9th USA International Harp Competition

July 10 - 20, 2013


Gold Medal
Remy van Kesteren, The Netherlands

- Commemorative Lyon & Healy Gold Concert Grand Harp, value $55,000, Sponsored by Lyon & Healy Harps
- Two Debut Recitals sponsored by Lyon & Healy Harps
- CD Recording sponsored by Lyon & Healy Harps
- Career Promotion sponsored by Lyon & Healy Harps
- $5,000 David and Linda Rollo Award in memory of Mindee Rollo


Remy van Kesteren was awarded the gold medal in the 2013 competition.  Since then, he has taken on numerous ambitious projects, including a collaboration with the famous ballet choreographer, Hans van Manen. In 2014, he released his second CD Memento. For this disc, Remy chose music from Spain and Brazil and invited composer Martin Fondse to write new works that merged with the expressivity of these compositions.His third CD Tomorrow Eyeswasreleased in January 2016, featuring mostly Remy’sown compositions. For the 2015/2016 season, Remy has been undertaking a European tour with theRising Stars programme of the European Concert Hall Organisation, which will include Remy’s arrangement of Federico Mompou’s ‘Musica Callada’for himself and trumpeter Eric Vloeimans.


Bronze Medal: $4,000 - Eul Duk Kwak Memorial Prize

Emily Levin, USA

Silver Medal: $5,000 - Bow Brand Prize

Marta Marinelli, Italy

Marta Marinelli
Emily Levin

4th Prize: $3,000 - Vanderbilt Music Company Prize in Memory of Eleanor Fell
Yu Ying Chen, China

5th Prize: $2,500 - Dr. Konrad William Rinne and Dr. Erzsébet Gaal Rinne Prize
Emily Hoile, United Kingdom

6th Prize: $2,000 - Rachel Mary and John Isaac Jones Memorial Prize
Joel von Lerber, Switzerland

7th Prize: $1,500 - Marlene Rapp Prize
Gwenllian Llyr, United Kingdom (Wales)

8th Prize: $1,000 - Friend of the Harp Competition Prize
Alexandra Mullins, USA  

Special Prizes

Mario Falcao Prize: Best performance of Carl Reinecke: Concerto in E Minor for Harp & Orchestra, Op. 182
Marta Marinelli, Italy

Willy Postma Prize: Best Performance of Attahir's De l'obsurite II
Remy van Kesteren, The Netherlands



Dr. Ann Yeung,   Jury President

Dr. Ann Yeung,
Jury President

Known for her bold and personal artistry and eclectic repertoire, Ann Yeung is recognized as one of the leading harpists of her generation and enjoys a multi-faceted career.

She has won international prizes in 2nd the Lily Laskine Concours de harpe and the 7th Nippon Harp Competition and numerous national competitions. She has given master classes, lectures, and presentations at festivals and venues throughout the world. In 2010, she served on the jury of the USA International Harp Competition. 

Dedicated to the expansion of the harp’s repertoire, she has premiered over forty works in the past three decades from traditional mediums to the daring and diverse. As part of the Aletheia Duo with flutist Jonathan Keeble, she has several acclaimed recordings - “Voyage: American Works for Flute and Harp” and "Song of the Black Swan: Works Inspired by Nature". 

Ann Yeung is Editor of the World Harp Congress Review since 2002. Her articles on Henriette Renié and Elias Parish Alvars have been published internationally.

Recognized for her ability to foster individual creativity and artistry, her students have won international and national first prizes, published significant editions and articles, hold faculty and principal positions, conducted cognitive research, and established innovative ensembles.

She currently serves on the Boards of the World Harp Congress and the American Harp Society. She is also a Fellow in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation 2013-2014 Academic Leadership Program.

A native Californian, she began harp studies with Penny Howk Beavers. She received her BMus with highest distinction and honors, Artist Diploma, MMus, Performer’s Certificate, and DMus from Indiana University, under the tutelage of Susann McDonald. She is currently Professor of Harp at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Mieko Inou

Mieko Inou

Mieko Inoue is one of the leading harpists and harp teachers in Japan. She began her musical training at the age of four on the piano and pursued the harp at age eleven with Professor Josef Molnar. She graduated from Tokyo's prestigious Toho School of Music and completed its post graduation program.

Ms. Inoue has received honors in several international harp competitions. In 1983 she won a special prize at the Maria Korchinska International Harp Competition. In 1992 she received the best performance prize at the Fukui Harp Competition.

In both 1993 and 1999, Ms. Inoue was selected for the Japanese Government Overseas Cultural Exchange Program. She studied with Susann McDonald, Distinguished Professor of Harp at Indiana University while completing IU’s Performer Diploma degree.

