7th Contest 1979 – Emily Mitchell, U.S.A

Emily Mitchell, First Prize winner of the 7th International Harp Contest in Israel in 1979, has earned critical acclaim as “a marvelous harpist” (The New York Times) who captivates her audiences with “playing of the utmost delicacy, beauty and subtlety.” (Records and Recording) In the words of The Washington Post, “Mitchell commands a vivid palette of colors and uses them with imagination.”


Ms. Mitchell is acknowledged as a brilliant musician with a magnificent beautiful sound.. She has been heard worldwide as a concerto soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. Repeat performances have taken her back most notably to the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Brazil, Israel, and Canada, and she continues to tour the United States. Ms. Mitchell has been profiled on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, CNN, CNBC, Arts & Entertainment, the BBC, DRS-Swiss TV, the New York Times WQXR, Radio France, National Public Radio’s Performance Today and in People Magazine. Most memorable performances include the Mozart Concerto for Flute and Harp at Carnegie Hall with James Galway and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, being presented in concert before British Royalty both in England and at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C, and also performing for First Lady Rosalynn Carter at The White House.

For ten years, Emily Mitchell was principal harpist for the incomparable Eos Orchestra working closely with many of today’s composers She taught with the distinguished artist faculties of New York University and Purchase College, SUNY, for many years where she formed the NYU Harp Ensemble and the Purchase Harp Ensemble. She commissioned wonderful new works for both ensembles.

Recently relocated to Houston, TX, she now teaches on the faculty of Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music. As a chamber musician, Ms. Mitchell performs with numerous chamber ensembles, championing newly commissioned world premieres. But, it is as the other half of the jubilant Legacy Duo, with flutist Margaret Swinchoski, sharing an elegant flute and harp duo with flutist Gary Schocker, and a phenomenal collaboration with trombonist Jim Pugh, that Ms. Mitchell derives the greatest satisfaction in chamber music performance.

Her new CD on the Azica Records label, Garden in Harp. was released early this year. It is a CD of all Gary Schocker compositions of harp chamber music and includes Schocker’s solo harp composition by the same name, Garden in Harp, which has been published by Lyon & Healy.


Dedicated to the advancement of the harp, Ms. Mitchell serves on the Board of the American Harp Society. She is an active contributor to the American Harp Journal and has lectured and performed at many of the American Harp Society’s National Conferences.. Ms. Mitchell will chair the American Harp Society’s 2012, 50th Anniversary Conference – “Then, Now and into the Future,” in NYC, June 30-July 3, 2012. http://www.ahsconference.org/ Among many others, three First Prize winners of the Israel Contest will perform: Nancy Allen, Emily Mitchel, Sivan Magen as well as Second Prize winner, Mariko Anraku.


Ms. Mitchel is a frequent juror for major harp competitions, including the International Harp Contest in Israel, and she is often invited to teach master classes as a visiting clinician at universities and music conservatories, including the Royal College of Music, London, the Eastman School of Music, Juilliard, Berklee College and the University of Texas at Austin.

Living a varied musical life, Emily Mitchell is also an established name in the television, motion picture, and recording studios of New York City. She has recorded with Michael Jackson, Carly Simon, Bernadette Peters, Dawn Upshaw, Diana Krall, Audra McDonald, Natalie Cole, and Harry Connick, Jr. She performed with the historic first Barbra Streisand Tour and the Gil Evans’ Orchestra with Sting at the Umbria Jazz Festival. She performed with Ray Charles and Barry Manilow in NYC, and with Bette Midler on the Martha Stewart Show and The Today Show. Ms. Mitchell can be heard playing on innumerable film scores including Aladdin, Fargo, Wolf, Failure to Launch, Fur, The Good Shepherd, and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.

Through her popular solo recordings for RCA Victor; Irish Harp Songs, A Celtic Christmas (The Holly and the Ivy), and Flying Dreams (featuring James Galway), Emily Mitchell is recognized as an admirer of folk music, “…a pure-voiced singer, accompanying herself on an Irish harp …with unaffected charm and disarming simplicity.” (The New York Times) Two newer concert harp releases on the JMR label are Impromptu “a pleasant way to give the right brain some stimulation…” (American Record Guide); and Mozart Variations “A peaceful, civilized oasis in a turbulent world.” (Amazon.com–Editorial Reviews)

A Dallas native, Ms. Mitchell is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where she was awarded the distinguished Performer’s Certificate. She is an Associate of the Royal College of Music, London. Her principal teachers were Julia Herrmann Edwards, Eileen Malone, and Marisa Robles.