Elaine Christy

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Elaine Christy
Harpist Elaine Christy at Unitarian Church 2.jpg
Alma materWilliam Penn University
Manhattan School of Music[1]
EmployerPrinceton University[2][3]
Known forHarp
AwardsNational harp competition,[2][4]
(American Harp Society)
Ruth Lorraine Close[2][4]
(won twice)
Distinguished Career Award 1998
from William Penn University
Artists International,[5]
(as part of Venus Trio)

Elaine Christy is an award–winning[2] American harpist. She has performed at high-profile concert halls including Steinway Hall,[2] Carnegie's Weill Hall,[2] and with the CBS Orchestra on the television show Late Show with David Letterman.[2] In 2012, she is an instructor of harp at Princeton University.



Christy attended William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa.[6] During these years, she studied with notable harpists including Margaret Ling, Jane Weidensaul, and Kathleen Bride.[1] She worked as an elementary school teacher while continuing her education and training in Kansas. In 1981, she was a finalist in the professional division of the American Harp Society National Competition, and won a Lorraine Close Award during the contest.[6] In 1984, she was placed first in the American Harp Society National Competition,[4][7][8][9] and won three top awards at this competition in 1984.[10] In addition, she won the Ruth Lorraine Close award a second time.[4]

She earned a Ph.D. from the Manhattan School of Music.[2] Christy was an instructor of harp at the University of Kansas[5] and Kansas State University.[2][5] Since 2001, she has taught harp at Princeton University.[2][3] Her publications about harp and playing methodology have been cited by other scholars.[11]

Performances and teaching[edit]

Christy has performed as a soloist in numerous venues. She performed at the World Harp Congress in Seattle-Tacoma in 1999 and in Geneva, Switzerland in 2002. She traveled to Israel to premier a work sponsored by Zamir Bavel.[10] She has given numerous concerts and recitals in the New York metropolitan area,[12][13][14][15][16] including at the Unitarian Church in Summit in New Jersey.[17] In addition, she has performed with numerous musical artists, including violists Marjorie Selden[18] and Jessica Thompson,[17] and with numerous flautists including Lucian Rinando, Jill Crawford[18][19] and Judith Pearce.[17][20] She was a founding member of the Venus Trio which was a winner of the Artists International Competition.[5] She has performed with the North Jersey Harp Ensemble including Kimberly DeRosa, Robbin Gordon-Cartier, Elizabeth Khoury, Diane Michaels and Kelly Rafferty.[21] She recorded at least two music CDs. Reviewer Carol Swanson described her music as "mesmerizing".[22] She plays with an ensemble of Princeton faculty called the Richardson Chamber Players.

Christy has served on the board of the American Harp Society. In addition, as a professor of harp, she has been published in the American Harp Journal and the World Harp Congress Review. She has taught numerous students, including harpist Allison Cheung.


  • Celestial Sounds of Christmas, Twinz Records[20]
  • Enchanted Love, with Patricia Davila (flute)


  1. ^ a b c "Profile". Department of Music at Princeton. October 27, 2010. Retrieved 2012-01-08. ... Education: DMA, Manhattan School of Music; MM, High Honors, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. Studied with Margaret Ling, Jane Weidensaul, Kathleen Bride....
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Afternoon Music concert at Unitarian Church in Summit, Jan. 29". Independent Press. January 8, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
  3. ^ a b "Directory of Teachers". American Harp Society. 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-08. ... Harp Instructor, Princeton University ...
  4. ^ a b c d "About Elaine Christy". Master Disc Jockey Entertainment. 2007. Retrieved 2012-01-08. ... Elaine Christy is winner of the American Harp Society National Harp Competition and has twice won the Ruth Lorraine Close Competition Award for advanced study....
  5. ^ a b c d "(Announcement of appointment)". harpcolumn.com. 2001. Retrieved 2012-01-08. ... Elaine Christy ... harp instructor at Princeton University, in Princeton, N.J....[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ a b "KU grad student receives honor in harp competition". Lawrence Journal-World. August 15, 1981. Retrieved 2012-01-08. ...Elaine Christy, a graduate student in Kansas University's School of Fine Arts, was a finalist in the professional division of the annual American Harp Society National Competition this summer....
  7. ^ "Nassau Notes: Harpist who recently joined the Princeton faculty to perform". Princeton University. 2001. Retrieved 2012-01-08. ... Christy, who recently joined the Princeton faculty, has won the American Harp Society National Harp Competition. ...
  8. ^ "Eighth American Harp Society National Competition". American Harp Society. 1984. Retrieved 2012-01-08. ...1st place: Elaine Christy...
  9. ^ "University of Kansas visiting artists series: Elaine Christy". The Topeka Capital-Journal. September 28, 2001. Retrieved 2012-01-08. ... winner of the American Harp Society National Harp Competition ...
  10. ^ a b "Elaine Christy joins orchestra for next concert". Lawrence Journal-World. Feb 8, 1986. Retrieved 2012-01-08. (see page 47 of 64) ... Ms. Christy was the recipient in 1984 of three top awards from the American Harp Competition sponsored by the American Harp Society. She journeyed to Israel last year for a competition at which she premiered a work she commissioned from Zamir Bavel.
  11. ^ Lee-Fei Chen (May 2008). "The Emergence of the Double-Action Harp as the Standard Instrument (doctoral essay)" (PDF). Google & University of Miami. Retrieved 2012-01-08. (see page 17) ... refers to: Elaine Christy “The Chromatic Harp of the Late Nineteenth Century” (DMA essay)...[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Travel Tip: Classical Music in United States". Culture Kiosque. 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-08. ... Elaine Christy, harp; ...
  13. ^ "Winter Choral Concert at Ridge on Tuesday Night". Basking Ridge Patch. December 19, 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-08. ... Dr. Elaine Christy on Harp....
  14. ^ "Calendar". The New York Times. December 4, 2005. Retrieved 2012-01-08. ... Elaine Christy, harp....
  15. ^ "Events in New Jersey". The New York Times. March 27, 2009. Retrieved 2012-01-08. ... A recital by Elaine Christy, harpist....
  16. ^ "On The Towns". The New York Times. February 23, 2003. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
  17. ^ a b c "Afternoon Music Presents Concert of Harp, Flute and Viola Jan. 29 at Unitarian Church". The Alternative Press. January 8, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-08. ... Harpist Elaine Christy....
  18. ^ a b "Events in New Jersey". The New York Times. August 19, 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
  19. ^ "Calendar". The New York Times. June 11, 2006. Retrieved 2012-01-08. ... Carla Auld, flute, and Elaine Christy, harp ...
  20. ^ a b "Calendar". Princeton News Network. Dec 10, 2007. Retrieved 2012-01-08. ... Ms. Christy has recorded the album “Celestial Sounds of Christmas”....
  21. ^ "North Jersey Harp Ensemble concert". harpcolumn.com. August 18, 2007. Retrieved 2012-01-08. ... The North Jersey Harp Ensemble is Elaine Christy ...[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ Carol Swanson (2005). "Our Review". Christmasreviews.com. Archived from the original on 2011-10-18. Retrieved 2012-01-08.

External links[edit]