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Emily Mitchell

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Adjunct Faculty, Harp

  • B.M., Performance, Eastman School of Music (1975)
  • A.R.C.M., Performance, Royal College of Music (1977)
Emily Mitchell has earned critical acclaim as “a marvelous harpist” (The New York Times) who captivates her audiences with “playing of the utmost delicacy, beauty and subtlety.” (Records and Recording) In the words of The Washington Post, “Mitchell commands a vivid palette of colors and uses them with imagination.”

Ms. Mitchell has been heard worldwide as a concerto soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. Performances have taken her to the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Brazil, Israel, and Canada. She continues to tour the United States. Ms. Mitchell has been profiled on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, CNN, CNBC, Arts & Entertainment, the BBC, DRS-Swiss TV, the New York Times WQXR, Radio France, National Public Radio’s Performance Today and in People Magazine. Most memorable performances include the Mozart Concerto for Flute and Harp at Carnegie Hall with Sir James Galway and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, being presented in concert before British Royalty both in England and at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., and also performing for First Lady Rosalynn Carter at The White House.

For ten years, Emily Mitchell was Principal Harpist for the incomparable Eos Orchestra in New York City working closely with many of today’s composers. Ms. Mitchell taught with the distinguished artist faculties of New York University and Purchase College, SUNY, for many years where she formed the NYU Harp Ensemble and the Purchase Harp Ensemble. She commissioned new works for both ensembles. Recently relocated to Houston, TX, she now teaches on the artist faculty of Stephen F. Austin State University. As a chamber musician, Ms. Mitchell has performed and toured with numerous chamber ensembles, currently the Schocker/Mitchell Duo and Musique Chez Moi, championing newly commissioned world premieres.

Dedicated to the advancement of the harp, Ms. Mitchell has recently completed two terms on the Board of the American Harp Society. She is an active contributor to the American Harp Journal and she has lectured and performed at many of the American Harp Society’s National Conferences including the World Harp Congresses in The Netherlands, Paris, Ireland and Vancouver, BC. Ms. Mitchell will chair the American Harp Society’s 2012 50th Anniversary Conference in New York City. She is a frequent juror for major harp competitions, including the International Harp Contest in Israel, and she is often invited to teach master classes as a visiting clinician at universities and music conservatories, including the Royal College of Music, London, the Eastman School of Music, the Juilliard School of Music, Berklee College and the University of Texas at Austin.

Living a varied musical life, Emily Mitchell was an established name in the television, motion picture, and recording studios of New York City. She recorded with Michael Jackson, Carly Simon, Bernadette Peters, Dawn Upshaw, Diana Krall, Audra McDonald, Natalie Cole, and Harry Connick, Jr. She performed with the historic first Barbra Streisand Tour and the Gil Evans Orchestra with Sting at the Umbria Jazz Festival. She performed with Ray Charles and Barry Manilow in NYC, and with Bette Midler on the Martha Stewart Show and The Today Show. Ms. Mitchell can be heard playing on innumerable film scores including Aladdin, Fargo, Wolf, Failure to Launch, Fur, The Good Shepherd, and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.

Through her popular solo recordings for RCA Victor; Irish Harp Songs, A Celtic Christmas (The Holly and the Ivy), and Flying Dreams (featuring James Galway), Emily Mitchell is recognized as an admirer of folk music, “...a pure-voiced singer, accompanying herself on an Irish harp ...with unaffected charm and disarming simplicity.” (The New York Times) Two newer concert harp releases on the JMR label are Impromptu “a pleasant way to give the right brain some stimulation...” (American Record Guide); and Mozart Variations “A peaceful, civilized oasis in a turbulent world.” (Amazon.com—Editorial Reviews) A new recording release in 2012 on the Azica Label will feature harp chamber works by American flutist Gary Schocker.

A Dallas native, Ms. Mitchell is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where she was awarded the distinguished Performer’s Certificate. She is an Associate of the Royal College of Music, London. Her principal teachers were Julia Herrmann Edwards, Eileen Malone, and Marisa Robles. A frequent scholarship and competition winner in her youth, she won the coveted First Prize at the prestigious Seventh International Harp Contest in Jerusalem.