Contemporary Harp

This is a professional resource for composers and harpists to explore new repertoire and the philosophies and techniques that have produced these works. Contributing composers possess at least one of the following: formal degree in composition, performances by professional harpists, composer-in-residence for an artistic institution, professional awards and/or recognition by peers. Potential contributors please email me to be added.

Friday, March 10, 2006

David Evan Thomas

Chamber Works for Harp:

BY HEART (2002) 18’
Song cycle on poems by Louise Bogan
Soprano and harp
Commissioned by The Schubert Club

EUCALYPTUS (2000) 7’
Flute and harp
Commissioned by Robert Scott

Flute, viola, harp
Commissioned by Diane Neimann in honor of Penny George

IN THE BLUE GLEN (2006) 22’
Flute, viola, harp
Commissioned anonymously

O BELL' ALMA (2004) Paraphrase on themes from Donizetti’s LUCIA 15’
Flute and harp
Commissioned by The Schubert Club
Published by Falls House Press (

Contact information:


David Evan Thomas is the recipient of an Award in Music from the American Academy & Institute of Arts and Letters, and a McKnight Foundation fellowship. Born in Rochester NY in 1958, he attended Northwestern University and the Eastman School of Music, where he was awarded a fellowship in composition endowed by Lucile Johnson Rosenbloom, the first harp teacher at that institution. Thomas received the Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1995. His principal teachers in composition were Dominick Argento, Samuel Adler, Robert Morris and Alan Stout. From 1997-2005, Thomas was composer-in-residence for The Schubert Club of Saint Paul. He lives in Minneapolis.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Helena Michelson

Works for Harp: (Pedal)


Shadows amid Light (2003/rev. 2005)
Duration: ca. 10’


“…softly through the night… memories of music…” (2007)
For flute, percussion, harp, and cello
Duration: ca. 11’30’’

La Follia Revisited (1999)
For flute/alto fl., cl./Bass cl., harp, violin, viola, cello
Duration: ca. 11’

Contact Information:

Michael Mauldin

Michael Mauldin

Works for Harp: (pedal)


Birds in Winter: Six Preludes for Harp (10.5)


Four Zuni-Mountain Miniatures (fl, ob, vln, vla, 'cello, harp) (14.5)
I. Summer Night
II. Autumn Morning
III. Winter Evening
IV. Spring Afternoon

Mountain Winds: Episodes for Flute, Oboe (or vln) and Harp
I. North
II. South
III. East
IV. West


With This Child: Christmas Cantata for Treble Voices and Harp (16.5)
I. Holy Mother
II. O Child, May We Know You
III. Now The Star
IV. Dream of Darkness
(harp interlude)
V. Song of Light

Contact Information:


Born in Texas in 1947, Michael Mauldin moved to New Mexico in 1971 for "the light, the space, and the timelessness." He completed a graduate degree in composition, opened a music school, raised a family and wrote music. The Music Teachers National Association recognized him in 1980 as the national Composer of the Year. In 1985, his "Fajada Butte" was performed in Kennedy Center by the National Repertory Orchestra for the 20th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches piano, voice, orchestration and composition in Albuquerque and at his composing and teaching retreat near Cuba, New Mexico.

Artistic Statement:

Perhaps part of the creative process of being a composer is to "play" with the listener's belief in resolution, satisfying it in part, or part of the time, but thwarting or delaying the resolution (or choosing to merely dissipate the musical tension) at other times.

Music reflects experience, but it is also a way to change it, since our esthetic perception can give us a "wordless" but powerful direction--sensed, yet known.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Julieanne Rabens

Works for Harp:
Ataraxis for flute and pedal harp (in progress)

A Tree in Winter for pedal harp (6.5)

Cnidarian Nocturnes for pedal harp solo (18.5)

Meditation on a Fallen Leaf for pedal harp and horn, (10)
commissioned by Liz Cifani and Gail Williams

Bitterroot Soundscape for harp and chamber ensemble (20)

Saturniid Nocturnes for double strung harp (10)

Reveries for double strung harp (6)

Contact information:

Julieanne Rabens received a doctor of musical arts in composition from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying composition with Randall Snyder, earlier studies with Tyler White and Robert Beadell. She has participated in masterclasses held by John Corigliano, Libby Larsen, Lukas Foss, John Harbison, Peter Schikele, and Robert Sirota. She earned a master of music in harp from Northern Illinois University studying harp with Liz Cifani. She currently lives in Forest Lake, Minnesota with her husband Marty, who is a virtual reality software engineer.

Artistic Statement:
My aesthetic expresses a bittersweet sound-world in which the line between tension and resolution is blurred. Much of this sound has an ethereal delicacy, but also contains moments of drama. I prefer to use climax sparingly for greater effect. I strive towards a natural expression of musical ideas avoiding synthetic, rigorous organization. An intuitive compositional process rooted in symmetry, formal clarity, and lyrical lines generates my musical structures. The sounds and patterns of nature are consistently present in this expression.