10 Things you don’t know about Susann McDonald


“I love to garden, play golf, read thrillers and walk and play with my dogs Baby (left, a Teacup Poodle) and Mopsy (right, a Morkie).

Susann McDonald will give a masterclass on the works of Renie on Thursday, Jun 5.

1 What was the moment you knew you wanted to become a harpist?
In the 3rd grade I wore white gloves to school. My teacher suggested I take them off, but I responded that I needed to protect my fingers as I was going to be a concert harpist! (My teacher recounted this to my mother)

2 What’s your absolute favorite piece to play on the harp and why?
I don’t have one favorite, I love Renie’s Dance des lutins and Piece Symphonique, and her transcriptions of Liszt’s music, Un Sospiro and The Nightingale.

3 Complete this sentence: If I weren’t a harpist, I’d be a ___
Doctor. I had a favorite aunt who was a surgeon and I admired her greatly.

4 Favorite food:
I love sushi and Mexican cuisine

5  Favorite city in the world:
Etretat, a small city on the Normandie coast where I studied with Mlle. Renie as a teenager and played golf on the beautiful coastal cliff golf course, have revisited it and love the fresh seafood, and delicious French pastries.

6 The most important element of good harp technique is:
Perhaps suppleness and relaxation.

7 What was your first harp?
A Lyon & Healy Style 12.

8 Name something you’ve never done in your career that’s on your bucket list:
I would love to make a hole in one!

9 What’s the career accomplishment that you’re most proud of?
A recital I performed in Minnesota-St Paul for the AHS national conference, I played most of Mlle. Renie’s major works and transcriptions in tribute to her.

10What’s the best advice you can give an aspiring harpist?
Love the harp and work hard.


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