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A Journey into Harp Artistry
Isabelle Perrin, harp
Northwest Sinfonietta, conducted by Christophe Chagnard
The idea behind this recording project
was inspired by the encounter of Christophe Chanard, conductor, with
whom I had the opportunity to work at the Sixth World Harp Congress in
the USA, Winston Ma, producer, and myself. Our deep common musical
understanding and the notorious difficulty of recording such a tonally
complex instrument as the harp, set the stage to take on what we
perceived as a great challenge.
My choice of repertory was meant to be as eclectic as possible, as much in the various styles and time periods as in the distinct character of the different compositions, thus reflecting what could be featured at one of my recitals. Some famous pieces (often conceived initially for the piano and beautifully adapted for the harp) as well as lesser-known selections were assembled to provide the widest possible perspective on this magical instrument, and for each number to enhance our love of it. It is my hope that my choices and preferences will provide the listeners with a glimpse of the immense pleasure I had in recording this album.
After brilliantly completing her studies at the Conservatoire de Nice, France,
Isabelle Perrin gave her first recital at the age of
seventeen at a festival for young soloists: the Festival
Méditerranéen des Jeunes
Solistes. Following this, she studied for three years at the Juilliard School before joining the San
Francisco Symphony Orchestra. On her return to France, she was chosen by the
Jeunesses Musicales de France to go on tour giving recitals throughout France for three consecutive years,
thus introducing the harp to a wider public.
In 1990, she was named Co-principal Harpist of the Orchestre National de France and a participating soloist by the Menuhin Foundation. She is also a winner of the Torneo Internazionale de Musica, in Rome, Italy.
An international soloist, Isabelle Perrin is regularly invited to play with many prestigious orchestras such as the Northwest Sinfonietta (Seattle), the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de Lille, the Orchestre National du Capitol de Toulouse, the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, the Ensemble Instrumental de Grenoble, the Sinfonietta de Picardie, and the Maîtrise de Radio-France.
This season her numerous concert engagements have taken her throughout Europe (France, Switzerland, Great Britain, Russia, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy) the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea and China.
Isabelle Perrin has inspired composers to write specifically for her talents. Pierick Houdy — Grand Prix de Rome — wrote especially for her his Concerto Français for harp and orchestra for her. The work received its world premier with the Orchestre de Bretagne, was performed with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra (Louisiana) and she just performed it at the Prague Rudolfinum with the Radio Prague Symphony Orchestra. Bernard Andres, a major composer for the harp, dedicated his Danses d'Erzulie for harp, string orchestra and percussion to her — she gave its first performance in Cincinnati in June 2000 and has just performed the work in Amsterdam.
Isabelle Perrin has made several recordings, including a recital of works by Bernard Andrès on the Hortensia label, a CD of the works of Arnold Bax for flute, viola and harp with the Turner Trio (of which she is a founding member) for Arion, and for the Pavane label she made the world premier recording on a original instrument of the harp works of F.A. Booieldieu, which includes the famous Concerto in C. In addition to this recording of Pierick Houdy's works for harp for Integral Classic, she has recorded an eclectic recital of harp works for First Impression Music.
Isabelle Perrin is the youngest person in France to have received her Certificat d'Aptitude as a harp teacher and teaches at the Conservatoire du XIVème arrondissement in Paris, as well as the Ecole Normale de Musique. She gives a great many master classes throughout the world (Europe, USA, South Africa, China. etc.) and has been asked to teach for two months at the prestigious University of Bloomington, Indiana..
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