10 things you don’t know about Carol Robbins

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Carol Robbins performs at the Lyon & Healy 150th Birthday Festival on Friday., June 6. 

1 What was the moment you knew you wanted to become a harpist?
I saw a harpist playing in a hotel in Canada on a trip with my family when I was eight. The begging started immediately and after a year I was given my first harp lesson

2 What’s your absolute favorite piece to play on the harp and why?
It changes all the time but right now I love playing my piece “Nino’s Waltz.” It moves me every time I play it.

3 Complete this sentence: If I weren’t a harpist, I’d be a…
Pianist or vocalist because I was already deeply involved with piano and singing before I started the harp. If I had not ended up in music I probably would have gotten into writing. I love language and for me words are a little like chords.

4 Favorite food:
Cheese!

5 Favorite city in the world:
I’ve traveled the world and seen some incredible cities but I think I would have to say New York City. It is truly extraordinary.

6 The most important element of good harp technique is:
For me it has to be sound.

7 What was your first harp?
A beautiful Lyon & Healy 17. Great tone and birds eye maple sounding board.

8 Name something you’ve never done in your career that’s on your bucket list:
Although I have performed in Europe, I have never played in Italy, with the exception of a concert as a student of the great Susann McDonald in Rapallo. My mother is Italian and I have many relatives in Italy. I’ve learned italian and I would absolutely love playing in Italy with my cousins in the audience!

9 What’s the career accomplishment that you’re most proud of?
My recordings, European and U.S. tours, and two Grammy nominations with Billy Childs’ Jazz Chamber Ensemble.

10 What’s the best advice you can give an aspiring harpist?
Respect the instrument you have chosen to play. Love it for its beauty but learn to work with its inherent limitations.

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