Mario Falcao recently received the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Harp Society. An active member of the AHS since 1969, Falcao served as chairman of the board from 1975–1979, hosted the 1980 national conference at the State University of New York at Fredonia, and most recently served as the New York regional director from 2011–2017. Committed to supporting harpists and harp organizations around the world, he was a founding member of the World Harp Congress in 1981 and currently sits on the board of directors.
Unable to attend the AHS national conference in July to accept the award, he sent a message, saying, “Receiving this lifetime achievement award is the highest honor of my professional life and I want to express my profound thank you for the awarding of this honor. Being recognized by one’s own peers is probably the happiest event of any professional’s life. It shows that besides recognition, there is friendship. Having friends is one of the most fundamental aspects of finding and achieving happiness. This and many other wonderful concepts I learned from my connection with the AHS that dates back to 1969. By this contact, I learned to live within a community and share ideas and concepts that make one’s life valuable and happy. To be honest in one’s professional work and always respect the work of all colleagues is important and necessary to all professionals. And as Shakespeare said, ‘This above all: to thine own self be true’ applies to all musicians and artists.”
A native of Portugal, Falcao received a diploma in harp performance from the Lisbon Conservatory. He later received a Fulbright scholarship to attend Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Eileen Malone and received both a Master of Music degree and a Performer’s Certificate. In 1973, he received a special prize at the 5th International Harp Contest in Israel and has since continued an international career as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. Currently, Falcao is professor emeritus for the State University of New York at Fredonia and a visiting professor at the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa.
Learn more about Falcao by visiting his website at http://www.mariofalcao.com/.