Antonia Brico

Antonia Brico ( born June 26, 1902 in Rotterdam, † August 3, 1989 in Denver, Colorado) was an American conductor.

Brico grew after the early death of her parents with foster parents, with whom she came at the age of six years after the Oakland / California. Here they had from the age of ten piano lessons. After graduating from high school, she studied from 1919 at the University of California at Berkeley.

At the same time, she was assistant to the conductor Paul Steinsdorff at the San Francisco Opera. After graduating, she took two years of piano lessons with Sigismond Stojowski in New York. In 1926 she went to Hamburg and was a student of Karl Muck - the only one he ever accepted. She also studied at the State Academy of Music in Berlin.

In 1930 she made ​​her debut as a conductor with the Berlin Philharmonic. As a guest conductor, she led the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. After a concert tour through Germany, Latvia and Poland they had in 1932 settled in New York. Here she made her debut in 1933 with the Musicians' Symphony Orchestra at the Metropolitan Opera House.

In 1934, she founded the New York Women's Symphony, a women's orchestra, which existed until 1939 ( last on the shooting male musician under the name Brico Symphony Orchestra ). In 1938, she led with great success with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra Jean Sibelius ' Symphony No. 1 in Lewisohn Stadium.

Despite its successes, it has not succeeded Brico to establish himself as a conductor of a large orchestra in New York. In 1942 she settled down as a piano teacher in Denver. An application as a conductor of the Denver Civic Orchestra in 1945 failed. They then went to Europe and gave concerts in Sweden, Austria and Holland. Adrian Boult invited her to lead a concert of the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, and Jean Sibelius gave her a performance of his complete works in Helsinki.

From 1947 to 1981 headed Brico the Denver Businessmen's Orchestra ( from 1967 Brico Symphony ), it was the only steady employment as a conductor she had ever received. Here they had a largely unnoticed during the 1950s and 1960s. Public attention they only gained back by the documentary Antonia: A Portrait of the Woman, the folk singer Judy Collins with Jill Godmilow 1971-74 produced over them and was nominated for an Oscar.

You could conduct in the 1975-76 season two concerts at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, where the only recordings were with her. As a guest conductor, she performed with the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, the symphony orchestras of Denver and Seattle and the American Symphony Orchestra and has given concerts in Manila and Halifax, before retiring in 1981 as conductor of the activity. As a teacher, she was active until her death.


  • Encyclopaedia Britannica - Antonia Brico
  • Susan Fleet Archives - Two Conductors: Antonia Brico and Marin Alsop
  • New York Times, August 5, 1989 - Antonia Brico, 87, a Conductor; Fought Barriers to Women in 30's, obituary
  • Antonia Brico at the Internet Movie Database (English)
  • Conductor
  • Americans
  • Born in 1902
  • Died in 1989
  • Woman