About the Director

Astrid Walschot-Stapp - Harp Ensemble Director

 

Frederick Harpist Astrid Walschot-StappBorn in Maastricht Holland, Frederick harpist Astrid Walschot-Stapp began studying the harp at age nine. After studying at the Maastricht Conservatory on the advice of Phia Berghout, she received her Docerend Musicus (teaching degree) and later the Uitvoerend Musicus (soloist diploma) summa cum laude. Following her studies in Holland with Katja Noorman, Bess Franssen, and Theresia Rieu, Astrid received the VSB Bank Scholarship and the Prince Bernhard Fund prize. She was invited to study with Susan McDonald at Indiana University where she received her Performer Diploma. Mrs. Stapp grew up with the French style of playing (H. Renie, Grandjany) but does not limit her insight to one method.

Astrid has been active in popularizing pieces by contemporary composers. The pieces “Astre” for harp ( 1988) and “Sagitaure”for flute and harp (1989) by Jean Sevriens are published by Donemus in Amsterdam. Astrid is looking forward to the Harp Concerto "Tanghetto" by J. Sevriens which is being written for her.  In 2008 she recorded a CD featuring selected works by composer Meg Robinson. As a chamber musician, Astrid has played numerous recitals in Europe and North America with such groups as the Orlando String Quartet, Kennedy Center Theater Chamber Players, The Left Bank Concert Society, Skya, and Duo Liutaio. In addition to radio and television performances, Astrid has been active as a soloist and as an orchestral musician. She has performed with such groups as the Limburg Symphony (The Netherlands), National Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, National Gallery Orchestra, Washington Opera, Opera Royal de Wallonie and the Baltimore Opera. She was featured in the Baltimore Symphony’s Summerfest chamber music program and in their newly established ‘concertlab’at MICA. In March 2003 she was selected by Maestro Yuri Temirkanov to be the acting principal harpist of the Baltimore Symphony during his tenure. She is the former principal harpist of the National Philharmonic.  Astrid co-founded the MCYO Harp Ensemble and conducted it from 2001-2009. Mrs. Walschot-Stapp was on the faculty of the Washington Conservatory from 1997 to 2004.