestra.

A celebrity figure in both Japan and Russia Tomomi Nishimoto is hailed as a “delicately sensitive conductor [who] fascinates even the orchestra.” From her captivating presence on the stage, to her celebrity appearances in car and motorcycle commercials, she has attracted attention around the world. Maestra Nishimoto will lead the orchestra though Liszt’s haunting symphonic poem, Les Preludes, Rimsky-Korsakov’s exultant Scheherezade and John Williams’ On Willows and Birches, commissioned to honor Ann Hobson Pilot.

After the 2009 Tanglewood concerts with the BSO, which marked Ann Hobson Pilot’s official retirement, she returned to the stage as soloist opening the BSO and Carnegie Hall seasons with the premiere of On Willows and Birches, composed for her by Oscar- and Grammy-winning composer John Williams. “The exciting thing for me about writing concertos is that you are writing for a person—someone. Ann is more than a great harpist, she really is a great woman—it has to do with the inner ear or the inner soul, but she has it all,” says Williams.

Inspired by the life and musical career of a gifted African-American woman’s triumph over barriers of race and gender to become an artist and teacher, producer Susan Dangel produced a documentary that tells the story of Ann Hobson Pilot. Philharmonic audiences will be moved by a pre-concert screening of A Harpist’s Legacy – Ann Hobson Pilot and the Sound of Change, which profiles Ms. Pilot’s personal and professional journey as the first black woman principal player in a major symphony orchestra and a moving force behind music education programs for underserved minorities. The screening will begin at 6:45 pm on November 12 and 1:45 pm on November 13. Following the film, Ms. Pilot will join our audience for a discussion on their careers and how the world of classical music has become more diverse and more welcoming for minority musicians, soloists and conductors.

About this intriguing concert Executive Director Joshua Worby commented: “The Westchester Philharmonic always has and always will push boundaries, and this exciting program, which features two groundbreaking artists, two classical masterpieces and a new work by the film composer John Williams, crystallizes the evolutional change that has taken place in our field over the past forty years.”

All events take place at The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College. A free open rehearsal is scheduled for Saturday, November 12 at 10 am in The Concert Hall.

Concert Tickets
All performances will take place in The Concert Hall at The Performing Arts Center Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, New York. Four concert subscriptions are now available and range from $330-$94. Single tickets range from $90-$25. Student/child/group discounts are available.

To purchase tickets and for additional information call the Westchester Philharmonic Box Office at (914) 682-3707 ext. 10. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card accepted. Visit the Westchester Philharmonic’s website at

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