Above: Mélanie Laurent performs the Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez in the final stage of the 11th USA International Harp Competition on July 13 in Bloomington, Ind.

French harpist Mélanie Laurent gave stunning performances throughout the four stages of the 11th USA International Harp Competition to prove she has the Golden Touch.

The three finalists in the 11th USAIHC included gold medal winner Mélanie Laurent of France (left), silver medalist Valerio Lisci of Italy (center), and bronze medalist Mathilde Wauters of Belgium (right). (Photo by James Brosher)

The morning after Mélanie Laurent was awarded first prize at the 11th USA International Harp Competition (USAIHC) in Bloomington, Ind., we met at a bustling cafe just off Indiana University’s campus. Over tea (for her) and coffee (for me), I got to know the 23-year-old French harpist and was quickly won over by her warmth. Laurent’s Bloomington host, Bob Jones, who had been cheering her on over the past ten days, sat with us.

Understandably excited, the gold medal winner was happy to share details about her musical journey (with a few helpful tidbits from Jones), and what unfolded was a morning of easy conversation.

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About Author

Stephanie Gustafson Amfahr is a harpist and teacher based in Houston, TX. Currently principal harpist with Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, she is also a co-founder of the Houston Youth Harp Ensemble, young artist with Da Camera of Houston and on faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, MI. She started writing for Harp Column in September 2017.

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