Cape Cod, Massachusetts, who studied with Alice Chalifoux
at the Salzedo Summer Harp Colony in Camden,
Maine, and Ann Hopson Pilot in Boston.
In 1990, she
performed Alberto Ginastera’s “Harp
Concerto” in tandem with the New England Conservatory Youth
from YoungArts, a program of the National
Foundation for Advancement of the Arts, in 1991.
In 1992, she
won first place in the Pre-professional Division of the American String
Teachers Association National Solo Competition. She replicated this feat in 1993 in
the Advanced Division of the American Harp Society National
In 1995, she
graduated with a double major in French and Music from Harvard University. It did not take her long to put her
music degree to work: The
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra employed her as their principal harpist shortly thereafter.
In 1996, she
performed at the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.
accompanied the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers on their 1997 stocking stuffer,
A Robert Shaw Christmas: Angels on High.
March 1999, she was one of four ASO members who joined the Georgian Chamber
Players for a concert at Oglethorpe
University’s Miriam H. and John A. Conant
Center. Elisabeth’s turns in the
spotlight included Claude Debussy’s “Sonata for Flute, Viola
and Harp” and Maurice Ravel’s “Introduction and Allegro
for Harp, String Quartet, Flute and Clarinet”.
In June 2000,
she participated in the American Harp Society’s national conference
at the University
College-Conservatory of Music, where she performed with fellow harpists
Mariko Anraku, Virginie
Gout, Elizabeth Hainen and Isabelle Perrin on
concerto night. Elisabeth delivered
the concert finale, Andre Caplet’s “Masque de la mort rouge
October 2000, she and flautist Christina Smith performed a free concert at
Ponce de Leon Library under the umbrella of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s
Community Partners in Performance Series. Around this time, her first solo
album, Whirlwind, arrived in
stores. As if she weren’t
busy enough, she found time to start up the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble at Brown Middle School
in Atlanta. Number of students in her
In 2001, she
returned to Cincinnati,
Ohio, for the American Harp
Society Convention, and wowed conventioneers with her rendition of Maciej Malecki’s “Concertino
in an Old Style”. Showing
off her versatility, she also soloed at Pops in the Park with the Cape Symphony. She revisited some familiar
territory with the Cape Symphony in April 2001, when she reprised Ginastera’s “Concerto for Harp and
Orchestra, Op. 25” at the BHS Performing Arts Center in Hyannis, Maine.
In 2002, she
became a member of the Kennesaw
faculty as an Artist-in-Residence in Harp. Meantime, she continued to teach at Brown Middle School, and her enrollment
was slowly growing.
On 27th October
2002, she helped premiere Augusta Read Thomas’s “Passion
Prayers” at Suffolk
Walsh Theatre, under the direction of David Hoose. Joel Moershel
was the solo cellist.
An avid runner,
Elisabeth has logged a lot of kilometers in marathons throughout the
world. On 2nd
February 2003, she finished first in her age group and 29th overall
in the 5th Annual Hughston Medicine
Sports Center Half Marathon, with a time of 1:42: 23.8. She swam for ½ mile, ran for
6.6 miles, and biked 27 more in the 23rd Annual Main Sport
Triathlon in Camden Maine, on 31st August
April 2004, she and Roselyn Lewis received an 11Alive Community Service
Award for the creation and development of the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble.
Symphony Orchestra celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr.’s
birthday on 13th January 2005 at Morehouse College
with Leonard Bernstein’s “Symphony No. 1” (“Jeremiah”),
“Lift Every Voice and Sing”, arranged by Roland Carter, Scott
Joplin’s “Overture to Treemonisha”,
William Grant Still’s “Afro-American Symphony”, and
Frederick Tillis’s “Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit”.
2005, Elisabeth found herself in the limelight once again when they offered
up an all-Handel affair that included the master’s “Harp
Concerto” followed by “Water Music”.
Youth Harp Ensemble received a rave review for their concert in May 2005
that included Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Bouree”. By this time, Elisabeth’s and
Roselyn’s little program that had begun with only two students now
June 2005, Elisabeth tied the knot with Livingstone James Johnson at the First Parish
in Brewster, Massachusetts.
