Elizabeth Volpé Bligh retires from Vancouver Symphony


Elizabeth Volpé Bligh has retired from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, after 35 seasons as their principal harpist, but will continue performing with the VSO through the end of their 2017/2018 season. “I’ve learned so much in my years with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, working with fantastic conductors, soloists, and wonderful colleagues. There is nothing like being in the midst of a performance with great music, having the best seat in the house, and being able to contribute to it.” When asked what she is looking forward to once the season is over, Volpé Bligh said, “I plan to keep playing, but not at so hectic a schedule, and to spend more time teaching and composing.”

Prior to her appointment with the VSO, Volpé Bligh was principal harpist with the National Ballet of Canada for six seasons. She currently teaches at the University of British Columbia and the VSO School of Music, in addition to her private studio. Outside of performing and teaching, she leads a diverse musical career, composing music for solo harp and writing articles for various publications, including both the American Harp Journal and Harp Column. She is also actively involved with various harp organizations, currently serving as president of the BC Chapter of the American Harp Society, and having formerly served as chair of the 11th World Harp Congress, held in Vancouver in 2011. Volpé Bligh studied with Edna Philips, Alice Chalifoux, and Judy Loman, and received her Bachelor of Music degree from University of Toronto in 1975.


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  1. My main teacher was Judy Loman. She sent me to Cleveland for a post-graduate year with Miss Chalifoux. I also spent four summers at the Salzedo Harp Colony in Maine, where I had lessons with Miss Chalifoux and Miss Phillips. Such wonderful mentors and such sources of inspiration!

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