An Orchestra of One’s Own

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New Principal Harp Allegra Lilly plays the Fantasia show this weekend, but then, she’s been playing just about every show every weekend since she joined the orchestra in September.

Allegra Lilly
Allegra Lilly

But she told me she enjoys the challenges and the joys of playing great rep every week. “I figure it’s best to dive in at first.”

And it’s not as arduous as the life of a freelancer, which is what she was doing, in New York City, before she won the Principal Harp audition. One weekend stands out in particular. “I played Symphonie fantastique with the New York Phil,” Allegra recalled, “and Shostakovich 4 with the BSO—same weekend. I managed to alternate matinee and evening performances. When you are freelancing, you’re always getting as much work as you can. A rental car made this happen, but never again.”