Jennifer Ellis, Harp


Committed to pushing the boundaries of harp performance, Jennifer R. Ellis (D.M.A. University of Michigan, M.M. Cleveland Institute of Music, B.M. Oberlin) has performed over eighty premieres. She embraces firsts; she was the first ever harpist to be named a One Beat Fellow, a fellowship through Found Sound Nation and the U.S. State Department. She was also the first ever harpist to attend Bang on a Can, Fresh Inc., and Splice summer festivals and she was the first ever musician to be named a University of Michigan Engaged Pedagogy Fellow.  She has received the Alice Chalifoux Prize, Rackham Centennial and Graduate fellowships, AT&T Foundation and Conservatory Deans’ scholarships, and holds prizes in the Ann Arbor Society for Musical Arts, Coeur d’Alene Young Artists, LMC of Seattle, and Inez Stafford competitions. She has played with the Kerrytown Fringe at the Edge, Britten Pears, Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Spark Festival, American Wind Symphony Orchestra, National Orchestra Institute, and Texas Music Festival. She performs with saxophonist Jonathan Hulting-Cohen in the Admiral Launch Duo, four-time Avaloch residents awarded a UMass FRG/Healy grant for their debut recording set to release on Albany Records in 2018. She performed the premiere recording of Steve Horowitz’s Entertainment Tonight and is the harpist on Roscoe Mitchell’s upcoming recording for Wide Hive Records.

An in-demand educator, she has given workshops or master classes at institutions including Arizona State University, Boston University, CSU Sacramento, Cleveland State University, Interlochen Arts Academy, International Harp Festival, Michigan State University, Miami University, Nief-Norf Summer Festival, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Schenectady County Community College, UC Davis, University of Arizona, University of Hartford, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina Greensboro and Williams College. She served as the harp department assistant at both Oberlin and CIM and has published in Harp Column and The American Harp Journal, where she has recently joined the editorial board. Collaborating with Yolanda Kondonassis, she is the research coordinator for The Composer’s Guide to Writing Well for the Harp (anticipated publication 2018 by Carl Fischer). She is on faculty at San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Preparatory and Adult Extension programs and Harps Etc. She is currently an artist-in-residence at UC Davis and a curator at the Center for New Music.