Remembering Mildred Brown, the Civic’s first female concertmaster

Mildred Brown in the early 1920s

Archives of the Sisters of Saint Francis, Rochester, Minnesota

Born in Chicago on March 23, 1894, Mildred Brown earned a master’s degree in violin at the Chicago Musical College in 1915, where she studied with Alexander Sebald and Leon Sametini, along with Chicago Symphony Orchestra assistant concertmaster Hugo Kortschak. She also attended the Juilliard School, where she was a student of Franz Kneisel.

Brown was a member of the Civic Orchestra for its first season in 1919-20, one of fourteen women on the ensemble’s roster. At CSO music director Frederick Stock‘s invitation, she returned to the Civic in 1922-23, this time as concertmaster—the first woman to hold that position in the ensemble.

Read more: Remembering Mildred Brown, the Civic Orchestra’s first female concertmaster