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Alumna Principal Harpist With Chicago Sinfonietta Orchestra

faye seemanHarpist Faye Seeman (NRO 1977) is principal harpist with the Chicago Sinfonietta Orchestra, and professor of harp studies at both Wheaton College and Northern Illinois University.

On her NRO experience, Faye states, “I was privileged to be a part of the National Repertory Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Topilow. It was a defining experience in my life as a musician, as the harp parts were demanding and we had little time to prepare. Besides the excellent training I received, I made some life-long friendships, something I value as much as the musical opportunity, not to mention the spectacular scenery and adventures that were had in the mountains of Breckenridge! Great memories all around.”

As founder of the “Kithara” flute, cello and harp trio, she has led the group to notoriety through highly successful performances in recitals throughout the Midwest. Faye has distinguished herself as one of the most versatile harpists in the area, often venturing away from playing traditional classical repertoire. She and several well-known jazz musicians in the Chicago area collaborated to establish the “ZigZag” jazz harp quartet (piano, harp, bass and drums), exploring an eclectic blend of jazz, classical and new age styles of music. While together they recorded and produced the CD “Caught”, which features several of Faye’s own compositions, several jazz standards, and free improvisation.

One of her proudest accomplishments is the commission of a concerto for harp and orchestra in memory of her father, violinist and conductor, Ernest Seeman. Noted Chicago composer Gustavo Leone wrote the music which premiered in 2006 at the Birch Creek Music Festival in Door County, Wisconsin. Since then the work has been played many times throughout the United States, most recently with the Fox Valley Symphony in Appleton, Wisconsin.

From 2002-2012, Faye was principal harpist of the Joffrey Ballet Chicago. Because of her love of ballet, Faye worked in collaboration with the Wheaton College Orchestra and the Hubbard Street Dance Company to perform a work by William Grant Still for harp and string orchestra, “Ennanga”. In this format, the HSDC choreographed and performed the music, elevating the piece to another level.

During the summers, Faye is on the faculty of the Birch Creek Music Festival in Door County, Wisconsin, and is a regular guest clinician and performer at the Midwest Harp Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  As a soloist, she produced and recorded her first solo CD in 2010 at Bastyr University Chapel in Seattle, Washington. The disc features several of her own compositions, along with transcribed favorites.  Faye graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Music Performance degree, and attained a Master of Music Performance degree from Boston University, studying with the legendary harpist Lucile Lawrence.

Read more about Faye Seeman HERE