Ann Hobson Pilot
Ann Hobson Pilot, principal harpist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, began her musical education at the age of six with piano lessons from her mother, a former concert pianist and a teacher in the Philadelphia public schools. In her teens she began studying the harp with Mary Ann Castaldo, and continued her training with Marilyn Costello at the Philadelphia Musical Academy. She later studied with Alice Chalifoux at the Salzedo Harp Colony in Camden, ME, and at the Cleveland Institute of Music, from which she received a Bachelor of Music degree.
Ms. Hobson Pilot began her professional career as second harpist of the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1965, and became principal harpist of the National Symphony in 1966. She joined the Boston Symphony in 1969 and was named principal harpist in 1980. In addition to solo appearances with the BSO and the Boston Pops, she has been guest soloist with many American orchestras. She has participated in the Marlboro and Newport music festivals and has also performed with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players and the contemporary music ensemble “Collage.” In July, 1994, she was a featured recitalist at the American Harp Society’s national conference in Boston.
The recipient of an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Bridgewater State College, Ms. Hobson Pilot is currently a member of the faculties of the New England Conservatory and Tanglewood Music Center. In 1979 she conducted master classes during the BSO’s historic tour of China. Her numerous awards include Sigma Alpha Iota’s Distinguished Woman of the Year Award for 1991, the 1992 School of Music Alumni Achievement Award from the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts (formerly the Philadelphia Musical Academy), and the 1993 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Cleveland Institute of Music.
In addition to her many recordings with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops, Ms. Hobson Pilot can be heared in Debussy’s Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp, released by Deutsche Grammophon, Thomas Oboe Lee’s The Mad Frog, released by GunMar, and William Grant Still’s Ennanga, on New World Records. She has recently released her first solo recording on the Boston Records Classical label. For KOCH International Classics she has recorded the Dello Joio harp concerto with James Sedares and the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra, and the Mathias and Ginastera concertos with Isaiah Jackson and the English Chamber Orchestra.