Ms. Inoue has performed numerous solo and chamber music recitals worldwide. She has been a featured soloist with major orchestras in Japan, a featured soloist at the 3rd USA International Harp Competition in 1995 and for the World Harp Congress in Copenhagen, Seattle, Prague, Dublin and Vancouver.

Currently she plays as a principal harpist mainly in the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony orchestra among other orchestras including Saito Kinen Orchestra lead by the world renowned Seiji Ozawa. A passionate teacher, Ms. Inoue teaches at both the Toho School of Music and Ueno Gakuen Music School.

Baltazar Juárez Dávila

Baltazar Juárez Dávila

Principal Harpist of the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, Baltazar Juárez has performed as both an orchestral musician and concert artist in North America, Latin America and Europe. His solo appearances include the Young Israel Philharmonic, Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco, Orquesta Sinfónica de Aguascalientes, Orquesta de Cámara del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México and other orchestras.

Baltazar Juárez has been awarded numerous prizes in major harp competitions including fourth prize at the 4th USA International Harp Competition in 1998 and second prize at the 1999 American Harp Society Competition in Los Angeles.

He has held a professorship at the National Conservatory of México and other music schools in México. His keen interest in promoting the harp has driven him to be the Founder and Artistic Director of the National Harp Contest and International Harp Festival of Mexico.

Baltazar Juárez was born in México City and began at an early age to study harp with his father. He studied at the National Conservatory of Mexico and went on to complete his studies with Susana Mildonian (Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena, Italy) and Susann McDonald at Indiana University, where he obtained his Performer and Artist Diplomas. During his studies at Indiana University he was appointed Graduate Assistant to Professor Susann McDonald from 1998 to 2001.

In 2008 he recorded his first CD "Jardin des Paons", a harp duo with Isabelle Perrin.

Emile Naoumoff

Emile Naoumoff

Emile Naoumoff has been likened to both Vladimir Horowitz and Artur Rubinstein as a pianist, and was also recognized as a serious composer before his 20th birthday. Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1962, Naoumoff revealed himself a musical prodigy at age five, taking up study of the piano and adding composition to his studies a year later. At the age of eight, after a fateful meeting in Paris, he became the last disciple of Nadia Boulanger, who referred to him as "The gift of my old age". He studied with her until her death in late 1979.

Upon the death of Mlle. Boulanger, Naoumoff took over her classes at the summer sessions of the Conservatoire d'Art Americain in Fontainebleau. Later, in 1984, he was appointed at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique, Paris. In 1981, at age 19, he was signed as a composer -- the youngest on their roster -- with the music publisher Schott, Mainz. .

Naoumoff is regularly invited to perform by the world's premier orchestras: the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Berlin Symphony, the Vienna Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony in Washington, Moscow Symphony, NHK Symphony, the Residentie Orkest of the Hague, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France, Camerata Bern, and has collaborated closely with renowned conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Igor Markevitch, Leonard Slatkin, Mstislav Rostropovich and Eliahu Inbal. He also earned a personal invitation from Rudolf Serkin to perform at the Marlboro Festival and has given recitals throughout Europe, the USA and Asia.

Some highlights of his performing career include a performance of the Grieg Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and a performance of his own piano concerto version of Moussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. under the baton of Mstislav Rostropovich. Emile Naoumoff has been Professor of Piano at Indiana University since 1998.

Dr. María Luisa Rayan-Forero

Dr. María Luisa Rayan-Forero

Internationally renowned harpist, María Luisa Rayan-Forero has performed to critical acclaim in the USA, Europe, Latin America, China, Japan and Australia; described by the New York Concert Review as "Clearly an extremely talented, accomplished, experienced performer who can keep an audience listening with rapt attention." Ms. Rayan-Forero has come to be recognized as one of today's highly sought-after harpists as a recitalist, chamber musician, soloist with orchestra, teacher and arranger of music for the harp.

Ms. Rayan-Forero was awarded second prize at both the 1998 and 2001 USA International Harp Competitions, in addition to receiving a musical interpretation prize in 2001.

Ms. Rayan-Forero has performed in major venues around the world, including Musikgebouw in Amsterdam, National Concert Hall in Dublin, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Carnegie Hall in New York, Libby Gardner Hall in Utah and the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. She has been invited to play at various festivals including the Tanglewood Music Center, the Brevard Music Festival, where she served on the faculty, the University of Chicago Presents and the Cartagena Music Festival.

Having performed most of the harp literature, Ms. Rayan-Forero's keen interest in expanding the repertoire for the harp has taken her to research and transcribe music. Her publications include arrangements for solo harp of Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas, Serie del Angel and Libertango by Astor Piazzolla, Partitas BWV 825-827 by J.S. Bach, Sonata in F K332 by W.A. Mozart and Prelude from Bachianas Brasileiras No.4 by Heitor Villa-Lobos.

