Madeline Olson has been appointed principal harpist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO). Runner-up in the audition held in April and May 2018, Olson has been subbing regularly with the BPO, and joined them on tour in Florida last spring. “It’s been a really wonderful experience with them so far,” shares Olson. “In my first concert back this fall, we played ‘Dance of the Seven Veils’ from Salome, Death and Transfiguration, and a brand new violin concerto by Danny Elfman. [BPO Music Director] JoAnn Falleta puts a lot of thought and care into crafting exciting programs like this in order to engage the Buffalo audience, and it’s been really inspiring to work with such an established female conductor.” She adds that she feels a strong sense of community playing with the BPO. “I feel incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from them as I begin my career as an orchestral harpist.”
Olson is replacing Cheryl Losey, who won the BPO audition in 2018 and stepped down in January. Losey shares, “The decision to resign from the Buffalo Philharmonic was terribly bittersweet as it was a result of the birth of our incredibly precious baby boy. Ultimately, my husband Abraham and I decided it was best for our family for me to base my career in Detroit, where Abraham is assistant principal cello with the Detroit Symphony. I am honored to have been a member of the BPO, and leave with my heart full from the artistry and incredible support of my colleagues and Maestro JoAnn Falletta.”
As a soloist, Olson won a gold medal in the virtuoso division of the 2019 Manhattan International Music Competition and was the first American to win first prize in the Nippon International Harp Competition in Soka, Japan. Before beginning her work with the BPO, she performed with many orchestras including Orchestra Now, New World Symphony, Modesto Symphony Orchestra, and the Fresno Philharmonic. She received both her bachelor of music and master of music degrees from Juilliard under Nancy Allen.
Learn more about her by visiting madelineolsonharp.com.