Noël Wan has been named the new professor of harp at Western University’s Don Wright Faculty of Music in London, Ontario. “The harp program at Western has been inactive for many years, so I’m really excited to be revitalizing the harp studio and contributing to a more robust harp community in London and southwestern Ontario,” says Wan. “I’m also looking forward to recruiting harp students from diverse cultural and musical backgrounds; that diversity will hopefully influence the direction of this new program and enable me to respond to both contemporary social issues in music and the constantly changing needs of aspiring musicians.”
Wan shares that she hopes to prepare her students for careers as professional harpists. She also wants to encourage them to explore “hands-on, creative approaches to pedagogy, skills in transcription and improvisation, historical performance practices, social critiques of race (especially identities of Blackness and Indigeneity in Canada), gender, class, and environment in classical music, and/or innovative projects that cultivate their own musical and academic interests.”
Wan won first prize in the 2010 Dutch Harp Festival Competition and has received top awards in the International Harp Contest in Israel, the Lily Laskine International Harp Competition, the Nippon International Harp Competition, the Korea International Harp Competition, the Chimei Arts Foundation Competition, and the American Harp Society National Harp Competition. She received her DMA from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign under Ann Yeung and her master of music from the Yale University where she studied with June Han.