Harpist Hobson Pilot celebrates four decades at Boston Symphony

Posted on: September 23, 2009

In Tuesday’s (9/22) Boston Globe, Geoff Edgers writes, “One day in high school, Ann Hobson Pilot, an aspiring harpist who happened to be African-American, was at a friend’s house when the girl’s mother pointed to a picture on the wall. It showed a white woman with flowing blond hair. ‘Now she looks like a harpist is supposed to,’ the woman said with an edge. Hobson Pilot still remembers the sting of the comment, even a half century later. She remembers it as she prepares for the highlight of her four decades with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, tomorrow night’s premiere of a concerto written for her by John Williams. ‘It surprises me when I think back to that time,’ says Hobson Pilot, now 65. … From the Symphony Hall stage, Hobson Pilot changed that perception.” BSO Managing Director Mark Volpe calls Hobson Pilot “the great harp player of her time.” “The BSO is making that point by featuring Hobson Pilot in programs to celebrate her recent retirement, including a starring role in tomorrow’s opening-night gala and October concerts in Carnegie Hall and Symphony Hall.”

Posted September 23, 2009