Saturday October 21 2023, 11:00 AM
Musique Royale invites you to Cecilia’s Retreat in Mahone Bay to hear “Écriture féminine” performed by harpist Noël Wan. Lauded as “a huge talent with hidden power and amazing maturity” (Bart van Oort), Taiwanese-American harpist Noël Wan (1994) made her international debut with the Utrecht Symphony Orchestra in 2010. An acclaimed soloist, she has performed across North America, Europe, and Asia and has been featured at Carnegie Hall, het Muziekgebouw, Eslite Hall, and the Yellow Barn Summer Festival.
Inspired by French philosopher Helène Cixous’s idea of the “écriture féminine” (women’s writing), the program comprises pieces all written by women composers - some of whom are/were also harpists - who were inspired by the harp’s rich history, diverse musical traditions, and their own deeply personal experiences. Join us on Saturday October 21st at 11 am to hear the superb artistry of Noël Wan up close at Cecilia’s Retreat.
About Noël Wan
Lauded as “a huge talent [with] hidden power and amazing maturity” (Bart van Oort), Taiwanese-American harpist Noël Wan (1994) made her international debut with the Utrecht Symphony Orchestra in 2010. An acclaimed soloist, she has performed across North America, Europe, and Asia and has been featured at Carnegie Hall, het Muziekgebouw, Eslite Hall, and the Yellow Barn Summer Festival. Her 2023-2024 engagements include a Debut Atlantic Concert Tour and concerts presented by the Virginia Harp Center Festival, Taiwan Harp Festival, Conservatoire de musique de Montréal’s Harpenning Festival, Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society, and St. John’s Elora Recital Series.
As an artist who values collaborative music-making, Noël enjoys performing with diverse ensembles and working with living composers. She currently serves as Principal Harpist of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and actively engages in chamber music projects, focusing on works by 20th- and 21st-century composers. Dedicated to the performance of contemporary music, she has premiered pieces by Krists Auznieks, Dmitry Tymoczko, Daníel Bjarnason, Kyong-Mee Choi, and Augusta Reed Thomas. In fall 2023, she will begin a commissioning project for electroacoustic harp, generously funded by Florida State University.
Noël is the first Taiwanese harpist to win Gold Medal in the USA International Harp Competition, one of the world’s most prestigious harp competitions, and she is the youngest First Prize winner in the history of the World Harp Competition. Other distinctions include the Mario Falcao Prize (USA International Harp Competition) and Forgotten Lore Prize (World Harp Competition) for best interpretation of a newly commissioned work; Grand Prize in the 2014 Carmel Music Society Competition; and Second Prize in the 2013 Nippon International Harp Competition, 2015 Korea International Harp Competition, and 2021 Prix Orford Musique. Additionally, she has been supported by the Chimei Arts Foundation, the Presser Foundation, and the Ontario Arts Council.
An alumna of the University of Illinois (BM, DMA) and the Yale School of Music (MM), Noël is equally comfortable in her roles as a performer, academic, and educator. She has presented her scholarly work at the American Harp Society Summer Institute and the American String Teachers Association National Conference and has contributed to Harp Column, The Collective, The American Harp Journal, and VAN Magazine. Also highly sought as a teacher, Noël has been on faculty at the University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College, and Western University; she currently serves as Assistant Professor of Harp and Entrepreneurship at Florida State University.
Born in the California Bay Area, Noël has since called many places “home.” She and her husband, Canadian choral conductor Patrick Murray, now divide their time between Toronto, Ontario and Tallahassee, Florida, where they live with their tuxedo cats Georgina and Simone.