Artist Focus: Ann Hobson Pilot, the Legendary Harpist for the Boston Symphony

Classical/Pops Editorial Team Artist Focus

Ann Hobson Pilot personifies the model of a Renaissance woman in her life and work. Her signature sound blends mastery of the classical technique, with an ethereal touch of soul. She broke barriers and built bridges with a certain deftness that speaks most clearly through her instrument of choice. Hobson humanizes the harp in a way that only the most skilled musicians can register, and The Classical/Pops festival is proud to welcome Ann to our repertoire.

A Harpist’s Legacy, Ann Hobson Pilot and the Sound of Change 

For 28 years, Ann Hobson Pilot was the principal harpist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, one of the most important positions for a harpist in the world.

At 23, she was the first African-American principal player in any symphony orchestra. In the rarefied world of classical music, she broke both the color barrier and the gender barrier. In her own quiet way, she rewrote history.

“Ann Hobson’s one of the greatest harpists we’ve ever had. She’s the best we’ve ever encountered. That’s probably got as much to do with the inner ear as much as the inner soul, but she’s got it all.” — John Williams