Ms. Rayan-Forero has just released her latest CD "From Bach to Piazzolla."

Dr. Gillian Benet Sella

Dr. Gillian Benet Sella

Gillian Benet Sella has been Principal Harpist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra since 1995. She was the former Principal Harpist of the Israel Philharmonic, the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra and the New Haven Symphony. She has performed as soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Radio Prague Symphony, Cincinnati Chamber, Quebec Symphony and the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestras among others. In 1997 she premiered the Liebermann Concerto for Harp and Flute with flutist James Galway and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Professor Sella made her Carnegie Hall solo recital debut in Weill Recital Hall presented by Artist's International. She also gave a harp and flute recital for the Mostly Mozart Festival in Avery Fisher Hall. Professor Sella has performed solos at the World Harp Congress in Vienna, Paris and Prague and she was a concerto soloist at the American Harp Society National Conferences in Cincinnati and San Francisco.

Professor Sella graduated cum laude from Harvard University where she studied French Civilization. She has Masters and Doctoral degrees from The Juilliard School, a Concert Artist's Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto and the Diplôme de Concertiste from the Ecole Normale de Paris. Her teachers have included Nancy Allen, Marcella De Cray, Marie-Claire Jamet, Pierre Jamet, Judy Loman, Susann McDonald, Ann Pilot and Linda Wood.

Professor Sella has won numerous prizes including the Sony E.S Musical Excellence Fellowship Grant, Fulbright Grant and Rotary Scholarship to Canada, the Aspen Music Festival E. Nakimichi Concerto Competition, Juilliard Scholarships and twice First Prize of the American Harp Society National Competition.

Dan Yu

Dan Yu

Since winning the first prize and two musical interpretation prizes at the 5th USA International Harp Competition in 2001, Dan Yu's lyrical interpretations, profound musicality, and technical mastery have captivated and dazzled audiences across three continents. She has performed solo recitals and chamber music concerts throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, and appeared to great acclaim at Alice Tully Hall, New York, and Wigmore Hall, London.

As a recitalist, Dan Yu has played in numerous cities including Paris, Geneva, Zurich, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Atlanta. In 2004 her Asian tour took her to Tokyo, Kobe, Fukui in Japan, and Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenyang in China. She has been featured twice at the World Harp Congress in Geneva and Amsterdam. As a soloist, she has appeared with the China National Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and Wintergreen Festival Orchestra.

A prominent harp teacher, Dan Yu has recently be appointed the Professor of Harp at the Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou, China. She has given master classes throughout the US, in major conservatories of China, and the Royal Academy of Music in London. Her students have won prizes at international and national competitions in the Netherlands, France, Japan, USA, Russia and Hong Kong.

Born in Shenyang, China, Dan Yu began studying piano at the age of six and harp at age ten. In 1993, she went to the United States to continue her harp studies. She holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, and an Artist Diploma from Indiana University. Currently she is the Music Director at the Hong Kong Harp Chamber as she continues to concertize as a soloist internationally.

Dan Yu has released two classical solo CDs and a DVD: "The Nightingale", "Spring on the Moonlit River" and "Dan-Yu-Live Recital".


Gwenllian Llyr, UK
Julia Lukan, Austria
Marta Marinelli, Italy
Mina Marinkovic, Serbia
Ann McLaughlin, USA
Ian McVoy, USA
Mayo Miura, Japan
Yuki Miyata, Japan
Cristina Montes Mateo, Spain
Alexandra Mullins, USA
Emmanuel Padilla Holguin, Mexico
Jia Peng, China
Elisabeth Plank, Austria
Betuel Ramirez, Mexico
Marion Ravot, France
Mary Reid, UK
Haley Rhodeside, USA
Aubrey Shumway, USA
Remy van Kesteren, Netherlands
Joel von Lerber, Switzerland
Nora von Marschall, Germany

Vuokko Ahtila, Finland
Ritsuko Arima, Japan
Emilie Bastens, Netherlands
Chu Chun Cheng, Taiwan
Yu Ying Chen, China
Daphné Coullet,France
Seika Dong, USA
Maja Dvoracek, Germany
Irene Fenninger, Germany
Xing Gao , China
Helen Gerhold, USA
Louise Grandjean, France
Zachary Hatcher, USA
Emily Hoile, UK
SeHee Hwang, South Korea
Saika Ikeshiro, Japan
Coline Jaget, France
Jeremy Kepplemann, USA
Merve Kocabeyler, Turkey
Elizaveta Kozina, Russia
Emily Levin, USA
Chu-Heng Liao, Taiwan