Marcel Grandjany

Marcel Grandjany

The French-American harpist and composer Marcel Grandjany was born in Paris in 1891. At the age of seventeen, he made his debut with the Concerts Lamoureux Orchestra and gave his first solo recital, winning immediate acclaim. He appeared as a soloist with major orchestras under the direction of amongst others Pierné, Cortot, Damrosch, Koussevitsky, Szell, Reiner and Golschmann.

He moved to the United States in 1936, where he was appointed head of the Harp Department at the Juilliard School, where he taught until his death in 1975.

At the First International Harp Contest in Israel in 1959, Pierre Jamet of France proposed the formation of an international association of harpists. Grandjany undertook to see what he could do in the United States and chaired a committee of leading harpists, which met for the first time on 3 December 1962 in his apartment.

Grandjany’s merits were his flawless technique and the brilliant sound which he drew from the instrument with his spatula-shaped fingertips. He was an influential teacher, and his many solo and ensemble compositions are appealing and exceptionally well-written for the instrument. He also wrote songs and orchestral works.


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