Alice Chalifoux

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Alice Chalifoux (January 22, 1908 – July 31, 2008) was Principal Harpist with the Cleveland Orchestra from 1931–1974 and, for many years, was its only female member.[1]

Education[edit]

She was the youngest of four children born to merchant and violinist Oliver Chalifoux and his wife, harpist Alice Hallé Chalifoux in Birmingham, Alabama. After learning to play from her mother and continuing as a music student in local schools, Alice was accepted as a student of Carlos Salzedo at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[2]

Career[edit]

Through her work with the Cleveland Orchestra, under the direction of such legendary conductors as Erich Leinsdorf, Artur Rodziński, George Szell, Pierre Boulez, and Lorin Maazel, Chalifoux quickly became recognized as a specialist in orchestral technique. Her recording of the Debussy Danses sacrée et profane with the Cleveland Orchestra[3] received a Grammy Award in 1996. Chalifoux was known as a strong advocate of the method for the harp developed by Salzedo, and earned a reputation as a master teacher through many years of teaching at The Cleveland Institute of Music, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music. Well-known as an authoritative coach in the music of Carlos Salzedo, she also had strengths in helping solve fingering problems, and identifying and correcting physical problems in playing. Her editing of orchestra parts was invaluable to her profession. Chalifoux was the primary instructor at the Salzedo Summer Harp Colony, in Camden, Maine,after the death of Salzedo in 1961.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Chalifoux married John Gordon Rideout in 1937 and had a daughter, Alyce. Her husband died in 1951. Chalifoux died in 2008 at the age of 100.[1]

Students[edit]

Her students continue to hold posts with major orchestras and important teaching positions.

  • Joan Holland, University of Michigan and Interlochen Musical Academy
  • Douglas Rioth, San Francisco Symphony
  • Ann Hobson Pilot, Boston Symphony Orchestra, New England Conservatory, Boston University, Tanglewood
  • Nancy Lendrim and Jody Guinn, Salzedo Harp Duo
  • Yolanda Kondonassis, Oberlin Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, major recording artist for Telarc
  • Jody Guinn, Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory
  • Paula Page, Houston Symphony, Rice University
  • Elizabeth Wooster Colpean, Grand Rapids Symphony
  • Diane Evans, Indianapolis Symphony
  • Anna Maria Mendieta, Sacramento Philharmonic
  • Susan Dederich-Pejovich, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Southern Methodist University
  • Danis Kelly, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Santa Fe Opera
  • Louise Johnson, Sydney Symphony
  • Alice Giles, International soloist, first prizewinner in the 8th Israel International Harp Competition
  • Trina Struble, Cleveland Orchestra
  • Anna Kate Mackle, Florida Orchestra
  • Elisabeth Remy-Johnson, Atlanta Symphony
  • Anastasia Pike, Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Donald Rosenberg (2008-08-01). "Former Cleveland Orchestra harpist Alice Chalifoux dies at 100". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2013-05-19. 
  2. ^ Alice Chalifoux. Special Citation for Distinguished Service to the Arts. Cleveland Arts Prize, 1986
  3. ^ Boulez conducts Debussy (Sony) [1] Track: La Mer.

Further reading[edit]

  • Pike, Anastasia (2008). Alice Chalifoux: a Centenarian's Legacy. The American Harp Journal. Summer 2008.