Ann Hobson Pilot Retires from the Boston Symphony

Hobson Pilot: "I wanted people to see an African American woman playing classical music."(Photo: Boston Records)
Hobson Pilot: "I wanted people to see an African American woman playing classical music."(Photo: Boston Records)

I do Ann Hobson Pilot no favors when I say she was radiant on the stage of Symphony Hall, Boston. She is retiring after a long and very distinguished tenure as principal harp of the Boston Symphony. John Williams has written a new concerto for her, On Willows and Birches.

Anne Hobson Pilot has made enormous contribution to music education in Boston over many years. She joined the Boston Pops at Arthur Fiedler’s behest in 1969, and became principal harp with the Boston Symphony in 1980.

The story goes that on one of her recordings she insisted her photo be on the cover of the CD booklet, the first thing a buyer sees. “I wanted people to see an African American woman playing classical music.”

Ann Hobson Pilot says she looks forward to lots of performances, master classes and recordings in the years ahead, and will return to Symphony Hall, to sit in the audience. God bless her.

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