Where good harpists become great musicians
The Elizabeth Hainen Harp Colony is an advanced training ground for the world’s next generation of professional harpists. The colony is a true pedagogical institution, with emphasis on individual development for promising young harpists as well as professionals. The distinguished faculty conducts an intensive program of master classes, ensemble playing, and orchestral training.

Harpists looking for a rigorous program will benefit from an intensive week of orchestral training through mock auditions, master classes with Elizabeth Hainen, and harp ensemble with Nancy Lendrim, culminating in a performance in the final concert. Whether looking to enter competitions or merely seeking a greater knowledge of the repertoire, students will benefit from a full exploration of harp literature.

Build friendships, share ideas, and enrich your musical talent in an intimate atmosphere—and enjoy yourself thoroughly in the process.

The Elizabeth Hainen Harp Colony’s first season as part of Curtis Summerfest continues a rich legacy dating back to celebrated harpist Carlos Leon Salzedo, who headed the harp department at the Curtis Institute of Music from the school’s founding in 1924 until his death in 1961, and has long been revered at Curtis as the founder of a tradition of harp study and practice that continues to this day. In 1931, he founded the Salzedo Harp Colony (also known as the Salzedo School), a harp workshop in Camden, Maine.

The Salzedo Harp Colony provided an environment for the type of intensive private study that was not possible during the regular concert season. Students lived with local families and performed for each other in weekly chamber music concerts, in addition to practicing and enjoying the beautiful environment of the area. When Salzedo passed away in 1961, one of his most noted distinguished former students, Alice Chalifoux, took over direction of the colony, teaching students until her retirement in 2002. Nancy Lendrim, ensemble faculty for the Elizabeth Hainen Harp Colony, spent several summers at Salzedo Harp Colony studying under Alice Chalifoux.

While Elizabeth Hainen was unfortunately never able to attend the Salzedo Harp Colony, in 2004, she founded the Saratoga Harp Colony, a similar retreat for promising young harpists in New York. Now, moving to the Curtis Institute of Music for the first time, the Elizabeth Hainen Harp Colony continues Salzedo’s rich tradition of harp pedagogy at Curtis.

Recommended for Intermediate to Advanced levels of performers. Those accepted as performers will take part in master classes, courses, and the harp ensemble recital.

Master classes will be taught by Elizabeth Hainen. Please prepare a memorized program of two to four pieces from the major solo harp repertoire, or harp parts or cadenzas from the major orchestral repertoire (i.e. Swan Lake Suite, Symphonie Fantastique). In addition, bring any works in progress or a new work you wish to study.

Harpists interested pursuing an orchestral career will benefit from mock auditions. This is an invaluable opportunity to perform your orchestral excerpts in a simulated audition environment. Participants will play for a panel of Harp Colony faculty.

Participants in the mock audition must perform all three of these pieces:

• Tchaikovsky, “Waltz of the Flowers” harp cadenza from The Nutcracker
• Rimsky-Korsakov, Capriccio Espagnole
• Britten, The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

Thursday, June 23 – Saturday, June 25, 2016
For harpists 21 and up, who perform at a strong intermediate or advanced level. Whether you are a full-time professional harpist or looking for a Tuneup, Pro Retreat is a great way to revitalize, strengthen and broaden your harp skills.

Professional retreat participants observe all master classes and take part in all courses. No audio submission is necessary. There is no limit to the number of professional retreat participants. Professional retreat participants will have an opportunity to perform in the final concert as part of the harp ensemble.
Click here for a PDF of the professional retreat schedule, best viewed on Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Any harpist may participate as an auditor. Auditors observe all master classes. No audio submission is necessary. There is no limit to the number of auditors. Choose to audit one day or several days.
Courses are available for performers and professional retreat participants attending on Thursday, June 23 or Friday, June 24.

Today’s Harpist: In a world of social media, reality television and self-promoting incentives at every turn, it is becoming increasingly difficult to decide how much or how little to engage with the wide range of promotional tools available. Perhaps we can find a balance by asking this question: “How do we as harpists best serve ourselves while serving our listeners with quality performances that are worth the campaign trail?”

The Polished Harpist: tools and techniques of the trade.



  • Tuition: $1,170
  • Application Fee: $65 / $125*
  • Housing and Dining: $714

Professional Retreat

  • Tuition: $585
  • Registration Fee: $65 / $125*
  • Housing and Dining: $357


  • Tuition: $120/day
  • Registration Fee: $65 / $125*
  • Housing and Dining: $119/night

*Registration fee: $65 before February 26, 2016 at 11:59 a.m. EST; $125 (February 27–May 13, 2016).
Registration ends Friday, May 13, 2016 at 11:59 a.m. EST.

Sunday Monday–Thursday Friday Saturday
 Morning  Residential Check-In Individual Practice Individual Practice Individual Practice
Afternoon Residential Excursion Master Class Ensemble Rehearsal Recital
Evening Master Class Mock Audition/Competition Ensemble Rehearsal

Check-in: Sunday, June 19 9–10:30 a.m.
Check-out: Saturday, June 25 at 5 p.m.

*Schedule is subject to change.

Curtis Summerfest does not offer scholarships for the Elizabeth Hainen Harp Class. Students and parents are urged to seek financial assistance from local sources such as school music organizations; county, state, or national music education organizations; youth orchestras and bands; music clubs; service clubs (Rotary, Kiwanis, etc.); businesses; churches; and foundations.

Learn how participants have raised funds to attend.