In 2006, she
gave the world premiere of Robert Xavier Rodriguez’s “Son Ris” at the American Harp Society National
She was a key
player in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Richard
Strauss’s “Death and Transfiguration” and “Four
Last Songs” and Richard Wagner’s prelude and Liebestod from Tristan
und Isolde in April 2006.
In July 2006,
she was back at the American Harp Society Conference, teaching a workshop
on college perspectives and giving a recital of new music by Pacific Rim composers. The AHS named her Southeast Regional
Director in November 2006.
Another accolade she received in the autumn of 2006 was the Atlanta
Symphony Orchestra’s Honorary UPS Community Service Chair.
2006, Elisabeth accompanied the Gwinnett Singers for “A Ceremony of
Carols” by Benjamin Britten at Atlanta Symphony Hall for Christmas
with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
groups collaborated with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet on Osvaldo Golijov: Oceana, which hit the shelves in
She was the
featured soloist in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s program of
Claude Debussy’s “Danses sacree et profane”, George Gershwin’s “An
American in Paris”, Darius Milhaud’s “La creation du
monde”, and Maurice Ravel’s “La Valse”
et “Valses nobles et sentimentales”
on 25th October 2007.
2007, she was a panelist at the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse,
hosted by the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Georgia, which included a
performance by the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble.
flautist Christina Smith released a duets CD entitled Encantamiento in the autumn
of 2008. Other recordings on
which she appears include Harp
Spectacular, with Anna Reinersman, and Patrick McFarland & Friends.
She was a
featured artist in Adventures with the Orchestra as part of the Young People’s
Concerts at Mt. Carmel Christian
Church in Stone Mountain,
14th October 2008. In
December 2008, she was at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Atlanta where she accompanied the Women
of the Chancel Choir for excerpts from Britten’s aforementioned “Ceremony
In June 2009,
Elisabeth, along with Christina and soprano Alison Buchanan, performed a
Candlelight Concert at the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival in Fort Clinch
Park in Fernandina Beach, Florida. This trio was also intact for the
Madison Chamber Music Festival’s Heavenly Sounds, a mixture of new
American music and spirituals and other works from the Civil War era, at
the Church of the Advent.
Elisabeth teamed up with mezzo-soprano Krista River
and pianist Donald Enos for the Meeting House
Chamber Music Festival for a series of recitals that included “Les Nuits de’te” by
By this time,
the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble was headquartered at Carver
High School and boasted sixty-five
pupils from eight different public schools in Atlanta.
September 2009, Elisabeth reunited with Christina for the Emory Faculty
Artist Affiliate Recital (yes, she is on the faculty there, as well) at the
Emerson Concert Hall, which is located in the Schwartz Center
for Performing Arts.
The Atlanta Business
Chronicle bestowed their Up & Comers Award upon her in the autumn of
2009 for her educational leadership in the community of Atlanta.
She was at
Georgia Tech’s Alumni House ballroom on 16th November 2009
for John Zorn’s “Orphee”, a
sextet scored for electronic keyboard, flute, harp, laptop (!), percussion,
January 2010, the musicians of the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble were featured
performers at the Atlanta
for the meeting of the American Harp Society’s Georgia Chapter. Elisabeth was in attendance and also
had the pleasure of watching one of her other students, Laura Silverstein,
perform. Other students who
have benefited from her tutelage include Martina Davenport, Angelica
Hairston, Riza Hequibal,
Chandra Moore, Mason Morton, Jill Roberts, and DeMario
In April 2010,
Elisabeth gave a series of warm-up concerts at various locales in
anticipation of her upcoming appearance at the Rio Harp Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The venues included the Big Canoe
Chapel, Margaret Mitchell
Square, and the North Avenue Presbyterian
Church, where she interpreted works by Graham Lynch, Marjan
Mozetich, and Carlos Salzedo.
The Rio Harp
Festival took place in May 2010.
On 6th May 2010, Elisabeth gave the Brazilian premiere of
“The Hanging-Cloud Bridge” by Graham Lynch at the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes. In the same month, she was also
asked to be one of the adjudicators at the Young Artist’s Harp
capped off the 2010 Meeting House Chamber Music Festival with a post-season
concert on 1st August alongside keyboardist Donald Enos and soprano Joan Kirchner at the First Parish
Unitarian in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.