Wilhelmina Wolthius ’19

Wilhelmina Wolthius (Antonia Brico) Class of 1919

Wilhelmina Wolthius, Class of 1919, known later as Antonia Brico, became one of the first female symphonic conductors. She was the first woman to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic and the first to conduct the New York Philharmonic.

Antonia Brico002Her obituary in The New York Times in 1989 quotes her as saying, ”I do not call myself a woman conductor… I call myself a conductor who happens to be a woman.” She founded the Women’s Symphony Orchestra in New York City and conducted the Denver Businessmen’s Symphony until 1985. Both were renamed in her honor.

Folk singer Judy Collins directed a film in 1974 honoring her former teacher’s life entitled Antonia: Portrait of a Conductor.P1050951