Danis Kelly will retire from her positions as principal harpist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Santa fe Opera at the end of this season. Both orchestras have been home to her for the past 45 years. Ms. Kelly’s playing has been described as “… sparkled glitter” (Urban Milwaukee Dial) and “articulate” (Journal Sentinel). Beyond her service to these two musical establishments her legacy can also be seen in the students that she has taught over the years.
Ms. Kelly says that the “best part of the job has been meeting some of the most vibrant, funny, imaginative, creative, generous people in the world.” Her favorite orchestral experiences were “those involving the Gliere Concerto” and her advice to any young harpist hoping to one day have a career as an orchestral musician: “practice, practice, practice.”
Harpist Chloe Tula on her former teacher: “Ms. Kelly inspired me to be the best I can be. Her kindhearted and individualistic approach to life has made such an impression on my own endeavors. Because she has only ever put her best foot forward, only the best has come to her, and from that, I continue to be inspired.”
Read more about Ms. Kelly and her time with the MSO and SFO in this Journal Sentinel article.