Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Media Contacts

Linda Cajigas
Jacobs School of Music

Alain Barker
Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Friday, May 3, 2013

USA International Harp Competition begins July 10 at IU Jacobs School of Music

May 7, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- One of the leading international harp competitions in the world begins July 10 at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. The ninth USA International Harp Competition is expected to draw more than 50 harpists to Bloomington, the largest number of contestants since its inception.

All events are free and open to the public.

The triennial competition -- regarded as one of the most prestigious classical music competitions in the world -- was founded in 1989 by Distinguished Professor Susann McDonald, chair of the Jacobs Harp Department and the competition's artistic director.

"The USA International Harp Competition has become one of the foremost international music competitions, attracting some of the finest harpists from around the world," McDonald said. "We are grateful to the Jacobs School of Music and Dean Gwyn Richards, who continue to host, support and encourage the competition in many ways. With the largest collegiate harp department in the world and excellent facilities, the school provides an ideal venue for the event."

This year's festival will feature 52 harpists from 21 countries, who will perform before a jury of internationally respected musicians, including harpists Sarah Bullen, Mieko Inoue, Baltazar Juárez Dávila, María Luisa Rayan-Forero, Gillian Benet Sella and Dan Yu, and pianist Emile Naoumoff.

Among the numerous recitals, 2010 Gold Medal winner Agnès Clément will perform Saturday, July 13, and jazz harpist Park Stickney will perform Thursday, July 18. Both performances are in Auer Hall.

In addition to receiving a new harp from Lyon & Healy Harps worth $55,000, the 2013 Gold Medalist will be featured in two debut recitals. One of the recitals will take place in June 2014 at Lyon & Healy Hall in Chicago. These performances, along with a recording contract and artistic management, provide the winner with transformational tools to forge a meaningful and rewarding career.

More than 340 harpists from 29 countries have come to Indiana to compete since the inaugural competition.

McDonald founded the competition with the goal of establishing an international harp competition in the United States that promotes and fosters the careers of gifted young harpists from all over the world. The event also strives to promote the harp as a concert and solo instrument, and to encourage composers to write new works for harp by holding a composition contest before each triennial competition.

The USA International Harp Competition will end with a concert with the IU Summer Festival Orchestra in the Musical Arts Center on Saturday, July 20. A complete schedule of events is available on the harp competition website.