Davidson breaks gender barrier for New York Philharmonic brass

Posted on: August 12, 2010

In Thursday’s (8/12) New York Times, Manny Fernandez writes, “Ever since the New York Philharmonic was founded in 1842, the orchestra’s brass section—horn, trumpet, trombone, bass trombone, tuba—had been a man’s world. Then Amanda Davidson auditioned. A graduate of the Juilliard School with a passion for Mahler, Brahms and ESPN, Mrs. Davidson, 28, became the brass section’s first female member last September, having previously been principal trombonist of the San Antonio Symphony. (She competed for the Philharmonic job with Mark Davidson, 27, whom she was dating and later married.) Her title is associate principal trombone, an instrument with which she is familiar. She has been playing it since she was 6.” On being the first woman, Davidson says, “I think for the most part I just feel honored. Honored on many levels. Honored just to be here. This is probably one of the best brass sections in the world, and I get to be a member of it.” On living with another trombonist: “We play duets together and try to have fun. At first, there was some tension involved, because technically we’re kind of competitors. But we’ve moved away from that. It’s tough. You want the best for the other person and at the same time you want the best for yourself. We always try to encourage one another.”

Posted August 12, 2010