14th Contest 2001 – Letizia Belmondo, Italy

In February 2001, Letizia Belmondo won the First Prize in the 14th International Harp Contest in Israel as well as the “Esther Herlitz” Special Prize for the best performance of a contemporary piece. She is First Harpist at the Opéra Royal de La Monnaie in Brussels and is Professor of harp at the “Haute ècole de Musique de Lausanne” (Switzerland).

After her international debut at age fourteen with the RTE Concert Orchestra in Dublin, Letizia Belmondo won an impressive number of competitions and awards, including the Victor Salvi Competition in 1995, the Società Umanitaria in 1998, the Rovere d’Oro in 1997, the Martine Geliot Prize in the Lille Harp Competition in 1999, the Franz Schubert Competition in 1999, the International Harp Competition in Lausanne in 2000, and finally The International Harp Contest in Israel, 2001.

Following her debut at the Wigmore Hall in London, Letizia has performed to great acclaim throughout Europe and the United States. Most recently, in 2009, she performed the Reniè Concerto for harp in C minor with both the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and with the Santa Barbara Symphony, Nir Kabaretti conducting, in 2011. With the RAI Symphony Orchestra of Turin, she performed the Villa Lobos Concerto for harp and orchestra in 2010.

In 2002 she recorded her first solo CD (Harp Recital) for “Egan records”. In January 2006 she recorded the Harp Concertos of Glière and Zabel and the Mozart Piano Concerto No.6, KV238, transcribed for harp, with the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

After her debut as solist with the “Mozart” Orchestra in Italy, she was invited by Maestro Claudio Abbado to record the Mozart Concerto for flute and harp with Deutsche Grammophone, in June 2008.

Letizia Belmondo served on the Jury of the 17th International Harp Contest in Israel, 2009, and appeared in the Gala Opening Concert of that Contest celebrating the 50th anniversary of The International Harp Contest in Israel performing the Concerto in C minor by Henriette Renie with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Nir Kabaretti conducting. Maestro Kabaretti invited her for repeat performances with the Santa Barbara Symphony (California) in 2011.

Since June 2005 Letizia Belmondo is the First Harpist at the Opéra Royal de La Monnaie in Brussels. She has worked with conductors such as M. Wung Chung, K. Ono, M. Benini, A. Fisher, C. Rizzi, R. Frühbeck de Burgos and since 2008 she is regularly invited to play with the Luzern Festival Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado.

From 2006 to 2008 Ms. Belmondo was teaching assistant to M. Fabrice Pierre at the CNSMD in Lyon (France) and in 2011 she accepted the teaching position as professor of harp at the “Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne” (Switzerland).

Letizia Belmondo is frequently invited to give Master Classes in Europe and in the USA and to serve on the Jury in several International Harp Competitions such as the International Harp Contest in Israel and the “Lily Laskine” Competition in Paris.

Letizia was born in Turin in 1981 and began studying the harp at age eight at the Suzuki Talent Center in Turin. She continued her studies on the harp at the Conservatoire G. Verdi in Turin with Gabriella Bosio and, thanks to a De Sono Scholarship, at the CNSMD of Lyon, France, with Fabrice Pierre, where she graduated with honours in 2002, and at the Juilliard School, New York, with Nancy Allen. She also had the opportunity to follow Master Classes and to study with Judith Liber.

Her musical formation was completed by the study of the cello, which started at age five and continued with Antonio Mosca at the Conservatorio “G. Verdi” in Turin until 1999.

Ms. Belmondo plays the Lyon & Healy King David Harp that was built in 2000, especially for the First Prize Winner of The International Harp Contest in Israel in 2001, marking 3000 years of the City of Jerusalem.