0 Margaret Rosezarian Harris Conducts Key Movements

  • Music
  • by Hugh Smith
  • 03/05/2008

Margaret Rosezarian Harris, (1944 – 2000), was the first black woman to conduct the symphony orchestras of 16 American cities, including Los Angeles, Detroit, and Chicago.

A child prodigy, she played piano at age 3, and at age 10, played a Mozart Concerto with the Chicago Symphony.

Miss Harris started her career as a pianist, but achieved much more attention as a celebrated conductor.

The Chicago, Illinois born Margaret won a scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She was also a graduate of New York City’s Julliard School of Music.

Margaret Harris conquered Broadway as the music director of the musical Hair in 1970.

She passed away this week, 8 years ago, at age 56.

Classical Trivia: William Grant Still was the first African American to conduct a major symphony orchestra, (The Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1936).