About Us

The USA International Harp Competition (USAIHC) is a triennial performance competition held at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana that recognizes the accomplishments and fosters the careers of gifted young harpists worldwide. Founded in 1989 by Susann McDonald, world-renowned harpist and Distinguished Professor of Music at Indiana University, the USA International Harp Competition is open to harpists of all nationalities between the ages of 18 and 32. 

During the ten-day competition, contestants compete in four stages: the first two stages consist of required repertoire, the third stage is a 40-minute solo program of the contestant’s choice, and the fourth stage features the three finalists performing a harp concerto accompanied by the Jacobs School of Music Philharmonic at the Indiana University Musical Arts Center.

Since inception, over 381 harpists from 31 countries have traveled to Bloomington, Indiana to compete for the coveted Gold Medal. In addition to awarding outstanding prizes, the USA International Harp Competition has an impressive record of launching careers. 

The USAIHC performance competition is paired with a globally recognized triennial Composition Contest producing myriad new works for the harp.  The USAIHC also recognizes the need to engage its local community by presenting a biannual Concert Series of distinguished harpists and introduces hundreds of students to the harp through its educational program, Harp Start. 

Spanning the diversity of performance, new music, and education, the USA International Harp Competition offers inspiration, appreciation, and excellence for the harp and harpists worldwide.




The mission of the USA International Harp Competition is to elevate exceptional harpists to extraordinary heights through performance, new music, and education.


Artistic Director

Susann McDonald

Susann McDonald - silver top.jpg

Executive Director

Erin Brooker-Miller

Program Coordinator

Melanie Mashner