Classically-trained pedal harpist; Celtic-loving folk harpist; Sinatra-playing pop artist. To see Stephanie perform, check out her list of upcoming concerts.
Recent Awards | New publications
First place winner, Minnesota Scottish Harp Competition|
Stephanie Claussen won first prize in the Master category at the 2017 Minnesota Scottish Harp Competition with, according to judge Seumas Gagne, “an exceptional performance.”
“Moss, Wood and Thicket: That feeling you get when you think about The Lord of the Rings” |Inspired by The Lord of the Rings, this delightful original piece is suitable for intermediate lever or pedal harpists. Listen to the tune on Stephanie Claussen’s “Soirée à Montpellier” album and purchase the sheet music at Kolacny Music.
“Light So Brilliant: Christmas Carols and Tunes for Solo Harp” |Claussen’s renditions shine as solos but have the richness to cut through background chatter at a holiday party. Evoking an ancient rather than modern setting, they contain variations that intermediate through advanced harpists will find both intricate and satisfying. Available online through Mel Bay, locally at Musicmakers in Stillwater, MN, or wherever music books are sold.
Although Stephanie Claussen has been specializing in Early and Renaissance harp music for over seventeen years, her diverse repertoire encompasses classical, folk, pop, and sacred music. She began learning harp at the age of seven when her father built her first harp from a Musicmakers harp kit. After studying harp for eleven years with Twin Cities professional harpist Cathy Victorsen, Claussen realized that, for her, making music needed to be more than just a hobby. She obtained her Bachelors of Music in performance at the University of Minnesota under the instruction of Kathy Kienzle, principal harpist of the Minnesota Orchestra. She now runs a private harp studio from her home in St. Paul and performs for weddings, special events and in ensembles throughout the upper midwest. She is a two-time first place winner in the “Master” category at the Minnesota Scottish Harp Competition and has received multiple grants. Mel Bay Publications, Inc. recently published her book of harp arrangements, “Light so Brilliant: Christmas Carols and tunes for solo harp.”
Stephanie Claussen is a current member of the Ravenscroft Musicke Guild, a performing ensemble dedicated to entertaining people through a combined vocal and instrumental approach to Renaissance music. She is a past member of the University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, indie band “Acoustic Nerve,” and the University of Minnesota Early Music Ensemble. She has worked with the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the Dakota Valley Symphony, the Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, the Paris Conservatory’s Saxophone Ensemble, the Duluth Symphony Orchestra, and the Northern Lights International Music Festival. She has performed as a wandering minstrel at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival on and off for the past fifteen years.
Awards and Affiliations
Next Step Grant, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, 2017
1st place, Master, MN Scottish Harp Competition, 2016 and 2017
MN Chapter of the American Harp Society’s ARCH award, Professional, 2016
1st place, Harp in Ensemble, MN Scottish Harp Competition, 2015 and 2016
Arts Tour grant, MN State Arts Board, 2014
1st place, Novice, MN Scottish Harp Competition, 1998
Most Promising Harpist, MN Scottish Harp Competition, 1998
Best New Act, MN Renaissance Festival, 1998
President, MN Chapter of the American Harp Society, 2016-present
Secretary, MN Chapter of the American Harp Society, 2014-2016
Organizer, MN Scottish Harp Weekend, 2014, 2015, 2016
MN Music Coalition
American Harp Society
Scottish Harp Society of America
International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen
Twin Cities Musicians Union – Local 30-73 AFM
Influences and Inspirations
J.R.R.Tolkien, Frank Sinatra, Hildeguard von Bingen, Turlough O’Carolan, J.S. Bach