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Brico, Antonia

phil conduct conducting sym

Brico, Antonia, Dutch-American pianist, conductor, and teacher; b. Rotterdam, June 26, 1902; d. Denver, Aug. 3, 1989. She studied at the Univ. of Calif, at Berkeley (graduated, 1923); after piano studies with Stojowski in N.Y., she studied conducting at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik and privately with Muck. Overcoming general skepticism concerning women conductors, she raised funds to conduct a special concert of the Berlin Phil, on Jan. 10, 1930, which aroused some curiosity. On Aug. 1, 1930, she conducted the Los Angeles Phil, at the Hollywood Bowl. She then pursued her career in N.Y., where she was founder-conductor of the Women’s Sym. Orch. (1934–38). In 1938 she became the first woman to conduct the N.Y Phil. In 1941 she settled in Denver, where she founded and conducted her own semiprofessional Antonia Brico Sym. Orch., making her last appearance on the podium in 1985. In the film documentary Antonia (1974), she eloquently pleaded for the feminist cause in music and especially in conducting.

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