Committed to pushing the boundaries of harp performance, Jennifer R. Ellis (D.M.A. Candidate University of Michigan, M.M. Cleveland Institute of Music, B.M. Oberlin) believes in taking the harp off its pedestal and using the instrument in new, unexpected ways. She was the first harpist accepted to the Bang on a Can and Fresh Inc. summer festivals. She specializes in improvisation and extended techniques and founded The Ask a Harpist Project, a newly-launched video blog dedicated to answering composer-submitted questions about writing for harp. As a performer, she is the recipient of the Alice Chalifoux Prize, Rackham Centennial and Graduate fellowships, AT&T Foundation and Oberlin Conservatory Deans’ scholarships and has played with Atlantic Music Festival Future Music Lab, Britten Pears Emerging Composers Residency, Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Arts, American Wind Symphony Orchestra, National Orchestra Institute, and Texas Music Festival. She is a 2014-2015 University of Michigan Engaged Pedagogy Initiative Fellow and has used her studies in Oberlin’s social entrepreneurship and CWRU’s nonprofit management programs to inform her community music work.
LISTEN: Weav-Weav-Weaving: II. Her Voice Never Faltered, III. And the Harp Strings Spoke for Harp, Motion Sensor, and Interactive Electronics
Jennifer R. Ellis, harp, motion sensor, and electronics