Classically-trained pedal harpist; Celtic-loving folk harpist; Sinatra-playing pop artist. To see Stephanie perform, check out her list of upcoming concerts.
Most Recent Project | New book
“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. At the age of twelve, she won first place in the Macalester Scottish Country Harp Competition in St. Paul and was additionally named “Most Promising Harpist.” 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. 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
MN Chapter of the American Harp Society’s ARCH award, Professional, 2016
1st place, Master, MN Scottish Harp Competition, 2016
1st place, Harp in Ensemble, MN Scottish Harp Competition, 2016
1st place, Harp in Ensemble, MN Scottish Harp Competition, 2015
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
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