Anyone watch “Harp Dreams” on PBS?

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    laura-palmieri on #149832

    I enjoyed watching it! What year was that competition? It was nice seeing the harp world on live television.

    jessica-wolff on #149833

    It was the 7th competition, in ’07. The 8th will be this year. I suffered along with Maria Krushevskaya the last step of the way. Did you notice, since we were discussing jewelry just recently on this forum, that some were wearing necklaces and/or earrings? Myself, I feel naked without earrings.

    Yes, it was nice to see the harp get that kind of exposure.

    kathy-chanik on #149834

    OMG, I thought it was WONDERFUL.

    unknown-user on #149835

    It was great! I thought it was very thorough, having interviewed contestants, parents, teachers, judges, and even taking a look at the production of the 1st prize harp! Maybe it was the tv or the way they recorded, but didn’t some of the audio seem abrasive? It was a shame, I thought that took away from the experience a little bit. My teacher was approached to be a tracked competitor, but she decided not to compete…


    David Ice on #149836

    I was very impressed with the overall production.

    carl-swanson on #149837

    I really enjoyed it too. In the last several harp competitions, both in Israel and Bloomington, the winners-who of course all won harps as part of the first prize package-have been harpists who didn’t own their own instrument. The winning prize was the first harp they had ever owned, and I think that is really great.

    I’m with you Sam. I thought the sound of the harps playing was kind of harsh. Harp is so difficult to record, and these of course were not studio conditions. The producers did the best they could. But over all, it was a great show, and puts the harp in a new spotlight.

    jessica-wolff on #149838

    Well, they sure worked hard enough for their harps!

    tony-morosco on #149839

    I thought it was fantastic. I loved how much they focused on the preparation for the competition, and how they went into the mind set and mental preparation.

    I’ve never been big on music competition in itself, but one of the things that they mentioned several times that kind of helped my change my view a bit is how just the preparation for a competition of this caliber really teaches the harpists a lot and helps prepare them for their futures as professional harpists. Even if they don’t get past the first round all the work never really goes to waste.

    carl-swanson on #149840

    I agree with you Tony. What I’ve always found interesting is how international competitions like this are a very good indicator of who is going to have an important career on the harp. And it’s not just the first prize that interests me. it’s the first three prizes. As one of the judges said during that program: “If the final stage were held three different times on three different days, the results would probably change each time. What the final stage does is pick out the best at that moment.”

    Kathleen Clark on #149841

    Missed the documentary, and no repeats scheduled (so far) but the DVD will be available through the PBS store in early July and will be released through Amazon on August 3rd.

    Extra Features Include:

    Maria Krushevskaya plays Eugen Onegin (7:34.24);

    Building The Prize Harp (9:25.04);

    Cheryl’s Harp Needs Repair (3:34.17); and

    Selecting a Competition Harp (4:29.10).

    carl-swanson on #149842

    It would have been nice if they had included lots more playing of complete pieces in the ‘extras.’

    Jerusha Amado on #149843

    I just watched the show on my DVR.

    jordan-thomas on #149844

    I loved the program! And what I loved about it, was that it opened so many eyes! From people who know nothing about harp, to people who do know. I find it so refreshing! What a great idea. Maybe Isreal will be next?

    HBrock25 on #149845

    Hi. I am the Executive Producer of this program. I appreciate the interesting and thoughtful comments on this forum. After reading a few postings here I thought it might be helpful if I provided some insight into how this was created.

    I live in Bloomington, Indiana where I work for the local PBS affiliate WTIU. I am fortunate enough to work with a very talented producer named Susanne Schwibs. Together we devised an approach to the competition which I then “pitched” to PBS. While PBS was supportive, we did not know until last fall if the show would even air (so your calls and emails of support to PBS are VERY helpful to us for future shows–if PBS knows you are interested in this kind of programming, it makes it easier to convince them that there is an audience for that programming).

    Anyway, we shot literally over 100 hours of footage (every single competition performance, including the finals). PBS would only give us a 90 minute “slot” (which was actually generous of them). This meant that we had to choose between long concert performances and “slice of life” content–I think we got the balance right.

    The DVD could only be produced on a single disk, so given that the show was 89 minutes long, we could only fit an additional 30 minutes. Believe me choosing what to include was tough. The DVD is for sale now at

    But given your interest, we may be able to put some additional clips of performances online in the near future. As it is, the next competition starts in a week–the winners of the 2004 and 2007 competitions are giving free concerts in Bloomington, and at least one of the finalists is back for this year’s competition. Very exciting, indeed.

    Jerusha Amado on #149846

    Thank you, Steve, for writing!

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