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Bertha Walburn Clark

See larger “Woman Conductor”: Bertha Walburn Clark at the helm of the fully fledged Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, ca. 1935. Photo courtesy KSO

“Woman Conductor”: Bertha Walburn Clark at the helm of the fully fledged Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, ca. 1935. Photo courtesy KSO

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  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman: Described as her favorite, this photograph was taken by violinist Bertha Walburn Clark’s first husband, graphic artist Rand Walburn, who died in 1919. Courtesy University of Tennessee Special Collections.
  • Courtesy University of Tennessee Special Collections.
  • “Miss Bertha Roth...who with her violin has captured our city.” Long before she begun her career as conductor, and eventually founder of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, the violinist was a regular performer in downtown churches and hotel ballrooms. Photo courtesy KSO
  • The Walburn Clark Little Symphony. This versatile 25-piece ensemble, almost the size of the original KSO, was Knoxville’s orchestra in the 1920s, most familiar at the assembly room of the Farragut Hotel on Gay Street. photos courtesy KSO Bertha Walburn Clark is standing with the baton. Husband Harold Clark, on cello to the far right, awaits direction.
  • “Woman Conductor”: Bertha Walburn Clark at the helm of the fully fledged Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, ca. 1935. Photo courtesy KSO

Bertha Walburn Clark not only founded the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra in 1935, she was also one of the first female conductors.

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