The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Watch Virtuoso Harpist Emmanuel Ceysson Perform “The Colorado Trail”

Who was that harpist on the January 25th episode of Music & the Spoken Word? That’s the question our fans have been asking and we’ve got the answer: the young French virtuoso Emmanuel Ceysson is a rising star in the harp world and hopes to bring harp back to the forefront of classical music in the 21st century.

Critics rave about Ceysson’s solo performances, and his website reads, “His unfailing commitment to his instrument has earned him the highest international distinctions. In rapid succession, he won the Gold Medal and a special performance prize at the USA International Harp Competition (Bloomington) in 2004, First Prize and six special prizes at the New York Young Concert Artist Auditions in 2006, and First Prize at the prestigious ARD Competition in Munich in September 2009, thus becoming the first harpist to obtain awards at three major international events.”

On the Choir and Orchestra’s January 25th broadcast, Ceysson performed “The Colorado Trail, Fantaisie for Harp, Op. 28” by Marcel Grandjany, which is often reserved for his encore number. Ceysson used a unique Red Salzedo harp, which was shipped from Chicago to Salt Lake City for his local performances. The Red Salzedo was made by the Lyon and Healy Company for its 150th anniversary and named in honor of a famous harpist-composer-teacher, Carlos Salzedo, who would always mark his students music with the same “Crimson Lake” red colored pencil. The harp was created in the Art Deco style typical of the 1920s and also highlights the number five, which was Salzedo’s favorite number, featuring five red stripes on the sounding board. There are only two Red Salzedo harps in existence—the one used by Ceysson on the broadcast and the original that is owned by Ceysson, which typically stays in Europe.

On his website, Ceysson calls virtuosity “A perfect blend of musicality, technique, and commitment.” Watch the video below to see him bring the three together in perfect harmony.

Below is a photo of Emmanuel Ceysson with Orchestra at Temple Square harpists, Tamara Oswald (left) and Julie Keyes.