Dilling, Mildred, noted American harpist and teacher; b. Marion, Ind., Feb. 23, 1894; d. N.Y., Dec. 30, 1982. She studied with Louise Schellschmidt-Koehne and later, in Paris, with Henriette Renie. After her concert debut in Paris (1911), she played in N.Y. (1913) with the Madrigal Singers of the MacDowell Chorus; appeared in joint recitals in Europe with de Reszkes and Yvette Guilbert, and in the U.S. with Alma Gluck and Frances Alda; toured the U.S. and Great Britain many times; also made concert tours in South America, the Middle East, and the Orient. She had numerous private pupils who became well-known harp players; her most famous student was the comedian Harpo Marx. She cultivated calluses on her fingers to achieve sonority. Dilling was the owner of a large collection of harps that she acquired in different parts of the world. She publ. Old Tunes for New Harpists (1934) and 30 Little Classics for the Harp (1938).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire