Heidi Lehwalder

Heidi Lehwalder
Background information
Born Seattle, Washington
United States
Genres Classical
Instruments Harp
Years active 1958-present
Website www.heidi-lehwalder.com

Heidi Lehwalder (born in Seattle, Washington in 1949) is an American classical harpist. She is internationally renowned as one of the world's greatest harp prodigies, and as the final student of master Carlos Salzedo.[1] Leonard Bernstein said of her, "...The main thing to tell you about Heidi is that she is simply a genius," in his notes for the Young People's Concerts.[2] She was the first recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.[3][4][5]

Harpist Heidi Lehwalder with Carlos Salzedo in Camden, Maine. 1961.

Heidi was given a harp at the age of seven by her mother, who was a cellist with the Seattle Symphony, and Heidi made her debut performing with the Seattle Symphony at nine.[3] [6] She studied with Carlos Salzedo at his music colony in Camden, Maine for two summers beginning in 1960, and it was Salzedo who encouraged her to play in The International Harp Contest in Israel in 1962. She currently plays on Salzedo’s own harp.[6]

On December 23, 1963, Lehwalder appeared on Leonard Bernstein’s Young People's Concerts on CBS at the age of 14.[7]

Lehwalder has performed as a soloist with more than sixty-five orchestras throughout the United States, and has been a frequent guest with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center as well as numerous music festivals.[3] She teaches masterclasses internationally, including at the Juillard School, the Manhattan School of Music, and the 12th World Harp Congress in Sydney, Australia.[6] She is the founder and director of the Fredericksburg Festival of the Arts in Fredericksburg, Virginia as well as the Chamber on the Mountain Series in Ojai, California.[3][6]



  1. "It's All in the Family". Harp Column. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2016-02-15.
  2. Bernstein, Leonard. "Young People's Concerts Scripts: Young Performers [pencil on yellow legal pad paper pages 1-7, pages 8-9 white 7.5"x10"]". LOC.gov. Library of Congress. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Ammer, Christine (2001). Unsung: A History of Women in American Music. Portland, OR: Amadeus Press. pp. 33–34. ISBN 1574670611.
  4. "GUTIERREZ WINS FISHER PRIZE". The New York Times. New York, NY. May 21, 1982. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  5. Heidi Lehwalder, harp. Retrieved 2016-07-03. The award she received was then called the Avery Fisher Prize but has since been renamed the Avery Fisher Career Grant. The "Avery Fisher Prize" designation is now used for a bigger award.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Goodman, Leslee (2016-02-01). "Simply a Genius". Ventana Monthly. Ventura, CA: Southland Publishing. Retrieved 2016-02-16.
  7. Kopfstein-Penk, Alice (2015). Leonard Bernstein and His Young People’s Concerts. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 214. ASIN B00U3JN8YS.

External links

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