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Indiana Arts Commission

IAC > Governor's Arts Awards > 2011 Governor's Arts Awards Spotlight: Susann McDonald 2011 Governor's Arts Awards Spotlight: Susann McDonald

As a young musician studying in Paris, Susann McDonald became the first American to win the prestigious Premiere Prix de Harpe. She headed the harp department at Julliard School of Music before coming to Bloomington to chair the Harp Department at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.


Along with her teaching career, Ms. McDonald is developing organizations devoted to the harp. She is artistic director of the World Harp Congress, honorary president of the Association International des Harpists, and founder and music director of the USA International Harp Competition held every three years in Bloomington.


“I am honored to be a recipient of this award by Governor Daniels and the IAC,” McDonald said. “this recognition of my life’s work as a harpist means so much to me. I am proud of my long association with the IU Jacob’s School of Music as chair of the largest harp department in the world.”


Ms. McDonald has taught at and headed the U.S.’s top university harp departments and has served on the juries of most of the important international harp competitions in Israel, Japan, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, and The Netherlands. Her students consistently win national and international competitions and are recognized as today’s leading concert harpists and teachers.


Through Ms. McDonald, Indiana hosts a world-class international harp competition that promotes the careers of young harpists from throughout the world. The competition also promotes the harp as a concert and solo instrument and introduces the instrument to a broader public, thus making Ms. McDonald an ambassador for the harp, for music, for Bloomington, and Indiana.


Ms. McDonald and fellow recipients, June Edwards, Sylvia McNair, Alexander Toradze, Mark Fauser, and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis will be honored during an awards ceremony and dinner Thursday, April 26, 2012 at the Ernestine M. Raclin School for the Arts on the campus of Indiana University South Bend.

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