Berky, John: Antonia Brico (1902-1987) A Pioneering Woman Conductor with an Affinity for Bruckner

Berky, John: Antonia Brico (1902-1987) A Pioneering Woman Conductor with an Affinity for Bruckner
Antonia Brico
My interest in the career of Antonia Brico began during the Summer of 2014 when I stumbled across an odd LP that was being offered on Ebay. The LP contained highlights of the 1976/77 concert season by the St. Olaf College Orchestra. The LP contained two movements of the Bruckner 7th conducted by Antonia Brico. I immediately began researching this woman conductor and quickly found out how much of a musical trailblazer she was. For information about her incredible story, please download the biography below that I have assembled.

Upon receiving the LP, it was digitized and entered into the Bruckner Archive (COR-2018) and was offered on my website as the September 2014 Download of the Month.

I then made contact with the Media Department at St. Olaf College and the Denver Philharmonic (once known as the Denver Businessmen's Orchestra). Newspaper articles dating back to the 1970s indicated that many of the Denver Philharmonic's performances were recorded. The Orchestra, after some research, was able to provide me with a recording of the Bruckner Symphony No. 7 that was performed under Brico's direction on January 17, 1964 (COR-2056).

After several weeks of searching, the Media Department at St. Olaf College discovered the concert tapes for the Brico concert and I commissioned their restoration at the studios of Minnesota Public Radio. The full concert is now in the Bruckner Archive (COR-2018A).

At this point, the only other Bruckner performance conducted by Brico that may exist is a performance of the Symphony No. 4 given by the Denver Businessmen's Orchestra on January 19, 1950.

My thanks to Christine Hansen, Jeff Sauve and Jeffrey O'Donnell at St. Olaf College; Valerie Clausen and Joel Dallenbach at the Denver Philharmonic and Kyle Wesloh at Minnesota Public Radio for their assistance with this project.

Download: Brico_Biography.pdf